This is a rarely kind of noodle soup in Saigon, but one of the oldest. Although there is the same way cooking broth, but this fish noodle soup is special because of freshest fish fillets (usually snake-head fish) and crispy pork lard to make it is featured.
To cook this soup, Fish is chosen that are very fresh (Alive fish is the best), firm and white meat fish, usually SNAKEHEAD FISH. Fish fillets must be with out skin, boneless and sliced thinly (usually frozen lightly before sliced). The broth is cooked with pork marrow-bones with some white radish, onion and preserved wombok (Chinese cabbage)
- 1 kg snakehead fish or any white, firm meat fish
- 500 gr fresh flat rice noodle or dried rice noodle, cooked as package instructions
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp chopped shallots
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 kg pork marrow-bones
- 200 gr minced pork
- 1 no or 300 gr white radish (daikon), peeled, cut into mire poix
- 1 no onion, peeled, cut into halves
- 20 gr preserved wombok (Vietnamese: Tăng xại, Tằng xại) (Optional)
- Seasonings: Salt, pepper, fish sauce, Sugar, fish or chicken booster (knorr)
- 50 gr garlic chives, sliced
- Scallion, white part, 5 cm long, blanched
- 50 gr crispy pork lard dices (Vietnamese: tóp mỡ)
- Fresh herbs: Sweet mint, Vietnamese basil, Culantro, …
Condiments: Mung bean sprouts, Sliced chili, Lime wedges, butterhead lettuce, Fish sauce
- For the fish: Fillet the fish, take skin off, remove all of bones (Fish head and bones is kept for broth).Put in freezer about 30 minutes or until frozen lightly. Take them out and slice thinly, keep aside until using (in fridge).
- Wash the bones by put them in stock pot with cold water, bring to a boil about 2 to 3 minutes, take them off, wash carefully under running water, throw the liquid.
- Cooking broth: Put washed bones into stock pot, add about 2 liters cold water along with onion halves, white radish, preserved wombok, bring to the boil then simmering. It takes about 1 to 2 hours. (skimming occasionally)
- Meanwhile, in sauteing pan with medium heat, add 1 tbsp cooking oil, add chopped shallots, garlic, saute the fish bone a few minutes (not get color), add to stock pot with pork bones. (this step need be done 30 minute before fishing broth)
- Strain the stock through cheesecloth, discard the solids. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Serving: Blanch the noodle in boiling water, put in serving bowl. (Sprouts can be added in bowl before adding noodle) Blanch the fish fillets until just cooked, put on top of the noodle. Ladle very hot broth to cover, garnish with some fresh herbs, garlic chives, Scallions, sliced chili, crispy pork lard (diced) and served with condiments.