In Soc Trang province, besides delicious dishes from fresh meat, local people have dry meat to preserve the meat long-term. They make fish jerky, eel jerky, snake jerky, beef jerky, and buffalo jerky. One of the most famous specialty dry foods in Soc Trang is Thanh Tri buffalo jerky. A trip to Thanh Tri commune, Thanh Tri district, Soc Trang province could not be considered complete if traveler misses trying the distinctively tasty buffalo jerky.
Buffalo jerky has attracted lots of people for great taste thanks to sweet-tasty meat and rich nutrition. According to Chinese medicine, buffalo meat is cool, good for the health, good for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
To make smelling and flavorful dry buffalo, the maker must choose buffalo back leg, remove tendon, slice the meat parallel with the grain, marinate buffalo slices with minced lemongrass, salt, sugar, garlic, chili pepper, etc. for half day, then dry under the sun or in drying oven. The dry buffalo jerky must be thin, have the smell of lemongrass and typical smell of buffalo. One kilogram of buffalo jerky is made from three kilograms of buffalo meat, so that price of the jerky is three times higher than the meat.
There are many methods to eat Thanh Tri buffalo jerky, the most popular method is grilling. Firstly, the jerky is soaked in water, leave the soaked jerky for 5-10 minute, grill 2 sides of the jerky on charcoal until hearing explosive sounds. After grilling the buffalo jerky turns smelling and well-done. Use a pestle or a knife handle to beat the grilled jerky in order to make the grain more tender and easier to chew. Then tear the jerky into strips and dip in tamarind fish sauce dip. The viscous sweet-sour sauce made from tamarind, fish sauce, sugar, salt, lemongrass, chili pepper is perfectly suitable for this dry food. Other prefer sour and hot fermented steamed rice broth.
Thanh Tri buffalo jerky is also used to cook amazingly delicious Buffalo jerky salad made by mixing shredded buffalo jerky, sliced papaya (or julienned papaya), vinegar, chili pepper, sugar, Vietnamese mint, crushed peanuts. The salad is better to serve with shallot pickle and beer.