Snakehead Fish Rice Porridge – Eat Best Food in Tien Giang
Snakehead Fish Rice Porridge – Eat Best Food in Tien Giang

Sweet and fatty snakehead fish, a bowl of fragrant roasted rice porridge and the bitter taste of vegetables growing in the summer are hard to miss when visiting My Tho (Tien Giang).

By Thomas Vietnam at | Official My Tho Visitor Guide

1. Better to Know as a Food Lover

Find them: My Tho city.

Best time: Dusk-Dawn

Don’t miss: Snakehead Fish Rice Porridge

Local’s pick: Snakehead Fish Rice Porridge small restaurant

Tourist’s pick: Restaurant in My Tho


Facts: It’s hot, make a bowl of hot fish porridge while sipping and wiping sweat. In the cold season, a bowl of fish porridge warms the hearts of diners. Delicious, easy to digest and rich in nutrients, fish porridge of several tens of thousands of VND becomes a specialty dish available all year round and a dish that those who have the opportunity to visit the Mekong Delta region.

2. Better to Know Snakehead Fish Rice Porridge

In the southern and southwestern provinces, porridge is a familiar dish of every family. It’s the same in every house, whenever people feel bored with rice today, people immediately think of porridge. Those who are not good at cooking or don’t have much time, just wash a handful of rice in a pot of white porridge and eat with dried braised fish. More sophisticated, buy less pork to have a pot of minced meat porridge. But perhaps it is not until tasting the fish porridge of My Tho that the gourmets click their tongue to admit that “this is no longer a common dish but a specialty”.

Exactly when it appeared in the list of specialties of the Southwest region is unknown, but according to some senior chefs in My Tho, Cai Lay (Tien Giang), this dish may have appeared in the family meal from hundreds of years ago.

3. Snakehead Fish Rice Porridge in My Tho

Not too fussy in processing, but wanting to have a delicious bowl of porridge that makes people squirm is not easy. First is the rice. To have a really delicious bittersweet snakehead fish porridge, the chef will choose a medium-sized, sweet and fragrant rice. Rice porridge is not washed and cooked immediately like white porridge but must be roasted in a pan until the rice grains are golden and fragrant.

The snakehead fish chosen to cook is usually a large one with little bone, but instead of buying snakehead fish to raise large children for a lot of meat, meticulous chefs in My Tho often choose copper snakehead fish. Although this fish is smaller, the meat is firm and fragrant. Buy fish to scale, rub salt on the whole body to reduce viscosity and reduce fishy smell. The belly and head of the fish should be cleaned thoroughly by removing the gills and any remaining minced blood. For the Mekong people, the fish is cleaned but the intestines must be left intact because this is considered the most delicious part of snakehead fish and is also the attractive feature of fish porridge. In order for the fish to be fishy and not pale, after cleaning, some people blanch the fish in boiling water with a little ginger, salt and seasoning powder. When the fish is blanched, take it out and wait for the porridge to stay, then put it in.

In order for the porridge to have a round flavor, the water for cooking porridge must not be used with tap water that has a chlorine smell. Some people are careful to use rain water or filtered water to cook porridge. Put the pot on the stove, cook until the water boils, then add the roasted rice and cook until the top is full, season with salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, a little sugar and fish sauce. Finally, snakehead fish will be put in a boil for fresh water and the aroma of fish mixed with each grain of porridge, then pick the fish and keep it separate.

For those who cook well, the snakehead fish is just cooked enough to keep the flesh intact and not broken. Depending on the preferences of the eater, the chef will separate the head and intestines of the fish. The fish body will be separated from the bones, when you need to eat, just put the fish in the bowl and then scoop the porridge. There are also people who like to put the fish separately on a plate with some blanched onions and herbs. Every time you slurp a piece of porridge, pick up a piece of fish and dip it with fish sauce.

To make the bowl of porridge more attractive, after seasoning with enough spices, the cook often adds purple onions, in addition, finely chopped scallions and coriander are also two indispensable things. Minced soybean paste (soybean) is also the secret to helping the fish porridge have a characteristic taste. In My Tho, some famous snakehead fish porridge shops have jars of minced soy sauce for customers to use as dipping sauce or seasoning as they like.

