Crispy-Fried Loaches With Tamarind Fish Sauce (Cá Chạch Chiên Giòn Chấm Mắm Me)

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Save Recipe Crispy-fried Loaches With Tamarind Fish Sauce
  • 2Servings
  • 15 mPrep Time
  • 15 mCook Time
  • 30 mReady In
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In Vietnamese, the word “chạch” or “cá chạch” refers to either spiny eels (of the family Mastacembelidae) or loaches (of the family Cobitidae). Common loaches or spiny eels in Vietnamese cuisine includes zig-zag eels (Mastacembelus armatus, chạch sông) or tire-track eels (Mastacembelus favus, chạch lấu), pond loaches (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus, chạch bùn or chạch quế or chạch sụn)…

These eel-like fish are often grilled or crispy-fried then get dipped in a sauce made from fish sauce and ripe tamarind paste (Vietnamese: nước mắm me). Dried loaches and spiny eels are also cooked this way.

Ingredients

Step by step method

  • Prepping the loaches

    Pour some vinegar on the loaches and scalp off the slime with a knife blade, then rinse with salty water. Marinate the fish with a little salt, half of chopped chillies and 1/2 tablespoon of rice wine for 10-15 mins.

  • Frying

    Coat the fish with a thin layer of crispy flour and fry in hot oil until they turn golden brown. Place the fried fish on kitchen tissues to absorb excess oil.

  • Making dipping sauce

    Place the tamarind paste in a bowl. Pour some hot water over the tamarind. Mash the tamarind well until it feels completely soft. Mix the tamarind water with 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, half of chopped chillies, 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.

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