Banh Canh Cha Ca (Noodle Soup With Fish Cake)
Bánh canh chả cá is a noodle soup with thick slippery round noodles and slices of fish cake.
It was one of our regular cheap and cheerful dinners when Miss M was very young. There was a great place near our old house that served up a fantastic bánh canh chả cá.
The bánh canh noodles are usually made with tapioca and rice flour, making the dish heavier than a lot of other Vietnamese noodle soups. I also love the fish cake, made from minced fish, spring onion, garlic and sometimes whole white peppers.
We spotted a small bánh canh stall on one of our exploratory drives around Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2. I was immediately beset by an irresistible bánh canh chả cá craving. Darling Man appeared to be similarly afflicted.
We pulled over to share a bowl.
Unfortunately, it had blood cubes in it.
Darling Man gallantly offered to fish the blood cubes out of the soup.
To even the score, I ordered another bowl, making sure I specified “không huyết” (no blood).
And it was so good I gobbled mine down without taking any more photos.
Bánh canh chả cá is just one of the soups in the bánh canh family. Bún canh translates into soup cake and they all feature the fat noodles that resemble the Japanese udon noodle and a slightly orange tinge from the annatto seed.
If you see a sign advertising anything that includes the words bún canh, order a bowl and you won’t be disappointed. You could end up with bánh canh cua (noodle soup with crab), bánh canh tôm (noodle soup with prawn) or bánh canh giò heo tôm thịt (noodle soup with prawn and pork).
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7 years ago