Vinh Hung - A culinary tour

08/11/2023 1172 0
Vĩnh Hưng là một trong những huyện điển hình thuộc vùng Đồng Tháp Mười của Long An. Giáp biên giới Campuchia, người dân sống ven các kênh rạch, chủ yếu làm nghề nông. Đời sống ẩm thực của họ cũng trở nên đa dạng và đặc thù, vừa có nét chung của vùng trũng Đồng Tháp Mười, vừa là nét riêng chỉ có ở Vĩnh Hưng.

Vinh Hung is one of the typical districts in the Dong Thap Muoi region of Long An. Bordering Cambodia, people live along canals and mainly work in agriculture. Their culinary life has also become diverse and unique, both a common feature of the Dong Thap Muoi lowland area and a unique feature unique to Vinh Hung.
Snakehead dry
The Dong Thap Muoi region is famous for its fish that cannot be eaten all year round, so all kinds of dried fish and fish sauce were also born from there. The highlight is dried snakehead fish, a rustic specialty but also very flavorful. After being cleaned, the snakehead fish is marinated with salt, monosodium glutamate, pepper and seasoned with chili (chili seeds, crushed to get the juice) and then dried in the sun for 3-4 days. Dried snakehead fish, when exposed to enough sunlight, is very delicious. In the meals of Westerners, there is often dried snakehead fish fried or grilled, shredded, which can be eaten with rice or as a snack. One of the unique delicacies of dried snakehead fish is neem salad - a dish that perhaps only when you return to this region will you have the opportunity to enjoy.
Sesbania sour soup
Around the 7th lunar month, the water season comes when Sesbania flowers bloom. Vinh Hung people treat guests to sour fish soup with sesbania flower. Special sour fish soup with sesbania sesbania, served with many types of field vegetables. Sour soup is a very familiar dish of Westerners, because they eat sour soup almost all year round. Sour snakehead fish soup, sour howler fish soup, sour water spinach soup, sour mint soup... but only during flood season can there be sour fish soup with sesbania. At the upstream, Vinh Hung receives the first stream of water, so every year the fish and Sesbania flowers "appear" at the same time. So at this time, if you return to Vinh Hung, you will definitely be treated to sour fish soup with sesbania. Young ling fish are fatty and sesban flowers have a very special acrid taste. First-time eaters may not be used to it, but try it once and you'll always remember it. Sour fish soup with sesbania linguine in Vinh Hung also comes with many types of field vegetables such as water lily, leek, etc.
Westerners consider field mice a specialty, while in Vinh Hung, field mice are a rustic dish that often appears in the meals of Vinh Hung people. Field mice live in rice fields, in groups, when there are no people, they crawl out to look for food. They eat rice, crabs, snails, shrimps, fish... grow quickly and reproduce a lot. Eating a lot of "natural" food makes mice fat, with soft, fatty meat. In the past, rats ate rice when it was just in the field, so any field with many rats lost its crop, so people had to hunt rats to protect the crop. Since then, field mice have also become a specialty dish. In Vinh Hung, there is a famous Bau Say market with an area specializing in providing "flying squirrels" - another name for field mice. Regardless of the time of year, just visit this spot and you'll find as many field mice as you need. Rat meat can be used to make many delicious dishes such as boiled, marinated with lime leaves and dipped in chili salt, fried rats with lemongrass and chili, grilled rats with tangerine peel or roasted with coconut water... It can be seen that most dishes made from rat meat are made simply. Simple with lots of spices.
Bun Xiem Lo
There is a noodle soup dish cooked from snakehead fish, Vinh Hung people call it Xiem Lo vermicelli, a relatively popular name in the border districts of Long An and An Giang. Bun Xiem Lo is a familiar dish of the Khmer people, a popular dish with simple preparation. Broth made from snakehead fish, fish bones are stewed with crushed turmeric to remove the fishy smell, fish meat is rolled into patties mixed with lemongrass, rolled into small balls. It can be said that snakehead fish is the main soul of this dish. Vinh Hung people eat Xiem Lo vermicelli with a lot of turmeric, snakehead fish cakes, boiled pork skin (cut into square pieces), tickle (a water hyacinth-like plant) and indispensable "a snakehead fish head". The most special thing about Xiem Lo vermicelli is probably the chili salt. Khmer people rarely eat fish sauce, so they use salt as the main dipping dish and make it the main highlight of this specialty noodle dish. If you have the opportunity to return to Long An or visit Vinh Hung, you should try Xiem Lo vermicelli for an unforgettable culinary experience.

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