The whole neighborhood invites each other to plant a tree that only sells leaves and prospers, escaping poverty
Although it is no longer commonly used as in the past, betel leaves still help people in Vi Thuy and Hau
In the provinces of the Mekong Delta, there is a tree that people often plant in their gardens for shade. Moreover, people often pick the leaves of this plant to use as raw vegetables, served with some dishes. It’s a weevil tree (Cynometra ramiflora).
Weevils are also known as silk leaves. The reason they are so named is that the leaves of the plant are light green and smooth like silk. This is a vegetable often found in Southern meals or cakes. Not only that, but this plant is also effective in treating a number of diseases according to Eastern and Western medicine methods.
Silk leaves are found abundantly in East Asia. India, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam, etc. are all very rich in this plant. They often grow well in coastal areas, along mangroves with high tides and low tides.
The leaves of this plant are even compound leaves, somewhat crescent-shaped, 7-12cm long. Leaves are pale pink, white or light green with a slight yellow tinge. When eaten, silk leaves have a special sour and acrid taste, and feel as soft as velvet.
Because of that, Westerners often eat this vegetable as a raw vegetable, often used with braised fish dishes. Braised goby, braised goby, braised anchovies, or braised anchovies are all eaten with delicious silk leaves. Roll some silk leaves dipped with braised fish sauce, it’s great. The cool, sour taste of silk leaves blends with the salty and sweet taste of braised fish, making the dish more attractive.
In addition, silk leaves are often served with braised fish sauce and pancakes. In particular, many people who eat Banh Xeo without silk leaves feel like the soul of the dish is missing, making this dish much less delicious.
Vinh Long and An Giang provinces are very fond of braised stone heart fish with silk leaves. Rock bream is a large, fleshy fish. A quick-cooked meal with only this pot of braised fish is enough to beat several bowls of white rice.
People will choose young silk leaves to make raw vegetables to eat with the meal. The young weevils are very soft, thin, and smooth like velvet. This vegetable can be served with fish sauce hot pot, pancakes or braised fish dip. Although served with many other vegetables at the same time, the silk leaves still stand out with the sour, acrid taste that lingers in the throat.
To enjoy this special leaf is quite difficult, especially for city people. Silk leaves are sold in the West at prices ranging from 60,000 to 90,000 VND/kg. (1 $ = 25,000 VND)