Coming to Dong Thap province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region with “white rice and clear water” and indigenous people, travelers will have a big chance to enjoy a lot of specialty foods which could not be found anywhere. Every year, flood season brings a large number of products to local people including the sweet-tasty Siamese mud carp, yellow Sesbania sesban flower. They have created an impressive hot pot recipe from these two ingredients which only are available in the flood season.
The flood season in Mekong Delta is from September to November. During this time, Beautiful natural ecological scenery, great fresh air, thousands of yellow booming Sesbania sesban flowers make the region one of the most attractive destinations in Vietnam. Sesbania sesban flower is not only beautiful but also delicious. It is used as a great ingredient for hot pots, Sweet and sour soup, Rice noodle soups, etc. Dong Thap people not only harvest Sesbania sesban flower but also have caught hundreds of Siamese mud carps which are as small as an index finger in the flood season. From this sweet-tasty and tender fish, they cook a wide range of flavorful dishes: Braised Siamese mud carp with Garcinia oblongifolia fruit, Fried Siamese mud carp with egg, Siamese mud carp in vinegar, Fried Siamese mud carp with wheat flour, Sweet and sour soup with Siamese mud carp. However, the Hot pot with Siamese mud carp and Sesbania sesban flower (Lau ca linh bong dien dien) is the most famous dish from this kind of fish. This hot pot is considered to be a “eat once, remember forever” dish.
The broth is the soul of the hot pot. The broth of Lau ca linh bong dien dien is the simplest and easiest to cook in comparison to other kinds of hot pots. Just pour some coconut water into the pot, add tamarind, spices (sugar, salt, and fish sauce, etc.) and cook until boiling. Finally, top the broth with coriander, deep-fried pork fat pieces, deep-fried garlic.
Freshly-caught Siamese mud carps are chosen to cook the hot pot. Remove the tail, organs of the fishes. Wash the fishes carefully, drain them off. Siamese mud carp has a small size, tender flesh, and not many bones. So that it takes a short time to cook and is a perfect ingredient to cook hot pot.
Local people cook the fishes and the flowers at the tables. Put Siamese mud carps into the boiling broth and wait until the fishes are tender and well-done. Poach Sesbania sesban flowers into the boiling broth so that they are rare. Diners should eat the fishes and flowers right after cooking to enjoy them at their best. This dish is usually served with steamed rice (or rice noodles) and fish sauce.
Hot pot with Siamese mud carp and Sesbania sesban flower is the perfect mix of the two ingredients which only are available in the flood season in Mekong Delta. This hot pot has become the pride of Dong Thap province as well as the entire Mekong Delta region. Do not miss this amazing dish on your trip in Dong Thap during the flood season.
Sesbania sesban flower
Sesbania sesban tree is full of flowers
Vietnamese children help their mother to prepare Sesbania sesban flower
Siamese mud carp is the key ingredient to this specialty hot pot
Hot pot with Siamese mud carp and Sesbania sesban flower