Coming to Ha Tien town, Kien Giang province, travelers are attracted by the rich cuisine which is a mix of Kinh, Khmer, and Chinese cuisines. In Ha Tien, there are some specialty foods which are unique and exclusive. One of the most famous food specialties is Fermented lingula anatina (Mắm cà xỉu in Vietnamese) which travelers should not miss.
Lingula anatina (Cà xỉu in Vietnamese) has the shell which consists of 2 valves and 1 long tender tail which helps it to find foods. It looks scary so that not many travelers know that this species could be eaten. Lingula anatina lives in burrows in barren sandy coastal seafloor. A large number of Lingula anatina can be found in Dong Ho ward, Ha Tien town. The harvest season of lingula anatina is from June to August.
Fermented lingula anatina is not a hard recipe but it needs experiences to make this strange food. After harvesting, lingula anatina is washed, the tails are separated from the shells. Then arrange lingula anatina and salt/refined salt in layers in a jar. The ratio of lingula anatina to salt must be proper. If the cook uses too much salt, the Fermented lingula anatina will be black and too salty. Otherwise, lingula anatina will perish.
Ferment lingula anatina can be stored for a long time. It is better to ferment lingula anatina with salt in the morning and stir-fry the fermented lingula anatina in the evening on the same day when the lingula anatina meat is still fresh and not very salty. Just stir-fry fermented lingula anatina with garlic, sugar and black pepper. To eat, get the meat from the shell and eat with steamed rice. They also make Salad from fermented lingula anatina and green mango In the past, fishermen in Ha Tien bring a jar of Ferment lingula anatina onto their boats and eat this food with steamed rice. This traditional food has become a favorite of many locals as well as travelers. Ferment lingula anatina can frighten you because of its scary looking and strange smell. However, once try the food, you will love it.
Local people harvest Lingula anatina
They use a knife to harvest Lingula anatina
Lingula anatina with long tail
Although Fermented lingula anatina looks scary, it is very tasty
Fermented lingula anatina is stored in jars
Fermented lingula anatina is sold popularly in Ha Tien, Kien Giang
Salad from fermented lingula anatina and green mango