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The 15-Hour Fish Dish That Means Tet Is Arriving in Vietnam

Wednesday, 02/07/2018 15:48
This village prepares thousands of clay pots stuffed with fish to ship across the country and overseas for Lunar New Year.

Cooking fish for hours in clay pots is a long-standing tradition of villagers in Dai Hoang, Ha Nam Province as the Lunar New Year (Tet) approaches, the biggest festival in Vietnam.

This is the peak time of year in Dai Hoang Village, and hundreds of pots are cooked each day. “We only use black carp that are more than three years old and weigh over 3 kilograms. They taste the best,” said this man.

The pots are made from clay in central and northern Vietnam. Before they are used to braise the fish, people boil rice and water in them to make them more durable against the heat.


Ingredients for this fish recipe include fat and lean pork, ribs, coconut milk, sugarcane, lime, chili and galangal.

Each family has its own recipe and sauces that make the dishes all taste different.

Most of them add caramel to create the color, and they also pour lime juice and boiled water over the fish to get rid of the smell.

Cooks have to take turns watching over the pots as the fish needs to be braised for 14-15 hours straight.

Someone always has to be on duty to top the pots up with water. Some families hire workers to do this job and pay them VND1 million ($44) per day.

The finished product. Each pot costs between VND450,000 and VND1.2 million, depending on the order. The braised fish is enjoyed by both Vietnamese people in the country and those who live abroad. Every year, these pots travel by plane to different parts of the country and overseas to reach customers in time for Tet.

By VNE

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