Food Specialties of Kien Giang – Part 1

1. Phu Quoc Sardinella salad

To make this salad, mix sardinella flesh, shredded onions, shallots, chili pepper, and shredded coconut meat. To make the dipping sauce for this salad, mix high-quality fish sauce made in Phu Quoc, sugar, lime juice, minced garlic, minced chili pepper, crushed toasted peanuts. This kind of salad is topped with crushed toasted peanuts, green onion oil, deep-fried shallots and served with various vegetables (bean sprouts, salad, greens, cucumber, some wild vegetables in forests in Phu Quoc, etc.), herbs (culantra, heartleaf, Vietnamese mint, basil, etc.), rice paper and dipping sauce. To eat, just wrap the salad, veggies, and herbs in rice paper, then dip in the sauce and tuck in. Dinner can feel the amazing blend of fresh, tender, little chewy sardinella pieces, veggies, herbs, and dipping sauce in every bite.

2. Phu Quoc barracuda

Phu Quoc Barracuda is a specialty food of the beautiful island Phu Quoc as well as the entire province Kien Giang. This kind of fish is long, thin, round, firm, grey and golden. Young Barracuda weighs 700 – 800 grams, old Barracuda weighs 8 – 9 kilograms. Barracuda flesh is outstandingly tasty, especially flesh of fresh Barracuda caught in Phu Quoc. The fish flesh is rich in nutrition and very healthy. From this fish, local people make a lot of delicious dishes such as Grilled Barracuda on charcoal, Grilled Barracuda with green chili pepper, Sweet and sour soup with Barracuda, Braised Barracuda with fermented greens, Barracuda cake, Barracuda salad, Braised Barracuda with turmeric, Dried Barracuda, etc. Followings are the most popular dishes from Phu Quoc Barracuda.

3. Fried rice with ocean crab

Main ingredients for Fried rice with ocean crab (Com chien ghe) are rice, ocean crab, egg, veggies (tomato, cucumber, coriander), fish sauce. To cook Fried rice with ocean crab, choose alive ocean crabs, prepare and boil them, get the flesh out of the shells and shred them into small pieces. Then stir-fry steamed rice, the ocean crab flesh, thinly sliced onion, egg, cubed carrot, chopped green onion.

Phu Quoc fried rice with ocean crab is decorated with chili pepper flowers and coriander. It is served with vegetables including cucumber, tomato, and coriander and sweet-sour fish sauce dip. The dish looks colorful with yellow rice seeds, white and orange ocean crab flesh, red chili pepper, green veggies, reddish-brown fish sauce dip. A portion of fried rice with ocean crab is served as a meal which can fulfill your empty stomach, satisfy your taste, provide energy, vitamins, and minerals.

4. Triangular prism glutinous rice cake with finger palm

Triangular prism glutinous rice cake with finger palm (Banh tet mat cat) in Phu Quoc is triangular prism-shaped and wrapped in finger palm leaves. Finger palm leaf enhances the flavor of the crust and makes it different from others of its kind. Finger palm leaf is not as wide as banana leaf or Phrynium placentarium leaf so that it needs skillfulness and experience to wrap the cake.

Made from glutinous rice and katuk leaf juice, the crust is green, greasy and sweet-tasty exclusively. The buttery and tender filling is made from mung bean paste and pork belly. To eat, cut the cake into reuleaux triangles, peel off the wrap, then eat with your fingers or spoon, chopsticks. The perfect mix of the sticky crust and the tender, buttery filling of the cake satisfy most of the people.

5. Bitter bolete

Bitter bolete is rich in nutrition and tasty so that it is used as a favorite ingredient to cook a wide range of flavorful dishes. The harvesting season of bitter bolete is from March to April in the lunar calendar. Bitter bolete has a bitter taste so that it needs to be prepared before cooking. Raw bitter bolete should be washed, soaked in salt water, boiled for a few times, wash again with cold water. Now the fungus is less bitter and ready for cooking. Some local people like the bitter taste of the fungus so that they only boil it once. They also freeze the fungus or dry it to store for a long time. Bitter bolete can be used to cook porridge, soups with chicken or seafood or sweet potato leaf, stir-fried, etc.

Food Specialties of Kien Giang – Part 2

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