Sardines crowd the beach in Quang Cong Ward, Thua Thien Hue Province

From February to May sardines dot a beach in Hue. Local fisherfolk use thick-knit nets hundreds of meters long to catch them and it’s an appetizing sight.

Sardines crowd the beach in Quang Cong Ward, Thua Thien Hue Province:

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Sardines, also known as baby herrings, have the width of a hallux and typically settle three to five kilometers away from the bay. Local fisherfolk use thick-knit nets hundreds of meters long to catch them.

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50-year-old fisherman Le Ngoc Hanh of Tan Loc Village and his family members remove sardines from the net by shaking it out and pulling out the remaining, trapped fish.

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The Mieu (or The To Temple) the Buddhist temples in Hue

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Sardines scattered on the sand.

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The sardines are dipped in saltwater to wash off sand. This also intensifies their fresh, salty taste. Following this, the fish is piled in baskets and sold to traders.

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Le Ngoc Hanh untangles the last few remaining fish from the net.

“The sardines season starts in February and lasts until May. My boat heads out around 4 a.m. and returns at 8 a.m. There are three of us and we manage to catch around 200 to 300 kg of sardines each day, earning VND4 million ($170),” said Hanh.

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Equipped with plastic baskets and scales, traders head down to the beach in the morning to bargain for fresh sardines, prices ranging from VND15,000 ($0.6) to 20,000 ($0.9) per kilogram.

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Sardines off the coast of Quang Dien are approximately 10-15 cm long and said to have a “nice curve.”

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After about half an hour of bargaining and buying, traders take the sardines in bamboo baskets for further distribution.

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Nguyen Thi Chep, a local, said: “Sardines taste best in a stew with chili pepper after scales have been thoroughly removed.”

Sardines are also frequently served fried or used in spring rolls.

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Some traders add a prepping step to the sardines before delivering them to local restaurants: they coal grill their fish. These specially prepared sardines are sold at VND1,000 (4 cents) per piece. According to the sellers, this extra step ensures long-lasting freshness of the fish.

Source: e.vnexpress.net

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