Finally, there is a plate of bitter vegetables, a specialty vegetable of the South that is bitter on the tongue but extremely sweet in the end. Not industrially grown bitter vegetables with large stems and big leaves like the stalks of purslane, My Tho bitter vegetables that grow in the soil behind the house have small leaves with small stems, a bitter taste than normal bitter vegetables. With fish porridge, the combination of bitter taste and aroma of vegetables blends perfectly with the smell of roasted rice, snakehead fish and even soy sauce in each spoon of porridge.

4. How to Make Snakehead Fish Rice Porridge

Ingredients for making snakehead fish porridge with bitter vegetables

100g rice

300g copper snakehead fish (if not available, use regular snakehead fish)

10g ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced purple onion

50g straw mushrooms

20g onion angle

200g bitter vegetables

1 liter of water

Seasoning: 1 tablespoon seasoning, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon fish sauce

How to choose to buy fresh snakehead fish

– You should choose to buy from familiar places, at markets or reputable food stores or other large supermarkets. To be able to buy fresh snakehead fish

– Should choose snakehead fish of moderate size, not too big or too small. The fish body is elongated, not too round, feels firm to the touch, not mushy.

– When choosing snakehead fish, you should pay attention to observe the anus of the fish to determine if the fish is still fresh or not. Fresh fish, the anus is small, when it is large, it is dead fish, about to go rotten and sometimes impregnated with chemicals.

How to make snakehead fish porridge with bitter vegetables

Step 1. Prepare ingredients

First, roast the rice on the stove to make the porridge more fragrant. As for thinly sliced ​​ginger, snakehead fish is rubbed with salt and ginger to remove the fishy smell of the fish, washed with water, then cut into bite-sized pieces.

Step 2. Pre-fry the fish

Sauté onion and garlic on the stove, then put the fish in and fry it for hunting. Then, add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until fragrant.

Step 3. Cook porridge

After being lightly fried, put in a pot with 1 liter of water, cook until just cooked enough, then take it out to avoid being crushed. Then, add golden roasted rice to the pot that cooked snakehead fish to make the porridge more fragrant and sweeter. I will cook until soft.

Step 4. Complete snakehead fish porridge with bitter vegetables

When the porridge is soft, add the straw mushrooms to cook together, seasoning with the amount of seasoning seeds, sugar and fish sauce that have been prepared. Then, add the onion head to make the snakehead fish porridge more delicious and attractive.

Step 5. Finished Product

Ladle the porridge into a bowl, sprinkle some pepper, fried onions on top and of course, the dish of snakehead fish and bitter vegetables is indispensable. Porridge with the sweet and fresh taste of snakehead fish meat, the gentle aroma of straw mushrooms mixed with the characteristic bitter taste of bitter vegetables. All have created an extremely attractive dish, making anyone who eats it once, they will never forget it.

5. Pro tips:

Here are our tips for easing your mind (and stomach) around food-handling environments that you may not be used to.

Make sure the food is freshly cooked. If you’re eating hot street food, it’s always safest (not to mention more delicious) to eat food you can see being cooked to order.

Look for lines and busy stalls. Busy street food stalls are an indicator of popularity, and their high turnover rate means the food is never sitting out for hours and developing dreaded bacteria. Yes, long lines can be discouraging when you’re hungry after a full day of exploring, but it’s not worth the risk of grabbing precooked food from the empty spot next door.

Eat when the locals are eating. The last and most important element here is when to eat. You’re likely already on a weird eating schedule while you’re traveling, but it’s important to try and adjust to the eating times of where you are. A bowl of pho might be lunch for Americans, but it’s breakfast for the Vietnamese. This ensures that you’re eating freshly cooked food and that you can find the best and most popular places to eat.

If you can’t drink the water, then you can’t eat the salad. Most people get so hung up on not drinking the water or skipping ice in drinks that they don’t think about all of the other ways in which water is used in food service. Fruits and vegetables tend to be washed with tap water in most places, rather than the filtered water that locals drink—or sometimes it’s not washed at all. If you’re really craving some produce, try fruits you can peel or cooked veggies.

Trust your gut. If you’re unsure about the food or the way that it’s being prepared, then keep moving. Eating street food all over the world doesn’t make you an expert. Every stall and every country are different, and sometimes the rules can be harder to follow. When something doesn’t look, smell, or feel right, don’t eat it! Trust your judgment. Chances are that there’s another spot close by that’s making something more delicious.

