The “colourful’ flavours of Central Vietnam’s seafood
Hot-dishes served with fresh spices or an uncooked-dish served with chili fish sauce? The same kind of seafood but with a different twist: diners can experience a truly diverse range of flavours in the Central Region’s seafood.
For all gourmets, the first criteria for a delicious dish of seafood is the freshness of the ingredients. Luckily endowed with long beaches and a rich ecosystem, Vietnam’s Central Region is famous for its bountiful resources of fresh seafood. In the north of Vietnam, the food is often not very spicy, with less fat and less sweetness than Vietnam’s other regions. The south of Vietnam is influenced by many cuisine cultures of neighbouring countries, food is usually processed with more sugar or the addition of coconut milk. In central Vietnam food is prepared with its own unique nature, expressed through many distinct flavours – usually more spicy and salty than other areas. For many diners, BBQ is one method of cooking seafood that cannot be ignored. Since the first fire that was created by prehistoric men thousands of years ago, people knew how to cook food instead of eating it raw. As time has passed many other methods have been invented and used for cooking, but grilling on the charcoal fire still remain a favourite way to cook. Grilling reserves all the flavour of food, creating a hot and fragrant dish. The Central regions prefer a raw-grilling style with meat or fish served with salt and green chili or a small amount of sauce. In this way, the essence and “smell of the sea” are kept entirely. Raw-grilling is a very simple way to cook, just put the fresh fish, shrimp or crab directly above the fire. What makes it different is the salt and chili. It must be served with raw salt – not refined salt, slightly grinded and mixed with green chili pepper.
Another method for cooking commonly used in central Vietnam is boiling and steaming. In Vietnam, steamed or boiled seafood served with fish sauce is a traditional dish. Although it is simple to boil, for different types of food there are different ways of boiling. When boiling seafood, especially shrimp, we must know when to stop the boiling. Here is a small tip for boiling shrimp: under the high temperature of water, the shrimp will bend into a semi-circle shape. Do not let the shrimp bend its head to its tail, because it means the shrimp is overcooked.
In Danang, you can buy fresh seafood at big and crowded markets. Many tourists enjoy the “street markets”. These markets begin early in the morning, along the coastal routes: Nguyen Tat Thanh street and Hoang Sa – Truong Sa street. There are plenty of fresh fish, shrimp, crab, squid and sea snails that are caught by fishermen from Tho Quang, Man Thai, Xuan Ha and Thanh Khe villages. Local seafood sellers in some other street markets along Tho Quang fishing village usually store there seafood in foam boxes that containing sea water and a bubbler systems to maintain freshness. Tourists and local people prefer buying seafood from these street markets maybe because seafood here hasn’t been treated with any chemicals.
Most of the seafood is caught offshore. Fishermen often head out to sea in the late afternoon and will be back early the next morning. Onshore, groups of 10 to 20 people get together to draw up a net, providing a lot of seafood for the people of Danang. These groups start working at 4am and will not stop until 9am. This fish and shrimp will be sold right on the beach for local people who get up early to go swimming or do exercises. Many people love to buy this seafood which is still struggling in the net.
In the summer time another method is used to cook the fresh seafood, local people call it “Goi”. Goi is used to prepare fish, shrimp and squid dishes. The seafood “cooked” by the acidity in lemon juice or vinegar. Goi is served with vegetables, fish sauce and chili sauce. Oysters are usually served with lemon juice and mustard. Compared to grilling or boiling, “raw-eating” Oyster creates more flavour and is considered to be more nutritious, especially for men.
A very popular dish in central Vietnam, that can be considered to be a “Sashimi”, is Herring Goi. Herring often appear from Feb to Aug (Lunar Calendar). They are a small fish, two-finger in size with thin meat, thick skin and hard to process into fish sauce or soup. But Herring is made into a fantastic dish that fishermen are said to be addicted to. There are two kinds of Herring, “flat” herring and “brooch” herring. To make a nice Goi, “flat” herring is much for suitable because the bone is small and the meat is firm. It’s very cheap to buy herring. Herring Goi is a favorable dish of Bai Ngang fishermen. In many places such as Tam Tien (Nui Thanh), Binh Minh (Thang Binh) and coastal Hoi An, it is considered to be a specialty. Despite the fact that the way people process Herring Goi differs from place to place, the way of choosing material is the same.
To present these “mouth watering” seafood dishes to diners, our Head Chef Jurgen and the culinary team have completely revamped the Seafood Buffet at Café Indochine restaurant. With a distinguishable layout and variety of seafood selected from Danang, Quy Nhon and Nha Trang. Furama Danang is proud to be the first and only resort that provides this kind of Seafood Buffet. A diverse range of seafood is prepared in different cooking methods and styles: steamed, wok fried, deep fried… Not only Vietnamese style, but also European style, creating a “Concerto” on the beach, in harmony with whispering waves.
Whether boiled, grilled, fried, or more sophisticated processing with imported spices, seafood in Central Region always brings guests a unique flavour. Having seafood, visitors not only taste, but also smell, feel, hear and look – awakening all five senses; taking visitors to a new wonderland that they’ve never experienced.
Source: Furama Resort Danang