Bun Ca in Malesice Market

On Sundays, Aubergine and I have the custom of going to the huge Vietnamese market complex in Malesice. Aside from the household supplies and countless dodgy textile stores, they have a couple of Asian grocers that actually sell fresh green stuff (hey, this is the Czech Republic) and some luncheon places that mainly serve the market workers. We usually go to the one at the end, run by a matriarch and her family, advertising Pho Ba Dac Biet (home-style). There we sit huddled over a formica-topped table and watch Vietnamese state TV while having a big bowl of pho ba (beef noodle soup w broad rice noodles), or construct-your-own bun cha (crispy barbecued pork belly, not greasy at all, in a marinade, along with a bowl of rice vermicelli and a plate of greens. You spoon the marinade on the noodles, break up some greens on top and eat it with a slice of pork belly.) My favorite dish there however is bun ca, fish soup with rice vermicelli. They make it from carp, the local cheap farmed fish. Normally I avoid carp as it is rather muddy and has a mushy texture, but the soup is made from tiny crispy fried bits of carp, in a broth with hot peppers, tomatoes, dill, onions, garlic, and scallions.

The pink lump in my bowl was a big cake of fish roe. I don’t know if it was carp roe, which I never would have thought about eating, but it was certainly edible, whatever fish it was. Probably carp just due to the size. I shared my roe with Aubergine, who never met a fish egg she didn’t like. Note also the condiments on the table, including a bowl of crisp fried onion and hot pepper in oil (white bowl in background), which makes pretty much anything delicious.

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About Zucchini

43 year old American tech writer living in Prague. Eating, cooking, traveling, reading, and tabletop RPGs are my hobbies.
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2 Responses to Bun Ca in Malesice Market

  1. jmcl63 says:

    That’ll be the lunch we had at New Year? Man, I loved that meal! It’s good finally to be able to name it; mebbe even look it up on the web and try it for myself. Z&A’s got off to a good start for this satisfied reader. 😉

  2. Zucchini says:

    We went to Sapa market in Libus with Bill instead of Malesice market, and I think we had the Bun Cha there, though you may have had a Bun Ngam (duck). I don’t remember if we went together to Malesice as well.
    Well, next time you visit… The Greek collapse has made the pound a reasonable currency on the continent again, so it’s something to consider.

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