Bizzare Vietnamese Foods That Leave You Stunned
Vietnam is a country with a unique and diverse cuisine, the culinary art has attracted international gourmets from fresh seafood to delicated Pho. However, there are some dishes that maybe you would not brave enough to try them. Let’s consider the list of strange Vietnamese food below .
The coconut beetle-larva
Putting a fatty and still alive larva into the mouth is really a big challenge not only to foreign tourists but also weird vietnamese dishes to many indigenous people. Recently, raising and purchasing this kind of insect have been banned strictly in Vietnam due to it is harmful to coconut planting and exploiting industry. Normally, a larva will be caught alive in nature, cleaned, and then, dropped alive in a bowl of fish sauce and eaten, of course, alive. Sometimes, they are also dried, grilled, boiled or used to cook with steamed glutinous rice.
The fatty and spongy larva of silkworm may make you jump out of your skin. This food does not only exist in Vietnam but also in other Asian countries such as Korea where it is sold as a food street and can be bought from vendors. From these spongy larvae, the chief can make a fried dish served with lemon leaves, or boiled them in water and served with sticky rice,….
Fermented Shrimp Paste
This dish is considered to be the most horrible smell in Vietnam by many foreign tourists. Shrimp paste is made from fermented shrimp and has a rather unpleasant taste as well as smell which can stay in your mouth several hours later. The fermented shrimp paste is an indispensable sauce in many Vietnamese dishes such as Bun dau mam tom (Fermented shrimp paste with fried tofu and rice vermicelli).
Made from animal meat and blood (pigs, ducks, chickens ...) mixed with viscera, cartilage, ground meat,… blood pudding is a favorite dish to many people especially in the rural area in Vietnam while it called unusual vietnamese food in other areas. In order to prevent the premature coagulation, the blood will be mixed with fish sauce or diluted salt water. After that, the chopped innards of animal or meat will be added to the dish to enhance the blood coagulation. This dish is usually served as an appetizer, however, due to the anxiety about bacteria that may cause streptococcal disease, bird flu,…
Horse Organ Stew
This is a traditional food of H’Mong ethnic people in Lao Cai province, north of Vietnam. Amongst dishes made from organs, ethnic people in mountainous areas of Vietnam often enjoy thắng cố (horse organ stew). Even Vietnamese cannot stomach this dish due to the unpleasant smell that makes you hold your breath. The ground horse meat is fried in oil, onion, salt, pepper, and various spicy then stewed for long hours.
This South Vietnamese specialty fruit has a delicious taste, but the smell is so terrible that not everyone brave enough to try.
When it comes to mice, the Westerns often think about rodents and infectious diseases meanwhile Vietnamese peasants instantly refer to grilled Mice meat. Therefore, Western tourists are often surprised to learn that a specialty of the South-West was grilled paddy rats. The rat is considered to consume rice only so that assumed to be cleaned. The meat is tender and fragrant, baked with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Balut (Duck embryo)
Balut is used to call a developing duck embryo or unhatched duck egg. This food is quite common in Asian countries, especially in Vietnam, the Philippine, China…the balut is initially boiled in hot water then peeled and poured into a small bowl or a cub, and finally, served with mint leaves, chili, ginger, a mix of lemonade and salt powder are served with the balut in order to reduce the smell of the dish.
The famous roast Ragworm is made from minced ragworm, duck eggs, minced meat and tangerine shell. Firstly, the combination is mixed carefully, then fried until it turns crispy. However, it makes many people feel fear because they look quite like leeches or worms.
Last but not least, insects for thousands year are both friends and enemies to Vietnamese peasants. After large and cruel famines, people started using insect as another source of protein and now, insect has become a delicacy in the country. In Vietnam, insects such as locusts, spiders and scorpions can be fried or stir-fried, while the taste of the cricket is as delicious as the shrimps and crabs so they are often grilled in coal’s heat. These dish is usually served with beer or wine.
Sa Sung (peanut worms)
In fact, peanut worms is a kind of seafood, this species is commonly found in Van Don, Mong Cai, Quang Ninh, Halong, Nha Trang, Con Dao ... also popular in Van My Beach, Dong Hung sea in Vietnam, and China as a only-used medicine-food for men.
The peanut worms will make many people terrified by its scary appearance but, don’t worry, the dish from peanut worms is irresistible.
In the past, when there were not various kinds of spices, people use peanut worm to make pho broth and often say that "peanut worm is the soul of phở". The worm is crispy, tender, sweet and fatty, so the more you chew, the more impassioned it makes you feel. The noodle broth is naturally savory without brewing bones too much.
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