Hue Sour Shrimp
Sour Shrimp is one of the most sought-after specialities of the old capital of Vietnam. When they first come to Hue and taste this dish, visitors from other regions must be really amazed and surprised. The right Sour Shrimp dish must be made from fresh shrimps living in brackish water (most delicious if they are from Hai Bridge!). The shrimps must be equally big and round-shaped. To start preparing the dish, the cook removes the heads of the shrimps, cleans and dips them in wine. The shrimps are then dried and mixed with many other ingredients such as galingales, garlics, chilies, bamboos, fish sauces and rice. Among all of these, galingale is most important. The garlics are sliced; the chilies are cut into long and thin pieces; bamboo is also cut into thin slices. The cook keeps the shrimps in glazed terra-cotta jar until they are fully fermented. He will then add honey to the shrimps before putting them into separate bottles. In a bottle of Sour Shrimps, we can see all types of colors: whites, yellows, pink, red, etc. and taste all types of flavor such as sweet, buttery, sour, spicy, etc. These entire elements combine together to create an attractive fragrance. To savor the flavor of Sour Shrimp, you have to eat this dish with 2 other food: sliced boiled pork sides and fresh veggies (green bananas, star fruits, cinnamons, and chilies). These vegetables give the meal a good look implying the balance of Yin and Yang in the dish. People love Sour Shrimps since they look at it and their love grows continuously when they taste the buttery meat, the sweet and sour shrimps and the hot, spicy veggies!
Bun Tom (shrimp vermicelli noodle )
No one can tell for how long such a simple food has grown to be an essential part of Hai Phong gastronomy. It's something worth trying, like the rest of Vietnamese cuisines, for the unique taste as well as method of cooking. The main ingredients that create this delicious dish is fresh shrimp picked up directly from Hai Phong sea. Shrimp shells are peeled and the shrimp are then fried with green onion until shrinking. Added in with shrimps are yellow grilled chopped fish, grilled chopped “ lá lốt” or grape leaves, Indian taro and a mixture of mashed onion, sliced tomatoes and dill to bring out richer flavor. A soft, white thread of rice vermicelli noodle harmonized with reddish shrimps and tomatoes, together with green onion, Indian taro and yellow grilled chopped fish make a colourful, attractive and lively picture that wake up visitors’ taste. As you savour the dish, you will be greatly comforted by the sweet and slightly greasy taste of the broth, fragrance of shrimps and especially the pungent smell of grilled chopped “ lá lốt”. More special is a sour taste of tamarind broth seasoned with common spices like vinegar or lemon. This kind of “bun” is best served with lettuce and some slices of red chilli. All flavours harmonize so well with each other that the first try can bring out immediate temptation for a return.
Huynh De Crab
There are many types of fresh, delicious yet cheap seafood in Khanh Hoa such as shrimp, sea snail, mussel, lobster, oyster, etc. but Huynh De Crab is the most famous speciality. With a very special shape which resembles a small turtle, this rare type of crab is a must-have food during your stay in the coastal province. Even though Huynh De Crab can be cooked into many different dishes, the simplest and the tastiest dishes are still boiled or roast crab. Only when it is served without the “intervention” of other complicated spices can the crab meat really show its pure delicious flavor. It is best to eat Huynh De Crab with your hands without using any fork or knife. You carefully break off the claws, remove the shell, break the body in half, then pull each piece of white crabmeat out and dip it in the special lemon sauce before putting it into your mouth. How wonderful! If boiled crab provides the purest and most natural flavor, roast crab has a salty taste of the sea. This dish is prepared in a more complicated way. First, the crab is hacked into small pieces and mixed with fish sauce and salt. The mixture is then poured into a hot frying pan and mixed again with some secret spices that only the local inhabitants know. When it is done, the dish has a yummy taste. It might be saltier than the boiled one, but the distinctive flavor of Huynh De crab still remains. And of course, roast crab becomes better if you eat it with your own hands!
Cuttlefish Hotpot
Only 92 km away from Nha Trang, Dai Lanh is a district that can be easily accessed by car. During your time in Khanh Hoa, if you have a chance to visit Dai Lanh, absolutely do it! One of the many reasons for you to do so is the famous Cuttlefish Hotpot that can only be found there. You will be amazed by how delicious and inexpensive the hotpot is. Besides, there are so many types of hotpot that you will never be bored eating cuttlefish the whole day. The price is also surprising, only about 2 or 3 dollars for each person. There are several types of cuttlefish in Dai Lanh, but people only choose some certain types to make the hotpot. Cuttlefishes must be fresh when it comes to cooking this dish; they must have a big enough size and special flavor. Because all the ingredients are chosen that way, every hotpot is distinctively delicious. Its fragrance and taste are so unique that it always stands out among similar dishes in other parts of the country. The Cuttlefish hotpot is best accompanied by fresh chili and herbs, parsley, and basil, etc. A fun fact is that you will never feel full eating these hotpots, so prepare yourself, once you start, you might never stop!
Dried Shrimp
When we talk about the specialities of Ca Mau, we can hardly miss the Dried Shrimp dish. This special cuisine has gain not only domestic but also international fame, appearing in many foreign countries’ market. Eating the RachGocDried Shrimp, we can savor both the salty yet sweet flavor of the shrimps and the tempting overall appearance of the dish. To create a dish that has the typical flavor of the forest and the ocean at the same time, the people of Ca Mau must have their very own trick. The shrimps are first boiled in water for about 5 or 6 minutes. Then, the cook adds salt into the pot and boils for 4 more minutes before he can start the drying process. The salt : water ratio is the most important point that decides whether the final product is good or bad. Only the experienced cooks can make a Fried Shrimp dish which maintains the natural taste of the shrimps. This dish can be eaten right away without any side dish. However, we can also have it with cabbage or salted vegetables.
Shrimp Salt
When mentioning the cuisines of Tay Ninh, many people usually think of Trang Bang Rice Paper, or Trang Bang Soup, etc. However, there is another speciality that every tourist enjoys in this region. That speciality is nothing else but the famous Shrimp Salt which has been gaining a worldwide popularity in the recent years. Even though Tay Ninh Province has neither a coastline nor the best type of shrimp, Shrimp Salt there is still one of the most famous specialities. To make a full pan of Shrimp Salt, the cook has to follow an incredibly complex procedure. He must first choose the freshest and spiciest chilies which have a naturally red color. Together with salt, garlics and radishes, these chilies are put into the mixer before shrimps, meat and the seasoning powder can be added. All of these ingredients must be measured according to a suitable ratio. For instance, to make 1 kg of Shrimp Salt, we need 500gr salt, and 100gr radishes, shrimps, meats, etc. The next step is to fry this mixture on a hot pan without adding chemical substance. The cook must be really cautious not to make the final product too dried or too wet. When finished,the Shrimp Salt can be used as a companion of many dishes such as fresh fruits, or rice cake, rice paper wrap, etc.