Bun Cha Ca (Fish Cake Noodle Soup)
The city’s popular and tasty dish is famous for its uniqueness. Grilled fish cake is the main ingredient of this dish, and it is made from many kinds of fresh fish including lizardfish, barracuda and mackerel. When enjoying this delicacy, customers will experience the aromatic and sweet taste of the broth which is cooked with the simmered fish bones, pumpkin, cabbage, pineapple, tomato and dried bamboo shoots. This speciality food can be served with raw vegetables, several thinly-sliced lemons and chillies, and a dollop of tasty “mam tom” (shrimp paste). The amazing mixture of the various flavours really gives a smooth aftertaste!
1/2 cup of dried prawns (rehydrated)
2 cups of mushroom (sliced)
1/4 of globe squash (peeled and seeds remove)
4 tomato (quartered)
fish paste (or already prepared Cha Ca)
1. Add the rehydrated prawns into a 6-quart pot and fill with water. Add the daikons and onions. Let pot cook on medium until all the sweetness and flavor has been extracted.
2. If you are using already fried fish cake, just cut into thick slices for easy eating. If not, fried your fish paste in oil. Heat up plenty of oil in a wok or pan, add the fish cake to the pan and then flatten it with a spatula. Cook both side until golden brown. Remove and let it cool on paper towel.
3. Season your broth with salt and mushroom seasoning(1 tablespoon); continue to let it cook until the prawns have been completely extracted from the flavor, and daikon and onions have become mushy. The best way to tell is to have a bite of your prawns if it’s soft and flavorless you can discard. Remove the daikon and onions as well.
4. If you do not plan to eat the actual squash/pumpkin and only want to use it to make the broth, add the whole thing to the broth.
5. If you do plan to eat the squash, chop it up for easy eating and add to the broth. Let the squash cook until tender.
6. Add the sliced mushroom to the broth.
7. Heat up some oil in a pan with a little bit of chopped green onions, sauteed the tomatoes with some fish sauce. Add the sauteed tomatoes into the broth.
8. Taste the broth with additional fish sauce and sugar if needed.
9. Prepare vermicelli noodles, green onions/cilantro for garnish.
10. Prepare a bowl of noodle and then add broth and fish cakes.