Our country has a long coastline. For years, inhabitants along the sea have been depending on the wealth and generosity of the immense ocean, so they owe allegiance to and worship the holy symbols of the sea, among which, there is the custom of worshiping the whale—the most giant fish that often shows up to save fishing boats in danger of sinking in stormy weather. And the custom of worshiping the Dragon King (the dragon governing the sea in mythology) is most popular. The dish “Dragon King Soup” is made to recount the myth about the silver dragon specializing in assisting seamen on their voyages: all the ingredients used are mainly of white color, added with a unique creativity from the tip of cauliflower being finely minced. Enjoying Dragon King Soup is actually participating in a spiritual connection between human and nature to realize how beautiful life is when it is gifted with countless essences of heaven and earth.
DRAGON KING SOUPPrint This
- INGREDIENTS FOR THE STOCK
- 1kg fish bone (fish head)
- 200g onions
- 50g ginger
- 20g salt
- 50ml rice wine
- 5 liters water
- INGREDIENTS FOR THE SOUP
- 200g black tiger prawns
- 200g fresh big-fin reef squid
- 50g cauliflower
- 20g dried silver ear mushrooms
- 30g tapioca flour
- 20ml water
- 1 chicken egg
- 3g cilantro
- SPICES FOR THE SOUP
- 1g salt
- 1.5g rock sugar
- 1g ground black pepper
- 3g seasoning powder
Prepare the ingredients for fish stock: Peel off the rind of the ginger, rinse well, and smash it. Put the fish bone in a wash basin, add rice wine, salt and 30g smashed ginger, toss all well then rinse under clean running water. Boil 3 liters of water in a pot, put the fish bone in to soak quickly then take out and rinse again. Set it to drain till free of water. Peel the onions, rinse well, and then cut them into quarters.
Prepare ingredients for the soup: Rinse the prawns well, boil to just cooked, then soak them in ice water to cool and let drain. Peel off the shells then cut the prawns into dices. Rinse the squid and boil it quickly in boiling water with the ginger. Afterwards, cut the squid into strings. Submerge the dried silver ear mushroom in water until it swells, discard the yellow stump, and chop into small pieces. Rinse the cauliflower then soak it in salted water in about 10 minutes, take it out and wash again, then drain and dice all up. Rinse the cilantro well after discarding the wilt leaves. Mince the leaves. Rinse the cilantro roots and reserve these.
Cook the fish stock: Boil 2 liters of water in a pot on oven top, put in the fish bone, cilantro roots, the remaining 20g of ginger and the onions. Bring the stock to boil again, skim off the foam, and continue to cook in low heat for around 45 minutes until the liquid is condensed to 1 liter. Turn off the oven, strain the bone stock through a sieve to discard all stewed bone residues.
Cook the soup: Put 1 liter of stock in a pot, bring to boil, then add the prawns, squid, and cauliflower. Season with 1g salt, 1.5g rock sugar, and 3g seasoning powder. Dissolve 30g tapioca flour in 20ml water, then gradually add this to the soup pot and stir constantly. It is done when the flour becomes clear and the stock is slightly dense. Add the silver ear mushrooms. Whip the egg well, then gradually pour it into the soup, stir regularly for the egg to form stripes. When done, turn off the oven.
Ladle the soup into small bowls, garnish with cilantro, and sprinkle the ground pepper on top; serve hot.
The soup stock is clear and properly dense, having a natural mild sweet flavor with no smell of prawn, squid or silver ear mushroom.
While cooking the fish stock, frequently skim off the foam to keep the stock clear.
When pouring the tapioca flour into the soup pot, stir constantly to avoid the flour sticking to the bottom.
EFFECTS OF THIS DISH
This dish combines the nutritional effects of black tiger prawn, big-fin squid with cauliflower, silver ear mushroom and onion; thus, it is useful for persons with weakened body strength, loss of appetite, poor digestion, kidney yang deficiency, and loss of sexual desire. It is also good for those with decreased body resistance, those who are easily infected, and have osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, coughing due to inner body heat, and constipation.
NGUYEN VAN BONG Kaya Hotel (Phu Yen Province) Runner-up in the Southern Regional semi-final round of the Golden Spoon Awards 2013