What do you expect when spending your time in Mekong Delta tours? They are the amazing faltering feeling of on tiny boats, the warmness of people there and the most important one is this land’s unique cuisine. In this article, we will discover three eats that make you mouth-watering at the very first sight.
1. Long Xuyen (An Giang) neem tree salad
From October to January of the lunar calendar, people usually pick the leaves of this tree to eat and trade. This plant has been proved to be a potent medicine in preventing and treating diseases. According to many studies, these leaves can cure up to 40 different ailments. Besides the healing effect, the acidic leaves are also the main ingredient to make salad dish – the famous specialty in An Giang.
The leaves are light green, bitter but sweet aftertaste. The edible flowers are a little bit bitter and fragrant.
For locals, the neem tree is the gift from heaven, because it has been providing the precious source of food for many generations already. Long ago, when the leaves are still abundant, locals pick them up in exchange for meat or fish and had no idea of earning a nice living off this foliole.
In addition to making food, people also view it as a valuable remedy for diabetes, arthralgia, high blood pressure, and dermatitis. Hence these leaves are selling like hotcakes.
2. Siamese mud carp hotpot with sesbania sesban
Whenever the annual floating season (from September to November) occurs, there is a lot of fish in the south-west of Vietnam. Early season is the best time to catch fish because of its small size, soft bones and fatty belly. This young aquatic creature appears in the beginning of the floating season, usually concentrated in the upstream areas such as Tan Chau (An Giang), An Phu (An Giang), Thot Not (Can Tho), Hong Ngu (Dong Thap) …
Best couple for an incredible hotpot
At that time, people begin to prepare tools and fishnets, then creep through the creeks and rivers to pull up the heavy catch. After that, people will trade them in local markets and retain a little for processing fish sauce or turn into scrumptious family meals.
In particular, when it comes to floating areas, people think of dien dien ( sesbania sesban) – the tiny yellow flowers spilling over the swamps, rivers, rice fields or along the dykes. This wildflower adds a crazy taste for thousands of iconic dishes of this area.
Finger-size silvery fish are put into the pot after romoving intestines. Slightly dip the freshly harvested sweet potatoes and this edible flower into the broth. When eating, visitors will feel the softness and richness of this incredible fish.
In addition to the two staples, this hot pot also comes with many other kinds of wild vegetables such as coriander, water mimosa, etc.
3. Water lily stems cooked with fish sauce
The dish is very simple and rustic but it transmits all the essence of local aroma into a dish that made indigenous folks take pride in.
The outer shell of water lily is removed completely, then it is cut into appropriate length and rinsed in a basket. People cook this with the fragrant crimson fish sauce and add guava leaflets to stir up the fragrance. There born the “pot scourge” because you hardly stop eating until your tummy swollen lol.
The edible flower’s stems
Fish sauce cooking is a skillful process. When the pot is boiling, the cook must skip all the bones, and add the herbs following a spot-on formula. Chili and citronella are two indispensable spices in the making of this sauce.
The final ingredient is bacon slices which enrich the comprehensive taste for this dish.