Fermented Fish with Bitter Leaf Hot Pot of western Vietnam

It is believed widely that trying this hot-pot dish once and you will never be able to forget its wonderful scrumptious taste. Fermented fish with bitter leaf hot pot (literal lau mam) is a specialty of southwest regions of Vietnam.

Two most important ingredients to make lau mam are eggplants and fermented fish which totally make up the specific flavors of the hot pot: a light sweet taste, little spicy and the strong fragrance of fish sauce.

There are in fact three different types of fermented fish needed to make the hot pot: mam sat, mam tren and mam linh. Apart from fermented fish, this special hot pot requires various different ingredients such as pork, fresh ca hu (a kind of freshwater fish), shrimps and cuttlefish. Lau mam is served with a lot of fresh vegetables of which most obvious is bitter-leaf. People also use cu neo (limnocharis flava), water-lilies, spinach, rau nhut and dau rong. However, accompanied vegetables must be kept fresh; when needed, they are placed in the hot pot and taken out quickly in order not to get cooked. People in southwest areas usually eat this hot pot with rice vermicelli threads.


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