Food File: Goi Ca Mai (Vietnamese Raw Fish Salad)
One of the local specialties of Vung Tau, an hour’s ferry ride from Ho Chi Minh City, is a Vietnamese raw fish salad called gỏi cá mai.
Darling Man doesn’t know the English word for cá mai but I think this small fish is called whitebait in Australia.
Gỏi cá mai is one of those wonderful interactive Vietnamese dishes, where you create your own little wrap and roll heaven.
Like ceviche, the cá mai is “cooked” in lime juice, coated with a bit of roasted rice flour and mixed with slices of onion and crushed peanuts.
The raw fish “salad” is served with a beautiful pile of fresh Vietnamese balm, lettuce, strips of cucumber and slices of green banana and starfruit. Alongside the fish salad and the herbs is a small plate of rice paper and a wonderful sweet and sour dipping sauce.
As soon as it’s served, it’s just a matter of compiling your wrap …
… rolling it …
… and dipping it…
And yes, my sexy hand model (usually known as Darling Man) DID take a huge bite of his gỏi cá mai roll before I could snap a photo. That’s how good it is!
It’s so good that double-dipping is definitely allowed.
Various versions of gỏi cá mai are available throughout the central coastal regions of Vietnam but the best one, obviously, is available in Vung Tau.
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11 years ago