Besides its pristine beaches and white sheep herds, Phan Rang in Ninh Thuan Province is also famous for its cuisine, especially fish cake noodles.
The dish costs VND15,000 ($0.65) on average. Photo by Moon Le.
While the noodles in Saigon are thick and chewy and appear white to almost transparent, the noodles in Phan Rang Town are thinner and have a milky white color. They are made from rice powder and boiled in hot water.
The attractiveness of the dish lies in the broth, for which most restaurants seem to have the same recipe. The fish, mainly silver fish, are carefully selected from the market in the morning, and the chef separates the flesh from the bones. The flesh is used to make cakes while the bones are stewed along with pork bones to make the broth flavorful.
To make the fish cakes, the chef seasons the fish and kneads until smooth. Many restaurants have switched to machines to save time. The fish cakes are fried until golden and put on top of the noodles followed by the broth.
Chili fish sauce, which is usually pre-made, is an indispensable addition to the dish. Photo by Moon Le.
To keep the noodles from sticking to each other, the chef puts them in hot water for a few seconds before serving. A bowl consists of noodles, fish cakes, cilantro, green onion, and black pepper. The dish is served hot and presented in an eye-catching manner.
To enjoy, don’t forget to add some chili sauce and lemon slices. The softness and chewiness of the noodles is like no other.
You can also order extra fish cakes. Photo by Moon Le.
The restaurant on Ngo Gia Tu Street is one of the most famous for fish cake noodles. It is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.