Smelly but delicious: Shrimp paste of Ninh Bình
Sunday, 2018-02-04 07:31:10
'Mam tep' (shrimp paste) may sound quite intimidating dish, but don’t let the pungent smell prevent you from trying the interesting specialty of Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province.
Gia Vien shrimp paste is made pretty much the same way as traditional shrimp sauce, yet the ingredients are quite different - locals in Gia Vien make the paste from tiny shrimp.
The process is quite simple – thinh, salt and water are added to shrimp, the mixture is then put into a terracotta pot within a month. The longer it is preserved, the higher quality the shrimp paste is.
Making shrimp paste is not difficult but it requires care in every step and exact amounts of ingredients [thinh and salt]. To make shrimp paste, fresh tiny shrimp should be cleaned within two to three hours. Otherwise, the shrimp dies and that batch of shrimp paste would not meet our standard quality.
The tiny shrimp is in season in November and December, when the river water turns a bit unclear and muddy.
Shrimp paste is commonly used as a type of dipping sauce or added to stirfried pork. Those who do not want to use shrimp paste for dipping, can stir shrimp paste with boiling oil, and add dry onion slices, garlic and ginger.