People in Mekong Delta love to eat mouse dishes such as Fried mouse with lemongrass and chili pepper, Grilled mouse, Boiled mouse with lime leaf, Toasted mouse, Toasted mouse with salt, Braised mouse with coconut milk, Grilled mouse with fermented tofu, Stir-fried mouse with creek premna, etc. In Cao Lanh city, Dong Thap province in Mekong Delta region, you should not miss the distinct Cao Lanh grilled mouse in terracotta jar.
Only mice which live in rice fields and eat rice in harvest season are edible. Plumpy mouse with sweet-tasty and smelling meat is a perfect ingredient for the grilled mouse in terracotta jar. In harvest season of rice, local people gather to hunt for mice. They use nets or make fires from rice straws to catch the mice.
The mice are prepared (guts, skin, claws are removed), marinated with spices for 15 minutes, then hung at the top of a terracotta jar using special hangers. The number of mice which could be grilled at the same time depends on the size of the jar. They make a fire in the jar to grill these mice for 1 hour. The cook must continuously cover the mice with fat/oil, spices, change the side of the mice while grilling.
The grilled mouse is served hot with a mixture of salt, ground pepper, lime juice, veggies including green banana, tomato, cucumber and Vietnamese mint. The mouse is crispy outside and tender, a little chewy inside. Some visitors even cannot recognize it is made from “scary mouse”. The dish is so delicious that they call it “deer meat in the countryside”.
A special hanger is used to hang the mouse
Hang prepared mice
After grilling, the mice turn smelling and brown
Cao Lanh grilled mouse in terracotta jar looks mouth-watering