Sometimes the food you crave isn’t the most extravagant meals but the most humble dish that you grew up with and detested. While I was growing up, my Mom liked just two dishes, ga kho xa and ca kho. Since chicken or fish was more expensive than rice, they were stewed with plenty of salt or nuoc man and a little meat went a long way. One summer, I was fed fish stew with congee for three months. No wonder I was skinny as a rail then. It was fishy, mushy, slippery, and bland. We had money but my mom was a tightwad and convinced everyone that it was the best food to beat the heat in VN.
After swearing off on fish stew for the rest of my life, I saw some Capelins at Ranch 99 and had a senior moment. I can’t believe I want to eat this junk again! But these are Capelin females bulging with thousand of tiny eggs so I followed this recipe for ca kho to with the Capelins (de-headed and de-tailed and eaten whole) instead of the cat fish. The fish eggs add a wonderful taste and texture and maybe I’m being nostalgic but being forced-fed Capelin fishes isn’t as bad as I thought.