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‘Scary’ dishes but should try in Vietnam

Duck eggs, blood soup, fried rice … are dishes that make many international guests afraid when they see it for the first time but want to eat it again when they try it.

Nikhita Rathod, a writer specializing in food and tourism from South Africa, made curious comments about dishes described as “scary at first glance but must try when coming to Vietnam”.

One of the dishes she mentioned was scrambled eggs. “I know this dish looks a bit scary, but that’s not a problem for Vietnamese people. This is also a famous dish in the Philippines. Duck eggs are boiled after being half-broiled. People also say Duck eggs are mixed into the hot pot, to increase sweetness and nutrition. When eating, people can dip them in salt, pepper, and coriander. Once you try, you may like it.”

‘Scary’ dishes but should try in Vietnam
Balut eggs are often present in the top scary dishes in the world, but are loved by many people. Photo: Ha Lam

The next scary name is sauteed frog thighs with garlic butter . “In some places, you can’t go out for a late-night drink without having sauteed frog legs in garlic butter to sip on beer. Locals say that frog legs taste like chicken wings, or fish. You’ll see this if you try it,” she said. Rathod also said that this is a dish that goes well with beer. In addition, she encourages international visitors when visiting Vietnam to try other dishes made from frogs such as curry, braised, soup or hot pot.

Talking about coconut worms, the South African writer said: “Putting a worm in the mouth is really not for the faint of heart. But this is a delicious dish and a specialty of Tra Vinh”. 

Coconut weevils, a specialty of the Southwest region

Westerners have processed coconut worms into many delicious dishes such as: grilled coconut worms, soaked in fish sauce or fried in butter…

For many people, looking at coconut weevils as big as fingers wiggling is a chill down their spines. But for people in the West, it is a gift of nature, a specialty that is not always available. In the West, coconut worms are most abundant in Ben Tre, where there are immense coconut forests. Although it is a harmful species, because any coconut tree that has been chiseled by them will die, coconut worms are a source of raw materials for processing so many delicious and delicious dishes.

Every year, in the rainy season, leafhoppers begin to carve into the coconut tops to lay eggs. When hatching into larvae, they begin to eat coconut pots until the coconut tree withers is also when the coconut weevils have grown fat. At that time, people only need to cut down coconut trees to be able to catch weevils to process into dishes.

Weevils often live in the tops of coconut trees, they are as big as a little finger, white, fat and round. Photo: Tieu Phong.

Easy to prepare and most popular is the raw coconut worms served with chili fish sauce. The live worms are dropped into a bowl of white wine so that they suffocate and release the dirt. After that, the worms are washed and then put in a bowl of spicy chili fish sauce, the round fat worms keep wiggling attractively. Pick up one and put it in your mouth and take a bite to feel the fat, no different from the egg yolk of the worm that is melting in the mouth very delicious.

Besides, coconut worms are also processed a lot of dishes such as: coconut worms fried in butter are fragrant, greasy when eaten, and still crave. Grilled coconut worms are served with salad raw vegetables, crab claws, basil… When eating, just roll the grilled worms with vegetables, dip in a cup of sour tamarind sauce and enjoy. The sour taste of tamarind, the strong aroma of vegetables mixed with the characteristic fatty taste of weevils make people love to enjoy it.

Coconut worm soaked in fish sauce is an easy dish to prepare but is loved by many people because of its deliciousness. Photo: Tieu Phong.

But the most unique must be the steamed coconut worms dish, when the sticky rice has dried up, people wrap the worms in small banana leaves and place them on the surface of the sticky rice. When the sticky rice is just cooked, the worms are also ripe. Sticky rice and weevils are eaten together, both flexible and soft, both fat and fleshy, not only delicious but also very strange.

In addition to the fairly common coconut weevil, people in the West have two other types of weevils that are quite rare: the weevil (living on the palm tree) and the date weevil (living on the date palm tree). According to the experience of the people of this land, the best celery is cooked with porridge, only when it is baked, can the diners fully feel the delicious taste of the dish.

The next dish that the female tourist mentioned is blood pudding , such as “pudding made from animal blood”, served with coriander, mint leaves, and peanuts. Cha Ruoi is also on the list, with the description: “worms are beaten in eggs, meat and fried”.

Cha Ruoi is recommended for national brand recognition

Tu Ky fried rice with vermicelli with perch, green bean cake, and Banh Cuon are four dishes recommended for national brand recognition.

Worms are mollusks, shaped like earthworms, often living in salt or brackish water environments. It has a slightly “scary” appearance, but it is classified as a precious food with high nutritional content and delicious taste. Rui making spring rolls is one of the specialties. The season is usually from September to November every year.

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Trung, Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Hai Duong province, said that this is the first time the Department has made a dossier to request the Vietnam Culinary Culture Association to consider, vote and recognize the products. Hai Duong’s famous and delicious dishes are national brands.

Tu Ky rui is a favorite specialty of many people, now in season. Photo: Khanh Tran

In the profile, these dishes are sent with details of ingredients, processing, flavors, pictures… Green bean cake, rolls, vermicelli with perch are specialties in Hai Duong City, and cha ruoi. in Tu Ky district.

According to Mr. Trung, when Hai Duong’s delicious dishes are recognized as a national brand, they will contribute to promoting the image, people and culture of the province to friends at home and abroad, contributing to promoting the development of the province. tourism activities.

In addition to giving a list of unique dishes in Vietnam, Rathod also gives comments on how the locals eat. “In Vietnam, eating is not eating fast, eating in a hurry. Eating meals from locals is really a comprehensive experience. They enjoy food and drink while chatting with friends.” Rathod also found that the locals’ casual gathering of friends is like a party and they won’t stop until they’re drunk. The best place to experience this is not in high-end restaurants but in street stalls.

(According to Atlys )

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