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Can Tho: Co Ut’s Cong cakeUt Dzach Fine Rice VermicelliThanh Van Grilled Pork SausageCrab Noodle Soup At Floating MarketScorched Rice with Caramelized Fish Sauce7-Toi’s Duck Meat PancakeBanh Mi ThuyBanana Blossom SaladFried Spring RollsFresh Spring RollsFetal duck egg (balut)Honeycomb CakeMini Sticky Rice CakeCassava Silkworm CakeGrilled Banana Wrapped in Sticky RiceKhmer-style Bun Goi Da SoupEgg CoffeeCon Son Grilled Snakehead FishBun Mam – Fermented Fish Noodle SoupLau Mam – Fermented Fish HotpotGrilled Snails with PepperMagenta Sticky Rice CakeDuck cooked with Fermented TofuRice Noodle PizzaVegetarian Noodle SoupSnails Stuffed With Pork

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Chau Doc: Chau Doc Fish Noodle SoupSugar Palm FruitBasa Fish Hot PotMam (Fermented fish)Phu Huong Beef Noodle Soup, Broken Rice with Pork Chop, Long Xuyen Broken RiceNui Cam PancakeO Thum’s Chicken Grilled with Lime LeavesStir-fried Shrimp with Sesbania FlowerSweet & Sour Soup with Siamese Mud Carp Soup & Sesbania FlowerCaramelized & Braised CatfishGrilled Rice-field Rat with Salt and Chili

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Soc Trang: Pia CakeCong Cake (Banh Cong)Bun Nuoc Leo Soc Trang’s Noodle SoupSoc Trang’s Bun Goi Da SoupDuck Noodle Soup with black PepperCurry Noodle SoupGrilled Beef on TileKhmer-style Tube CakeKhmer-style Mung Bean Cake (Banh In)Dried Radish (Xa Bau)Stir-Fried Noodles with Seafood (Mi Sua)Soc Trang’s Green Rice Flakes

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Ben Tre: Phu Le Rice WineBen Tre’s Coconut CandyFlat BananaCoconut RiceSnail PancakeSea Snail with Coconut MilkCoconut WormYoung Coconut Salad with Shrimp & PorkSon Doc Puff Rice Paper

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Cai Be: Puffed Rice Cake

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Vinh Long: Elephant Ear Fish (fried giant gourami)

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in My Tho: Fried Sticky RiceSnakehead Fish Rice PorridgeHu Tieu My Tho (Noodle Soup)Coconut Banana Cake

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Tra Vinh: Macapuno CoconutBun Nuoc Leo Tra Vinh’s Noodle SoupTra Cuon’s Sticky Rice Cake

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Sadec: Sa Dec Noodle SoupSadec Crab HotpotLai Vung Spring RollsSa Giang Shrimp Puff PastryLai Vung Tangerine

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Bac Lieu: Spicy Beef Noodle SoupBac Lieu’s Three-striped CrabWhite Radish PiesBac Lieu Thick Noodles & Creamy Coconut MilkBon Bon Pickles

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Ca Mau: Banh tam ga cay (Silkworm rice cake with curried chicken)Grilled Vop clams with salt and pepperGrilled Mudskipper FishStone Crab Roast With SaltYoung Bee SaladNam Can’s CrabU Minh Forest’s HoneyU Minh’s Fermented Fish Hotpot

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Hau Giang: Cau Duc PineappleCai Tac’s Pork Organs PorridgeHau Giang’s Bronze Featherback Fish Cake

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Ha Tien: Herring Fish SaladSpider crab cake soupKen Noodle soupXoi Xiem (Siamese sticky rice)Steamed Noodle soupHa Tien Oyster porridge

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Rach Gia: Stir Noodle SoupKien Giang Fish Noodle Soup

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Con Dao: Bang nut jamVu Nang SnailRoasted Pork Bread (Banh Mi)Coconut Ice Cream

Must-Eat Foods & Restaurants in Phu Quoc: Phu Quoc Sim WinePhu Quoc PepperPhu Quoc fish sauce

Hopefully, the above tips will help you to come up with a great plan for your adventure in Mekong River Delta, Vietnam. Have a safe trip!

“Sleep less, travel more, respect more” – Thomas Vietnam – Local travel expert.

Thank you

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