Although it is part of the daily meal of Phu Yen residents, the crispy, spicy, and sweet taste makes grilled muong (sharpbelly) fish a delicacy very few can resist.
At first, the muong fish looks like a white fish, long and thin, 10-15 centimeters, about the size of two fingers.
Muong fish usually live in herds in rivers and streams, but according to the people of Phu Yen, the muong fish from the Ngan Son River are the most delicious.
The specialty comprises just two ingredients—fresh muong fish and charcoal. The fish must be fresh, ones that have just been caught from the Ngan Son River, to retain the sweet taste of the flesh.
After being cleaned, the fish is grilled over a charcoal fire without seasoning to preserve its freshness and taste.
The grilling process is not too complicated but requires the concentration of the cook. The fish needs to be constantly turned over on each side so that its skin does not burn, and the inside is cooked perfectly.
When the fish turns golden and has an attractive aroma, it’s ready to be served.
Grilled muong fish can be eaten in many different ways. Diners can enjoy it with a bowl of hot rice and fish sauce. However, the best way to eat it is to roll it with Phu Yen rice paper, vegetables such as cucumber, lettuce, basil and fresh rice noodles, along with chili fish sauce.