Central province hooked on boiled fish

By Ngoc Thanh   May 20, 2020 | 02:14 pm GMT+7

From 1 a.m. to 11 a.m each day, 10 tons of fish are boiled at a market in coastal Binh Dinh Province.

Next to Ham Tu Fishing Wharf in Quy Nhon Town, central Binh Dinh Province, boiling fresh fishes has been a livelihood of more than 20 households for three decades. Nguyen Thi Thanhs family is one of them, collecting fishes at the wharf after midnight and preparing them by cleaning and boiling before selling to other.

Next to Ham Tu Fishing Wharf in Quy Nhon Town, central Binh Dinh Province, preparing fresh seafood has been a mainstay of over 20 households, including that of Nguyen Thi Than, for three decades.

Cleaning, removing guts, cutting in to pieces and putting in boiled water, these are steps to prepare the fishes, including scads, anchovies, etc. The time of boiling depends on types of fish.

Fish including mackerel and anchovies are gutted before being boiled in scalding water.

When local fishermen return with boats fulled of seafood, business people in Hai Cang Market, Quy Nhon Town, start their jobs immediately. In seafood seasons, fishes and squids are so abundant that locals have to put them in freezers and boil them on the following day.

Like fishermen, who only go ashore during the Lunar New Year holiday, locals at Hai Cang Market have little free time as abundant fish and squid have to be frozen or cooked straight away.

Local people use wood and charcoal for their ovens, making the temperatures in the facility are always from 50 to 70 degrees Celsius. The hut is filled with smoke and hot water on the floor.

Ovens fed wood or charcoal reach temperatures between 50 to 70 degrees Celsius.

After marinating with salt and removing fish guts, they put the fishes on a tray. Fishes are then put into boiled water with salt in five minutes, an ideal period of time to prevent them from deforming. 

Marinated with salt, fish are usually boiled for an ideal five minutes, dependent on type and size. 

Every day, my two sisters and I burn our ovens from 1 a.m. to 11 a.m., processing arounf 500 kilograms of fishes and squids. The price of small squids are VND180,000 for each kilogram, around VND30-60,000 for fishes, said Nguyen Thi Thanh, 59, with 29 years of experience.

"Every day, my two sisters and I burn our ovens from 1 a.m. to 11 a.m., processing around 500 kilograms of fish and squid. The price of small squid are VND180,000 ($7.8) per kilogram, and VND30-60,000 ($1.3-2.6) for fish," said Nguyen Thi Thanh, 59, boasting 29 years of experience.

In Hai Cang Market, only one facility boils squids.

In Hai Cang Market, only one household boils squid.

We started to be busy in the last 10 days. During the social distancing period due to the Covid-19, many local families stopped working, my family still worked, but the workload was only 20 percent of normal days since the demands decreased, Ha Anh Tuan said, adding they boiled more than 50 kilograms of fishes during the semi-lockdown.

"We have been busy the last 10 days. During the social distancing period the workload dropped to only 20 percent since demand fell," Ha Anh Tuan said, adding they boiled over 50 kilograms of fish during semi-lockdown.

Some facilities hire workers to increase productivity. Most of them earn up to VND200,000 per day, depending on their jobs.

Some families hire additional workers to increase productivity, most earning up to VND200,000 ($87) per day.

Before put them in the freezers, villagers scatter some cold water onto the fishes.

Fish are doused with cold water to prepare them for the freezer.

Boiled fishes are delivered to other places, including the Central Highlands.

Boiled fish are distributed as far as the Central Highlands.

On average, Hai Cang Market processes 10 tons of fishes and delivers them to many provinces.

On average, Hai Cang Market processes 10 tons of fish, delivered to various provinces.

 
 
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