Unintended delicacy: a 30-year-old raw fish salad

By Ngoisao   October 30, 2016 | 02:05 pm GMT+7

An accident gave birth to this edible masterpiece.

30 years ago, the chef at family restaurant May Bon Phuong, in a small alley on Vuon Chuoi Street, District 3, Saigon, unintentionally poured lime juice on the slices of barramundi intended for other dish.

30 years ago, the chef at family restaurant May Bon Phuong down a small alley off Vuon Chuoi Street in Saigon, unintentionally poured lime juice onto slices of barramundi intended for another dish.

Instead of throwing away the now good-for-nothing lime-juice soaked fish, the chef (and also the owner of the restaurant) gave it a go only to discover that the fish was favorably rare, sweet and not the same old fishy slices anymore. The idea of a new dish started to take shape.

Instead of throwing away the now good-for-nothing lime juice-soaked fish, the chef (and also the owner of the restaurant) gave it a go only to discover that the fish was favorably rare, sweet and not the same old fishy taste anymore. The idea for a new dish started to take shape.

Sesame oil was then chosen for its aroma to complement the fish made edible sans heat.

Sesame oil was then chosen for its aroma to complement the fish that was made edible sans heat.

Sliced ginger gave a hand with its spiciness.

Sliced ginger gave a hand with its spiciness.

After a month of test with all kinds of side ingredients and spices in the kitchen, the dish was finally ready for a place on the menu. Scallion and onion are the main side dishes.

After a month of tests with all kinds of ingredients and spices in the kitchen, the dish was finally ready for a place on the menu. Scallions and onions are the main side dishes.

Though well-seasoned, the raw fish salad still needs a dipping sauce as many other Vietnamese food. Mustard and chili sauce are chosen for this mission.

Though well-seasoned, the raw fish salad still needs a dipping sauce like many other Vietnamese dishes. Mustard and chili sauce were chosen for this mission.

Not like many raw meat salad in Vietnam usually eaten with fruits and herbs wrapped in rice paper, raw barramundi salad at May Bon Phuong is well on its own.

Unlike many raw meat salads in Vietnam that are usually eaten with fruit and herbs wrapped in rice paper, the raw barramundi salad at May Bon Phuong thrives on its own.

Photos by Mr. True

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