Fragrant goby braised with pepper and pepper of grandma

I knew about braised goby with pepper in my childhood years in Tho Ha ancient village. In the rainy season, my father often goes to pull the dragon net back, get a bunch of fresh gobies, and my grandmother will spend the pepper stock to exchange meals for the whole family. And no matter how many times I have eaten it, how many years have passed, my grandmother’s braised goby is always a desire, a dear nostalgia in me! Gobies live in diverse aquatic environments with many types: coconut goby, sand goby, sag… but the most delicious is still coconut goby. Goby meat is tough and healthy, so it is often processed into many attractive dishes such as braised, braised, cooked porridge … In which, braised goby with pepper is quite popular and loved by many people.

After the first time eating the braised goby with pepper prepared by my grandfather, I became addicted and craved to eat more. However, listening to my father say, goby is a natural fish, not as much as other fish species in Tho Ha ancient village. Each meal of pulling the dragon back is only a small batch mixed with shrimp and fish of all kinds. Also because I like to eat that dish, every time my father and uncle go to drag the dragon, I eagerly wait at the alley. Seeing my father walking from afar, I excitedly ran out, confused: “Daddy, can you pull a lot of gobies now?”. Knowing the reason for my question, my father and uncle looked at each other and smiled. Waiting for my father to nod, I immediately jumped into the journalist to let my grandmother know.

The group of goby fish pulled the dragon net back, each one is still fresh, smooth skin, toned. When the fish is fresh, the pepper stock is delicious. Grandma also said that the rainy season is also the season of goby spawning in Tho Ha ancient village. The goby is full of eggs, and when it is stocked and peppered, no matter how much rice is consumed! Goby fish is scaled, cut off the head, because the head of the goby has only bones, so it is not delicious. She used granulated salt to rub on the fish to remove the slime, then wash the fish with lemon juice to make the fish less fishy before rinsing with clean water. Because it is an egg goby, in the process of removing the intestines, Grandma is very careful so that the eggs are not broken.

Noi often marinates fish with spices available in the kitchen such as chopped onions, scallions, fish sauce, cooking oil… in particular, pepper powder is indispensable. Noi used chopsticks to gently stir and marinate the fish for a certain amount of time. Pre-marinated fish will absorb the spices evenly, when cooked, the meat will be firmer and more delicious.

I put the earthen pot on the stove, put the fish in the pot, add a little water to cover the fish and start the fire. Goby is a country fish in Tho Ha ancient village, so when stocked with wood stoves, straw stoves or rice husk stoves… will give the most special flavor. Keep the fire on the wood stove just right until the fish pot boils, then reduce the heat, turn the fish over and add spices to taste. In order for the fish to absorb the spices evenly, Grandma carefully turned each fish in the pot gently so that the fish would not be broken or crushed. Wait until the fish pot runs out of water, still slurry, turn off the stove.

The attractive yellow-brown peppered fish is picked up on a plate and presented in the middle of a tray of rice, fragrant. Grandma often chooses a large piece of goby, with many eggs in my bowl of rice. Remove the tough and firm fish, bring to the mouth, add a piece of hot rice, on the tip of the tongue is the rich taste of fish meat, the pungent and aromatic flavor of pepper, onions and other spices, irresistible delicious… On cold rainy days, enjoying hot rice with braised gobies with pepper, to me, it’s really a big dream!

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