Sour Fish Head Soup For One (Canh Chua Dau Ca)

Course : Fish
Serves: 4
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Ingredients:

2 medium scallions -- white part only, -- crushed
1 dash sprinkling of freshly ground -- black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons fish sauce -- (nuoc mam)
1 large fish head or fish carcass -- split down the center
1 quart water
1/2 cup canned sliced sour bamboo
1/4 medium fresh pineapple -- cut in a section and -- sliced
1/8 teaspoon msg -- (optional)
2 tablespoons mixed chopped fresh -- coriander (Chinese parsley) and green scallions
 

Preparation / Directions:

An excellent way to get twice the pleasure out of your fish purchase. You can use either the fish head or the fish carcass if you wish. To the people of South Viet Nam, this is as much their traditional dish as Southern Fried Chicken is to our southerners--and it will meet with instant praise. Sprinkle the scallions, black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 4 teaspoons fish sauce over the fish head. Allow to stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil and drop in the sour bamboo and pineapple slices. Cook at a lively boil for 5 minutes. Drop fish head into the actively boiling water and, keeping at a boil, add the 2 tablespoons fish sauce, remaining teaspoon salt, and a dash of MSG. Boil the fish head for a total of 10 minutes. Transfer to a soup tureen, sprinkle on the coriander and scallion green, and serve. Note: If the fish head is dropped into water that is not boiling, it will fall apart. From "The Classic Cuisine of Vietnam", Bach Ngo and Gloria Zimmerman, Barron's, 1979. This is real good with chunks of catfish, shrimp, whatever


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