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Bún Cá Kiên Giang Fish and Shrimp Rice Noodle Soup

Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Yields Serves 8
Bún Cá Kiên Giang Fish and Shrimp Rice Noodle Soup
1

To ensure clear broth, parboil the bones first by putting them in an 12-quart stockpot with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil until all the scum is released, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse until the scum comes off the bones. Scrub the pot, then add the rinsed bones and 6 quarts water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then add the rock sugar, onions and 5 teaspoons salt. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and simmer uncovered for 1½ hours, skimming any foam that rises to the surface.

2

While the broth simmers, prepare the leek-chile sauce and shrimp stir-fry.

3

When the broth is done, remove from the heat and let rest uncovered for 15 minutes to further concentrate its flavor and settle any remaining impurities.

4

While the broth rests, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the noodles and boil until just tender. The timing varies, so test for doneness by picking out a noodle, rinsing it under cold water and biting into it. It should be cooked through, but remain slightly firm. Drain in a fine colander, rinse under cold water until cool, and drain again. Divide the bean sprouts among 8 serving bowls, then top with the drained noodles.

5

Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve set over a 6-quart pot. Season with 3 tablespoons fish sauce. Taste and add more if desired. Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Season the fish with salt, then add to the simmering broth and poach until the fish is just opaque throughout, 2 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider, scoop out the fish and divide among the serving bowls.

6

Divide the shrimp among the bowls as well, along with the cucumbers and rau ram. Add a spoonful of the leek-chile sauce to each bowl and place the remaining in a serving bowl for passing at the table. Sprinkle the scallion greens on top. Return the broth to a boil and divide it among the bowls. Crown with the fried shallots. Serve immediately with the leek-chile sauce, more fish sauce, lime wedges and mint sprigs.

Make Ahead:
The strained broth can be stored in airtight containers and refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months. The poached fish can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Bring the broth to a simmer before serving and rewarm the fish in it.

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