The 15-hour fish dish that means Tet is arriving in Vietnam

By Ngoc Thanh   February 3, 2018 | 08:29 am GMT+7

This village prepares thousands of clay pots stuffed with fish to ship across the country and overseas for Lunar New Year.

Cooking fish for hours in clay pots has been a long-standing tradition of villagers in Dai Hoang of Ha Nam Province every year when it comes to Tet, or the Lunar New Year, the biggest festival of Vietnamese people that will arrive in the next two weeks.

Cooking fish for hours in clay pots is a long-standing tradition of villagers in Dai Hoang, Ha Nam Province as the Lunar New Year (Tet) approaches, the biggest festival in Vietnam.

A family in Dai Hoang Village usually cooks hundreds of pots each day. We only use black carps that are more than three years old and weigh over 3 kilograms. Their taste is the best, says this man.

This is the peak time of year in Dai Hoang Village, and hundreds of pots are cooked each day. “We only use black carp that are more than three years old and weigh over 3 kilograms. They taste the best,” said this man.

The pot is made from clay in central and northern Vietnam. Before using these pots to braise the fish, people cook the pot with rice and water as a tip to make the pot more durable against the heat.

The pots are made from clay in central and northern Vietnam. Before they are used to braise the fish, people boil rice and water in them to make them more durable against the heat.

Ingredients for this fish recipe include fat and lean pork, ribs, coconut milk, sugarcane, lime, chilly, galingale.

Ingredients for this fish recipe include fat and lean pork, ribs, coconut milk, sugarcane, lime, chili and galangal.

Each family has their own tips and sauce to make their braised fish different from others.

Each family has its own recipe and sauces that make the dishes all taste different.

Most of them add caramel to create the color for the braised fish. They also pour lime juice and boiled water over the fish to get rid of its smell.

Most of them add caramel to create the color, and they also pour lime juice and boiled water over the fish to get rid of the smell.

As Tet nears, production rises to hundreds of pots per day for some families. They have to take turns watching over the pots as the fish needs to be cooked for 14-15 hours straight.

Cooks have to take turns watching over the pots as the fish needs to be braised for 14-15 hours straight.

There must always be someone on duty to add water into the pots. Some family hires people to do this job and each worker VND1 million ($44) per day.

Someone always has to be on duty to top the pots up with water. Some families hire workers to do this job and pay them VND1 million ($44) per day.

The finished product. Each pot costs between VND450,000 and VND1.2 million depending on customers orders. The braised fish is enjoyed by both Vietnamese people in the country and those who live abroad. For years, these pots have traveled on plane to different parts of the country and abroad to reach customers in time for Tet.

The finished product. Each pot costs between VND450,000 and VND1.2 million, depending on the order. The braised fish is enjoyed by both Vietnamese people in the country and those who live abroad. Every year, these pots travel by plane to different parts of the country and overseas to reach customers in time for Tet.

 
 
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