Food of the Gie Trieng
Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 18:19:14
(VOVworld) – Fermented fish is a typical dish of the Gie Trieng in Quang Nam province in the Central Highlands. It’s indispensable at important events and festivals.
|Food of Giẻ Triêng are introduced at an event in Ngoc Hoi district, (photo: Ngochoi.kontum.gov.vn)
Fermented fish is carefully prepared for long-term storage to eat and give as gift on special occasions. The Gie Trieng catch a kind of fish locally called Nien, which has soft bones and firm meat. All the family members work together to prepare the fish as quickly as possible to ensure freshness. An Ghin, a Gie Trieng man in Phuoc Son district, said: “We choose the biggest and freshest fish to ensure the natural taste of the fish.”
They pick out the intestines and clean the fish before placing them in a pot with the bigger under the smaller ones. The fish are seasoned with local herbs for a pleasant taste of sour, salty, and hot chili. One pot contains 1 to 1.5kg of fish.
The fermented fish is ready to serve after 15 to 20 days. Ghin again: “We serve this dish to relatives, friends, and distinguished guests on special events. We also eat it with steamed rice every day. It’s a traditional food of our ancestors.”
The recipe of the fermented fish is handed down within the village and there are some variations. The Gie Trieng in Lao Du village use corn flour to coat the fish while the Gie Trieng in other villages use rice flour or steamed rice as a kind of yeast to give it a sour taste. The pot is covered with leaves and stored near a wood fire to enhance the fermentation. The sour fish is served with fresh herbs to enhance the flavor. Y Buom of Phuoc Son district, Quang Nam province, said: “Fermented fish is an indispensable dish of the Gie Trieng in Lao Du village. Family members catch dish, select the best ones, and prepare them together. It’s a food that symbolizes community and unity in life and production.”
Gie Trieng families often have two or three pots of fermented fish for daily meals or festivals. The Gie Trieng in Lao Du village are famous for making the best fermented fish but they don’t sell it in the market. They give the excess fish to their relatives and neighbors.