Going to the West “intoxicated” with field crabs

In the flood season, field crabs from all over the cave crawled out after many months of dry residence, each child was fat and swollen, boiled, roasted tamarind and enjoyed; grind to cook soup, hot pot, sweet soup; Braised crab bricks caught the mouth of the rice cooker.

People in the West of my hometown used to be afraid of the flood season, when the water was flooded, sitting on the floor, looking down, they could clearly see the fish swimming. Also, the fish, shrimp and crab products of the water season raise the dream for the grown-up kids to fly everywhere.

We often meet in the flood season, the season of crazy cotton pulling back home to eat rice cooked by our mother, grinding crabs to cook vermicelli, crab cakes, crab hotpot… waking up in distant memories.

Today, Tuyen insisted on dragging me all the way to Hong Ngu and Dong Thap to his aunt Tu’s house to experience the vast flood plains after many years of “being away”. My hometown An Giang is the same, but it refuses. Because it always assumes that the rice she cooks is the same as her mother’s, especially in the wet season.

When Hai’s crabs were ready, he just poured them back, and Miss Tu cleaned them up, took a stone mortar and crushed them to get water to cook sour soup.

Remove the sticky brick on the crab shell, mix sugar, monosodium glutamate, fish sauce with garlic and chili, and then add the crab bricks to the island until thickened and fragrant. The meal was only with vegetable and crab soup, but it was delicious, clean, and a half-liter rice pot of Ms. Tu.

A bowl of sour and sour soup with water spinach, wild flowers with each characteristic cluster of crabs – Photo: DANG TUET

At noon, when her mouth was sad, Ms. Tu took more than half a kilo of toned crabs and washed them. Bring tamarind juice mixed with half a cup of water, stir sugar, then pour it into the pan of oil that has been sautéed with garlic and chili, turn the heat to riu riu for candies, add fish sauce to taste, pour the crabs into the island, and roast until they’re dry. spice.

A hot homemade dish of roasted tamarind crab is brought out of the kitchen counter with a cup of salt, pepper, and lemon. The sound of biting the crab’s claws sounds raspy, the sound of chewing on the crab’s body is blistering, the lips sometimes hit the tongue because the bitterness wakes up all the senses, the person sitting next to it is difficult to sit and watch, have to join in.

A plate of delicious fried crab with tamarind is hard to resist, home-made and crispy – Photo: DANG NGUY

After returning home to visit for a long time, Miss Tu held on to her feet and did not let her return quickly. She said it’s bustling here, this season the fish and crabs are fresh all day. She asked what else she wanted to eat. Tuyen suggested adding vermicelli noodles to the crab “combo”.

Early the next morning, Ms. Tu assigned us to carry baskets out to a bunch of wildflowers by the river to pick them enough to eat.

Mr. Hai went to pour the crabs back and also gave him a hug of fresh morning glory, the green bean sprouts that Ms. Tu had brewed a few nights ago had just eaten, coriander in the countryside is not lacking, every house has some dust to save. I didn’t run over, please. Finish the salad.

Delicious vermicelli dish thanks in part to vegetables with crazy flowers this season, reach out your hand and have it – Photo: NGUYEN

Tu crushed 2kg of crab, mixed it with 4 liters of water, and cleaned the body to cook the broth. This season there are a lot of crabs, cook freely, don’t fall right in the dry season, 10 field crabs also “make a story”.

Bring curry seeds to fry in an oil pan to get a golden color, then remove the seeds, add minced garlic and stir until fragrant, finally pour in crab water and boil.

A basket of fresh field crabs waiting to be pounded – Photo: NGUYEN

Boil water for pork bones, ribs, and pork legs, cook until soft, continue to add red radish, white tofu, and pig’s blood. The pot of copper crab broth is rich in crab flavor in every drop of soup, each floating crab surface looks attractive.

Thinly sliced ​​water spinach, lined with raw bean sprouts a little on the bottom of the bowl, arrange vermicelli and then water the crab soup to submerge. Add toppings like ham, bones, ribs, pork blood. Finally, pick up a bunch of wild flowers and put them on the side, plus a few cinnamon leaves, coriander leaves, and fresh chili peppers.

A bowl of “homemade” vermicelli noodles is full of crabs – Photo: DANG TUET

The steaming bowl of crab noodle soup in the morning warms our hearts, full of love for our homeland. Ms. Tu sat watching her grandchildren eat deliciously but teared up, because it had been a long time since she had cooked for anyone to eat, she only cooked to make herself tired.

Years and months have passed, and we, the children of the West, live forever with such beautiful memories to grow up, growing up, going far away and craving a meal of vegetable soup in a frugal home garden, to follow to find.

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