The special flavor of Xiem Lo noodle soup comes from its various ingredients. Snakehead fish is indispensable. Those caught from rice fields are the best as their flesh gives a special taste.
The fishes’ head and bones are used to make the broth. To get rid of the stink of the fish, local cooks add some turmeric powder. The spice helps enhance the soup flavor and create an eye-catching color. Fish flesh is used for fish paste which is seasoned with turmeric juice and other spices before being steamed or deep-fried.
The second ingredient is mien rice noodles capable of offering a chewy texture.
A bowl of Xiem Lo noodle soup is topped with slices of fish paste, pork skin, fish’s head and some roasted peanuts. This soup is often served with keo neo (Limnocharis flava) which is a distinctive plant in the Mekong Delta. The dipping sauce is simply made from salt and chillies.
Diners should enjoy the noodle soup while it is hot. The sweetness of fish, the spicy flavor of chillies and the taste of peanuts will provide an interesting culinary experience.