I'm fond of culinary bamboo in general; I love the distinguished smell of the dried bamboo and the crunch and more subtle flavor of fresh bamboo shoots. The combination of Cá Nục (Mackerel) and Măng Tươi (Fresh Bamboo Shoot) pairs well with one another. Unlike the braised Mackerel that is left with little sauce after braising, I like mine with a generous amount of sauce so that I can enjoy it with Bún ( Rice Noodle) and assorted herbs and lettuce or roll it up with rice paper and dip it in its own sauce.
Salmon can be cooked in the same way but it doesn't go so well with bamboo shoots. I usually braise just Salmon alone and it's still delicious. For those expecting, Salmon would be the better choice of fish to consume. Avoid Mackerel as it contains lots of mercury and is not safe.
|Braised Salmon Belly|
RECIPE: Cá Nục Kho Măng Tươi
4 Mackerels, ask to have your fish clean, gutted and cut into halves
4 cups Water
3 Shallots, minced or thinly sliced
6 Cloves Garlic, minced or thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Annato Oil, click here for recipe
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder, optional
3-4 fresh red Chili Peppers
3 tablespoons Fish Sauce
1 tablespoon Mushroom Seasoning
3 fresh Bamboo Shoots, cut into strips
Preparing Bamboo Shoot
Braising Cá Nục and Măng Tươi
Heat a pan over a medium-high heat until hot then add annatto oil. Add garlic and shallot and sauté until aromatic and softened. Add bamboo shoots and continue sauté for about a minute.
Add water and bring to a boil over high heat.
Add fish and the remaining ingredients. Be sure to add fish only when the water is boiling. Adding fish before the water boils will produce a strong fishy smell. Bring it back to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Enjoy Cá Nục Kho Măng Tươi with noodle, accompanied with assorted herbs and lettuce.
It's so good when you roll up the lettuce, herbs, bamboo shoot and fish with rice paper and use the fish broth as a dipping sauce. This versatile dish can also be enjoyed with a bowl of steamed rice.