Phan Thiet is not famous for sand hills and beautiful beaches but also delicious specialty foods. Dishes from butterfly lizard are must-foods which travelers should not miss when traveling to this city. Its ugly looking can scare some people, especially women and children. However, dishes from butterfly lizard are really delicious thanks to the sweet-tasty, a little chewy, tender smelling white meat.
In Phan Thiet, butterfly lizards live in caves in the sand. In the early morning, they go out to eat buds and drink dew. They like vegetables, fruits, especially tomato. Butterfly lizards can live without water for a long time so it is called the king on sand hills. Its meat tastes like chicken but sweeter, more buttery and tender than chicken. Butterfly lizard skin is crunchy, its bones are tender and crunchy.
Local people can catch butterfly lizards during the year. However, a large number of butterfly lizards appearing in the rainy season from March to May of the Lunar calendar. There are many methods of catching butterfly lizard: digging, setting traps, using nets, blowing, etc. After catching a lizard, they break its backbone so that it could not struggle.
From butterfly lizard, they can make various flavorful dishes such as Grilled butterfly lizard with salt and chili, Roasted butterfly lizard, Ground butterfly lizard with sesame rice cracker, Porridge with butterfly lizard, Grilled butterfly lizard in wild betel, Fried butterfly lizard roll, Butterfly lizard salad.
Grilled butterfly lizard is the easiest and the most popular in Phan Thiet. Choose big and firm butterfly lizards which weighs about 300 grams. Peel the skin, marinate lizards with salt, chili and sautee for about 15 minutes, then grill on charcoal until its meat turns firmer, yellow and fragrant. This dish goes well with beer or wine.
Grilled butterfly lizard – one of the best dishes from butterfly lizard
Butterfly lizard salad attracts local people and visitors with its outstanding and strange taste. Whole butterfly lizards are minced, stir-fried with green ambarella or green mango strips, herbs, crushed peanuts, dressing from fish sauce and smelling and a little tart “xao dong” leaves which are plugged on cliffs. The salad is eaten with Sesame rice cracker (Bánh tráng mè). Butterfly lizard salad pairs perfectly with Sesame rice cracker, it can make diner eat more and more.
Porridge with butterfly lizard is a comfort and healthy dish which can fulfill and warm your empty stomach after a long working day or a traveling day. To make this porridge, butterfly lizard including meat and bones are minced, stir-fried and cooked with rice and water. The dish is topped with chopped green onion and ground black pepper.
Fried butterfly lizard roll is similar to Vietnamese fried pork roll. Instead of pork, they use butterfly lizard to make the roll. Butterfly lizard meat is minced, mixed with onion, chili pepper, black pepper, pork fat, cooking oil, chopped wood ear. The mixture is wrapped in rice paper to make rolls which are the same size as a finger. The rolls are fried until crispy outside, tender inside and smelling. The rolls are serves right after cooking with steamed rice.
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