raw fish salad

Unintended delicacy: a 30-year-old raw fish salad

An accident gave birth to this edible masterpiece.

raw fish salad

30 years ago, the chef at family restaurant May Bon Phuong down a small alley off Vuon Chuoi Street in Saigon, unintentionally poured lime juice onto slices of barramundi intended for another dish.


Instead of throwing away the now good-for-nothing lime juice-soaked fish, the chef (and also the owner of the restaurant) gave it a go only to discover that the fish was favorably rare, sweet and not the same old fishy taste anymore. The idea for a new dish started to take shape.raw-fish-salad3

Sesame oil was then chosen for its aroma to complement the fish that was made edible sans heat.raw-fish-salad4 

Sliced ginger gave a hand with its spiciness.raw-fish-salad5

After a month of tests with all kinds of ingredients and spices in the kitchen, the dish was finally ready for a place on the menu. Scallions

and onions are the main side dishes.


Though well-seasoned, the raw fish salad still needs a dipping sauce like many other Vietnamese dishes. Mustard and chili sauce were chosen for this mission.


Unlike many raw meat salads in Vietnam that are usually eaten with fruit and herbs wrapped in rice paper, the raw barramundi salad at May Bon Phuong thrives on its own.



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