In these hot and humid days of summer, the soup of mussel cooked with gourd would be an ideal dish for your meal.
Every time summer comes, the soup of gourd cooked with mussel is very preferable. Although the dish is rustic, it is very nourish and easy to eat.
Normally, we can use mussel to cook many kinds of soup such as the soup of mussel with basella alba, pot-herbs, star fruit or tomato…But the soup of mussel cooked with gourd is still the first and best choice with many Vietnamese people.
It is very easy to make the soup of mussel cooked with gourd. Take a few kilograms of mussel and soak them into water so that they will open their mouth and release all mud and sand. Doing so also helps us to recognize the dead mussels since they would float up.
The mussel that was caught from the river is always the best one since its meat is sweet and full of their shell.
After taking the mussels out of the water, clean them and put them into boiling water. We need to pour a little cold water into the pot because the sudden heat could make the mussels close their mouth tightly.
Boil them on medium fire so that the water from the mussels would not overflow out of the pot. Using chopstick to stir the mussels, then adding a little salt when it boils. Stir steadily and stop cooking when seeing the mussels all open their mouth.
We should not let mussles boils too long since that would make their meat tough and lose their natural sweet taste.
After take them out, get their meat and remove all the shells. This step maybe the most difficult step since it requires us to be very careful and patient.
The water that we used to boil mussels would be use to cook the soup, but we should deposit the sediment first. Then use the clear water above to cook. Pour that water into another pot and boil it again.
For the gourd, we should take one that is thin and long which has green peels mottled with white spots. This kind is fragrant, sweet and very suitable to cook with mussel.
Cut the gourd into thread or thin slices and put them into the pot of boiling mussel water. Wait until they all boils again and add some green onion and spices, then lower the fire down.
The final step is frying the mussel meat. Put a little onion into the boiling oil, fry it for a while and then put mussel into. Fry until we see the mussel twisted, then add some fish sauce to make it moreish. Finally, pour this fried mussel into the pot of gourd and we finish cooking the dish.
From the very first mouthful, the refined taste of the gourd and the sweet of the mussel would immediately attract you. This simple soup has been highly preferable in most of Vietnamese families for its food value and delicious flavor.