A bowl of shrimp paste, a bowl of steaming hot rice, a pair of chopsticks is enough to make the daily meal more warm.


But few people know that behind a seemingly pure Vietnamese dish is really picky about its maker, and we do not hesitate to call the makers of that dish as artisans.

This dish is associated with my childhood. Just the day before, on the way to work, I passed a small alley on Ham Long street to go home, I suddenly smelled fragrant fish sauce. How long has it been, ten years away from the stick I gradually forgot about that dish, the smell of being a bit fishy but combined with the slightly fatty meat eaten with rice, the whole pot ended.

That day, when I was a little kid, when I came to lunch at noon, I would bring a baby bowl to Co Thuy's house (when I was a child in Hoai Duc, Ha Tay) beside me to ask for fish sauce and meat. . Ms. Thuy is very beautiful, she was born and raised in Ham Tu Quan Street, Hanoi (old town), but married in Hoai Duc, she has good hands so she cooks very well, especially she can learn to do. shrimp sauce from grandma. I have been able to eat many people, but only the fish sauce she made is more delicious. Not everyone can make shrimp paste successfully, they say it depends on the hands of the people doing it. Yes, the same recipe, but someone made it that time it was broken because of the bug, and Co Thuy must be cool, so just having fresh shrimp and some fresh meat is just like that. She made a few pounds of shrimp paste to eat and share with her neighbors.

The ingredients for this dish are no problem, just a little pork with a small ground or a little bit of fat to carry shrimp sauce, not all high-end. As for Co Thuy, she often uses bacon, or lean-shoulder meat, because these two types of meat have a crispy skin, and eat them more attractive, if you only cut it very small, if you cut it big, the shrimp paste can stick to less. not as good. The meat is put in the pan until the meat is tight, slightly burnt edge, the meat will definitely be delicious, then add the dried onion and a little galangal, garlic, stir a little more and then add shrimp paste. into the. The most important ingredient of course is shrimp paste, which must be a delicious, not too thin, red sauce. If the sauce is very dregs (that is the shrimp shell), it must be filtered by a shrimp and crab filter to reduce the shell, or when eating it will be miles away, reducing the deliciousness of the fish sauce. Every time she looks at Co Thuy fish sauce is low, her hands are troubled. Add the fish sauce to the sauce for a few more minutes. If stirring for too long, the fish sauce will lose steam, become dry, it will not taste delicious, but a little residue in the mouth. Finally, season to see if it's salty enough and add a teaspoon of sugar to balance this dish.

Back then I came to see her every noon and ran over with a bowl of cans. Sometimes she runs over to her to give her some burnt rice to eat with the shrimp paste. Come to think of it, but still drooling. Fish sauce with delicious meat distillation, if you can eat a piece of young cooked rice with it, is right. Rice burnt rice eight so sweet, fragrant, freshly harvested rice, hand-dipped in a bowl of hot shrimp paste, put into your mouth the salty and creamy taste of shrimp paste, a little dried onions, have the fat of the meat blended with the shrimp paste. , the more you chew, the more delicious. Only later did I go through many old-style restaurants, did I know that the fish sauce with steamed rice was always one of the special delicacies of the restaurant. Come to think of it, my childhood was so happy because there was no shortage of rustic food. If there is no burnt rice, eat with a bowl of hot rice, pick up a little fish sauce and eat the whole bowl.

That taste lingers on me forever, but maybe because I can't forget the taste of my childhood, even if I bought it at home, I couldn't find it as strong as the taste of my hometown.

My mother called, I asked Ms. Thuy, and now I know she still makes shrimp paste, but she still has many other dishes with her hands. She grows tea-marinated lotus, soaked in wine, and raised all the animals. Many people find that they make delicious shrimp paste and also order to go abroad, export to some stores outside for sale. But because she works alone, the quantity is not much, if she wants to eat, she calls to try to give. Many relatives and acquaintances, she even gave free money

I told my mother to switch the camera to ask for her permission to take pictures, then published an article "I want many people to know about you, but I refuse forever, I have to begged forever to agree to take the photo, but instructed to write properly. really.

And it is true that the taste has never let me down.

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