Siamese mud carp cracker (Banh phong ca linh) is a famous starters or snacks. In An Giang province, they make a very special dish – Siamese mud carp cracker to gift to their valuable visitors or serve visitors at Tet festival. Plumpy, silver, fresh siamese mud carp are chosen and prepared (head, tail, guts are removed), well kneaded with egg white, wheat flour in a pounder, seasoninged with spices such as black pepper, garlic, onion, fish sauce, salt. Use leaves to wrap the mixture into a cylinder, put into a plastic bag, tie the bag carefully. Steam the mixture for 2 hours. Wait until it cools down, cut into thin circles, dry the circles under the sun for 4-5 days. The dry siamese mud carp crackers are stored to eat later. To eat, they fry the dry crackers in oil over high heat until they are crispy, airy, yellow and bigger. The crackers taste salty, buttery, greasy, a little hot and smell exclusive. The crackers melt in the mouth easy to dissolve.
12. Tri Ton beef porridge
Beef porridge in Tri Ton district, An Giang province is a comfort, healthy and flavorful dish. It is a good choice in the morning and evening. The porridge is cooked from rice beef, beef blood, beef organs (beef liver,beef lung, beef small intestine, beef bone marrow, beef tripe), palmyra fruit, kaffir lime. The rice should be “soc Khmer” which is smelling, sweet-tasty and sticky. The perfect mix of the salty, a little sour broth, tender thin lean beef slices, melting-in-the-mouth blood pudding and crunchy beef organs makes the dish very special. Hot dipping ginger fish sauce, juicy bean sprouts, aromatic herbs (culantra, heart leaf, basil), hot chili pepper, rice noodles (optional) could not be missed when eating this dish.
13. Palmyra sweet soup
Palmyra sweet soup is a specialty food and a favorite food of not only local people but also people in other regions of the country. The sweet soup is cooked from palmyra fruit flesh, palm sugar, tapioca starch, mung bean and coconut milk.
To make the palmyra sweet soup, cut off the fruits, peel the yellow skin of jelly seed sockets, cut the flesh into cubes. Peel mung bean, cook/steam until tender, mash/blend the cooked mung bean into a smooth paste. Cook coconut milk until boiling. Cook palm sugar and water until it reaches a level of sweetness the cook desires, add palmyra fruit flesh and cook until boiling. Mix tapioca starch with cold water, add to the sweet soup to thicken it. At last, add mung bean paste to the sweet soup, stir well. To serve, put some sweet soup into a bowl or glass, pour the cooked coconut milk into the bowl. It has been said to be more delicious to eat the sweet soup with some ice and nata de coco.
14. Bay Nui fried beetle
In Bay Nui region in An Giang province, a kind of beetle appears at the beginning of the rainy season.
To cook fried beetle dish, remove wings, legs, organs of beetle. Then wash with warm water mixed with some salt. To cook the famous Fried beetle, they marinate the beetles with sugar, ground black pepper, garlic for about 20 minutes, fry until crispy and smelling. Some prefer to fill the beetle stomach with a toasted peanut. The fried beetle with peanut looks plumpy, yellow, tastes crispy, greasy and smell great. The dish is served with veggies, tomato, cucumber, a mixture of salt, lime juice, ground black pepper.
Tan Chau district in An Giang province is famous for a very strange dish – Climbing mountain cow (Bo leo nui). Local people call the dish like that not because the cow is grown on mountains but because it is grilled on a special grill which looks like a mountain.
After ordering, customers will be served a plate of sliced marinated beef, a charcoal grill made of cast iron, rice paper, veggies (green banana), fermented tofu or Pro hok fermented fish. The beef is sliced more thickly and marinated with egg and secret spices. Before grilling, the marinated beef is covered with a thin layer of butter, a piece of pork fat is put onto the grill. The perfect mix of butter, pork fat and egg make the dish delicious and different from other grilled beef recipes. Tan Chau grilled beef is that it is always not hard and chewy but tender even it is grilled for a long time.