Vietnamese fish stew is a traditional dish in Vietnam. Cooked dishes will have dark brown color, strong flavor, no fishy smell. The food will be served with hot rice is the best.
Ingredients to cook Vietnamese fish stew:
2 tablespoons oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup (4 oz/100 g) minced shallots (about 12 shallots)
2 oz (50 g) pork belly, sliced
1 slender Asian eggplant (5 oz/150 g), cubed
3 stalks lemongrass, thick bottom parts only, outer layers discarded, inner parts minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
3 cups (750 ml) water
7 oz (200 g) dried salted fish (see note)
10 oz (300 g) fresh fish fillets (halibut, mackerel, swordfish or catfish)
2 finger-length red chilies, deseeded and sliced
2 teaspoons sugar
4 fresh medium shrimp (about 4 oz/ 100 g), peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon thinly sliced spring onion
1 tablespoon Crispy Fried Shallots, to garnish
Method to cook Vietnamese fish stew:
1, Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Stir-fry the garlic, shallots, pork, eggplant, lemongrass and peppercorns for about 5 minutes, until cooked. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2, In a large saucepan, bring the water, salted fish and fresh fish to a boil over medium heat, then simmer for about 10 minutes and remove from the heat. Remove the fish and set aside. Strain the stock.
3, Bring the clear stock to a boil again in a pot. Add the stir-fried pork mixture, chilies and sugar, and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the soup has reduced by one-third.
Finally, add the shrimp and simmer for 3 more minutes until they turn pink, then remove from the heat.
4, Place the fish in individual serving bowls. Pour the stew over and sprinkle with spring onion and Crispy Fried Shallots.
Chef’s Note to cook Vietnamese fish stew:
There are many different grades of dried salted fish and the better ones can be quite expensive, however, any dried or salted fish will work with this recipe—salt cod is a good choice. Rinse and clean the salted fish thoroughly. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Soak for a longer period of time or overnight for a more subtle flavor, or to remove more of the salt.