From the night of February 20 to the morning of February 21, Tan Ky Tan Quy Street (Tan Phu District, Ho Chi Minh City) is full of smoke from dozens of grilled stalls, selling snakehead fish on the day of Than Tai (January 10).
At Mr. Nguyen Trung’s booth, busy people grilled nearly 4 tons of snakehead fish. “Seven years in this profession, every year the number of grilled fish increases. Last year, grilled more than 2 tons, but this year it is nearly 4,000 fish, each one more than a kg, so to mobilize 30 people, including brothers and hire more. We can only cook in time, “said Mr. Trung, the owner.
Mr. Tran Van Khe (42 years old, his brother Trung) said that the whole year only one day the whole family stays up at night to roast fish.
“The grilled fish must focus on turning the fish evenly to avoid burning, the meat is cooked evenly. Normally, when grilled, it will extract the honey to avoid bitterness, but the day when the God of fortune, keep the fish intact when worshiping”, Mr. Khe said.
Fresh snakehead fish are bought from Binh Dien wholesale market and baked in about 30 minutes. Ripe fish will be scraped off the burning shell.
Each fish per kilogram is priced from 160,000 to 170,000 VND.
Ripe fish are neatly arranged on the shelves of the house.
At the same time, Mr. Nguyen Thuong (80 years old, Mr. Trung’s father) helps to distribute vermicelli into plastic bags. Mr. Thuong said that each bag of vermicelli with raw vegetables for the buyers of the rice paper package.
“Raw vegetables served with grilled fish such as cinnamon, fish fillets, perilla, need water, basil … Two consecutive nights of vegetables and sauce, then ready to bag. This day, a ton of vegetables are pepper. “, Ms. Nga (Mr. Trung’s brother) said.
After the customer buys, the snakehead is sprinkled with scallions, roasted peanuts and fish rolls in foil, can be stored for a day.
Ms. Nguyen Thi No (Tan Phu district) chose to buy 2 snakeheads for 170,000 VND each at Mr. Trung’s shop. “Every year, my family comes here to buy things to worship, ancestors’ customs from ancient times, hoping to do well, prosper, prosper in wealth, and have a smooth sailing throughout the year.” Bloom said.
According to the conception of the Southerners, in the offering tray, apart from gold, fruit, roast pork …, grilled snakehead fish is indispensable.