From The Ravenous Couple
Goodbye honeymoon bliss, hello stark reality. Following 12 days of carefree honeymooning Spain where everyday was an culinary adventure, the first thing we craved after a grueling trans-Atlantic and cross country flight back to Los Angeles was something homey, simple, and soupy. We expected a warmer welcome, but was greeted with cold, heavy rain, and even hail upon our return. To top it off, we were both feeling a bit under the weather so a therapeutic and comforting bowl of cháo (rice porridge or congee) was the first thing we made as soon as the jetlag wore off.
There are many different versions of cháo, but the most common are cháo gà (chicken), cháo lòng (pig offal/innards), and cháo cá (fish). Just as there are many varieties, there are just as many ways to make cháo. Some make a plan plain thick bland porridge and then add different types of broth and toppings. We present a very traditional southern way of making cháo cá, made famous in the Mekong delta region, known for its abudance of fish and sea life and floating markets.
You can use any type of firm white flesh fish, however the traditional fish used in the Mekong is cá lóc, the snakehead fish. We prefer using a whole fish (we used stripe bass. Also if you have frozen shrimp shells saved, use those too) to make stock, however fish filets are acceptable as well. The easy way would be to cut the fish into bite size pieces and add that to the porridge to cook, however the traditional way of making fish stock and sauteeing the flesh in garlic makes for a deeper and more soulful flavor and totally worth the extra effort.
This is our entry to Delicious Vietnam a blogging event to celebrate Vietnamese cuisine. This month’s event is hosted by the lovely couple, Ginger and Scotch at the eponymous blog Ginger and Scotch. Visit their blog for the complete round up!
CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE!!!!!