ClockMonday, 13/05/2024 07:43

Sea herrings at night

TTH.VN - At 8 p.m. Tram and her friends were present on the coast in Giang Hai (Phu Loc). They thought they were early, but in the dim light of flashlights, they saw tens of people already there choosing the best herrings.

The season of herringsTaste of the sea

 Bluish-fresh herrings

“What bluish-fresh herrings!”

That’s what those who are waiting to buy herrings uttered when the boat got ashore. As soon as the boat arrived on the beach, fishermen quickly formed groups to take fish off the net.

Vuong’s boat was the first to arrive and soon surrounded by lots of people. Vuong was a fisherman who had been working as a fisherman for tens of years. Besides flashlights, his family provided a big bulb connected to a battery.

In the light, strong enough to see people’s faces, Vuong and his family began to remove herrings off the net. Soon the first fresh herrings with bluish-silver scales were laid on the sand in the light of flashlights and from cell phones. 

“In addition to experience, fishermen need good luck too. Sometimes I get herrings, sometimes not; it depends. On one occasion I got about tens of kilograms, just enough to pay for fuel, on another, more luckily, I got hundreds of kilograms of herrings,” said Vuong.

Like many other fishermen, Vuong prefers night sea trip to morning ones, not only because the weather is cool at night but also because he can catch more fish. Herrings are very popular with people because new-caught herrings are so fresh and cheap. For many years now, waiting for fishing boats to buy the best herrings from courageous fishermen has become a routine for people there.

 People selling and buying fish


“The weather is hot during the day, so at night my friends and I go to the beach to watch fishermen shake their nets. Herrings are fresh and cheap. So, every few days we have a fish barbecue on the beach. It’s fun and exciting,” said Tram.

The herring season lasts from January to the end of April of the lunar calendar. Toward the end of the season, herrings become even bigger and more delicious. As of now, herrings are very cheap, only VND15,000-20,000 per kilogram. Besides the joy of watching fishermen removing herrings off the net, people can enjoy delicious dishes from herrings at a very low cost.

“Buying herrings on site, I can be assured that they are fresh and not marinated with chemicals. Herrings can be processed into many dishes. I sometimes either grill them right on the beach or freeze them to make salad or grilled fish pies later,” said An, a man from Vinh An Commune in Phu Vang. Indeed, herrings give not only fishermen but also those who like fish joy,’ said An, a customer from Vinh Thanh Commune.

Just with some firewood, coals, a basin, a grill and some salt and fresh chilies, Tram and her friends can cook herrings. On the beach with sounds of waves, we watch the herrings gradually changing their colors on the charcoal fire. The sparkling bluish-silver color of their scales is changing into puce, and the good deep smell is floating in the air, revealing their while flesh. 

Herrings are bony, but very delicious when grilled. Because herrings are so fresh, all the spices they need are just some salt and fresh chilies. Her friends are very excited with the grilled herrings right on the beach.

“This is a very exciting experience to me. This dish is so simple and familiar, but I’m impressed because I know it’s packed with the hardship of fishermen. From now on, I will never miss going to the coast watching fishermen working and grilling herrings on the beach like this.”

Story and photos: MAI HUE
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