Aunt Oanh’s heirloom bread, even though there is no sign, no advertisement or sale on delivery applications, is still crowded with customers to enjoy.
The national version of Vietnamese bread is often recognized in the media with the image of bread filled with cha, pate, and cold meat. But in real life, Vietnamese bread traveling along the region is cloned with hundreds of thousands of kinds of fillings. Any dish that is salty, not hard, doesn’t need to be bone-chilling will be creatively used by the owner. For example, banh lau, shumai bread with salted egg, egg bread with young chicken’s heart… even banh mi nem tre. So of course, it’s not strange to hear about fish bread, usually bread shops all over Saigon, even though they don’t let the sea, rush to order fish bread, people will pop open a whole box of canned fish. on bread crust with vegetables, cucumber.
However, at Aunt Oanh’s braised fish bread shop, which seems to be unique in Saigon, selling fish bread is bread of braised scad, cooked by aunt every day, stewed with a special recipe to attract attention. guest.
Fish bread with 30 years of heirloom from mother
Aunt Oanh’s fish bread shop is located in a narrow alley, at 229/53 Bui Dinh Tuy, Binh Thanh District, HCMC. If you don’t mean to find the famous bread shop in the area, no one would think that this deep alley without a shop, every house closes quietly, there is a bakery that has been there for 30 years.
This bread shop is also strange, instead of the bread cabinet being too tall, there is only a stainless steel table placed on the front porch, on the table there is an electric pot of fish stew, a bowl of fish sauce, a bowl of pickled cabbage, a A bowl of onion grease, a glass cabinet to store vegetables, meat skin and next to it is a bamboo basket to store bread. This stall reminds me of some aunties near my house in the past, staying at home is the main housewife, so in the afternoon, selling banh soup, Quang noodles… about 3-4 hours for people in the neighborhood to earn a little bit of relief.
“In the past, my mother opened a trial sale of bread stuffed with braised fish for everyone in the alley for dinner, then sold only two thousand a loaf, but sold to neighbors, so it was also very slow. Later, I sold it instead of my mother, selling all the time. became a familiar place, many people around kept coming back and forth to support, and then it became the main source of income until now, almost 30 years.
The idea of selling braised fish bread belongs to my mother, at first, she also sold stewed shumai vien bread, while auntie sold it herself to make it more delicious – like instead of selling a full loaf on the street. spring rolls, spring rolls, pate, cold meats…
Making stewed fish bread will of course be more difficult, more time consuming than pate bread, even though the profit is the same. But I’m selling in the alley, so I have to work hard, if the front door is full, who can come in here to buy food, I won’t get any customers.”
In addition because this is a strange bread that changes taste, Aunt Oanh’s restaurant has existed for more than 30 years mainly because the pot of braised fish with an heirloom recipe is skillfully cooked to suit taste, the fish is stewed with bones but the meat does not break, when eaten. Even if it’s cooled, it doesn’t smell fishy.
“About 7-8 o’clock at night, after selling, my aunt will go to the market to get the fish back, wash it clean, season it, and then stew it with sugarcane juice and coconut water for sweetness, continuously for about 4 hours, then aunt Oanh will turn off the stove. At 6 am, my aunt opened the fire to the cellar continuously until 3 pm, then in the evening I made a batch of stew so I could sell it again tomorrow.
This fish is very funny, I have to open the fire to boil, but to keep the heat warm, the fish will spoil a large pot. At the same time, during the stewing time, I have to watch when it boils, then pour water continuously, when the stew is finished, the last boiling phase must wait for about an hour to turn off the fire, this braised fish without a fire is poured. greasy, stinky. If you don’t know how to cook, you’re dead.”
The braised fish pot is stewed by Aunt Oanh in a large pot (on the right) and continuously picks up the electric pot to both stew and sell to customers.
When you go to aunt Oanh’s shop to buy bread, you will see her running in and out constantly, because she sells and cooks fish stew in the kitchen at the same time. “I have to stew two pots, more than 600 fish, so I’m a bit busy with my hands and feet, another pot of stew to sell today, one pot to start stewing to sell for tomorrow, sold out today will go to the market to stew another another pot instead.”
Only braised fish bread, 300 pieces per day sold
Looking at the “interface” it looks like a temporary row, because everything is just neatly placed on a folding table. However, this bread table is only open from 11 am to 7 pm, but cuts 300 loaves sometimes more.
“People come here sometimes to eat braised fish bread, fish bread with meat, fish noodle soup or mixed bread… An average loaf costs 20,000 VND, two or three kinds of fillings are 25,000 VND – 30,000 VND, depending on how big or small the fish is. From noon to night, Aunt Oanh can sell about three hundred fish, every full moon or first day of a vegetarian diet, only two hundred.”
Bread with braised fish – the “main character” makes the name of Aunt Oanh’s restaurant.
Meatloaf and shumai bread are also loved by many people because of their “home-made” taste.
Came around lunch time, about 30 minutes, but she sold more than 20 loaves of bread, she smiled and said that it was really crowded at 4-5 pm in the afternoon. There are many patrons, addicted to the taste of her aunt’s braised fish, and even come to buy the braised fish separately to eat with hot rice.
Seeing me a little surprised, my aunt said excitedly: “Many people like my aunt’s braised mackerel very much. If I’m lazy to go to the market at noon, I’ll wait for my aunt to open for sale to buy braised fish to eat rice, sometimes to buy shumai. Every day My aunt sold about a hundred, sometimes a hundred, fish stocked separately with fish juice tied up for everyone to eat rice or take fish paper rolls braised with vegetables, cucumber and dipped in fish sauce.”
The number of visitors to the store of braised fish bread, some people at Ba Chieu market, at Van Lang University – busily tearing other breads to visit, some people go to Tan Binh, Go Vap – running for thirty, forty-five minutes just arrived. When asked why, people said, everywhere they look, they can’t find anyone selling braised fish bread like auntie, both strange and delicious. “I’ve been eating my aunt’s bread for 5-6 years now, when it’s convenient, I stop by every day when I’m so hungry, I try to drive the car over, but my aunt doesn’t order delivery through the app. Now that I talk about it, I wonder, I ate fish bread but couldn’t find any bones, I have to admit that my aunt’s cooking is really good.” – Mr. Minh Hien, 28 years old.
Thanks to the braised fish pot, I raised my children to finish university
I asked: “Have you ever thought of selling this item so much that you decided to quit?” – Because every day I can’t sleep well, I always watch the time to get up and cook the fish for the right fire. Hearing my aunt laugh, then her eyes were wet: “No, I am very grateful to you, in the past, I worked very hard, since the day I went to sell braised fish bread, my life was more stable, and I could still go to school. University, very happy.
Now that I have finished raising my children to finish university, Auntie Oanh loves to cook and sell bread. On the day that someone invites the wedding, she still sells the goods until the wedding time, then Aunt Oanh closes the door a little early. Because my life is thanks to the bakery, selling for thirty years, I have been attached, used to not working, but still sad hands and feet. Besides, I know that I can do wholesale like now, thanks to the support of many people, so I try to sell well and cook for my patrons to eat with me all the time.”
Looking at the pot of braised fish lying thick and fragrant, in the past who would have thought that this was a great source of income for the whole family, now it is famous near and far that people from all over the districts are looking for and enjoying.
Photo: Internet (Vinlove.net)