Cuttlefish Egg Cake

In Vietnam, a folk song says:

“Câu mực tuy cực mà vui

Khoái ăn trứng mực, lui cui câu hoài”

(“Fishing cuttlefish is hard but happy

Loving eating cuttlefish egg, keep fishing”)

From February to May, cuttlefishes have eggs. Buttery cuttlefish egg is a favorite food in Dat Mui, U Minh, Ca Mau province, Vietnam. Locals use cuttlefish eggs to make lots of flavorful dishes, including Cuttlefish Egg Cake which is a very unique dish. This cake is made right on the boat after catching cuttlefish to make sure the eggs are fresh and the cakes are delicious.

Cuttlefishes are caught at night and frozen in ice. The next morning, fishermen cut cuttlefishes to get eggs inside them. They must be careful so that gallbladders are not broken, the eggs are not bitter. Then they knead cuttlefish eggs with duck eggs, pork, pork liver and spices until the mix reaches a degree of smoothness and stickiness. After that, they form the mix into round pieces, dry them under the sun and put them into cold storage.

There are two common methods of cooking Cuttlefish Egg Cake: grilling and frying. After being cooking, Cuttlefish Egg Cake should be tender, crunchy inside and crispy outside. It is not only tasty but also fragrant. Grilled or fried Cuttlefish Egg Cakes are served with rice paper, vegetables, herbs and dipping “Nhi” fish sauce (or sauce from salt, ground black pepper, lemon juice). Just use a sheet of sticky rice paper to wrap a piece of Cuttlefish Egg Cakes, some fresh herbs and vegetables and eat with sauce.

This amazing food could not be found at Vietnamese restaurants like other famous Vietnamese dishes because fishermen do not sell Cuttlefish Eggs Cake. People in Dat Mui only serve this dish to valued visitors or send it to family members and friends as a gift.

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