U Minh – a district in Ca Mau province, South Vietnam is famous for mangrove forests. Mother Nature gives U Minh people a large number of fishes and wild vegetables. Local people have created a wide range of delicious and distinctive dishes such as Sweet soup with young bee, Fermented mouse, Dried mouse, Ta pi lu hot pot. Fermented fish hot pot with wild vegetables or Lau mam rau rung is one of specialty food of U Minh. The broth of fermented fish hot pot in U Minh is cooked from Fermented snakeskin gourami (Mam ca sac). Although some foreigners are familiar with taste and smell of Vietnamese fermented fishes, the broth cooked from Mam ca sac is very rich and fragrant.
Other ingredients such as fishes, seafood, meat, and vegetables are washed, drain off and served with a pot with the broth on a stove. Dinners cook the above ingredients at their tables while eating. They usually use chopsticks to put fishes (or seafood, meat, vegetables) at their wish into the pot, cover the pot, then wait until the foods are ready to eat. Dinners can dip cooked foods in special fish sauce (with chili pepper) to enhance the flavors.
In U Minh, Fermented fish hot pot is served with rice noodles, many types of fresh fishes (snakeskin gourami, snakehead, tilapia which live in rice fields, rivers, swamps, and lakes), a wide range of vegetables (tomato, water lily stems, okra, polypody plant young shoot, centella, passiflora foetida young shoots, ludwigia prostrata). The viscous polypody plant young shoot which is considered as the king of all vegetables in South Vietnam is the soul of U Minh fermented fish hot pot. The dish has five tastes: salt, sweet, sour, hot, bitter. The comfortable, flavorful and healthy Lau mam rau rung from U Minh can satisfy those hard to please.
Eating Saigon is a great thing to do on your trip. How to eat the city to its fullest? It is easy to eat at fine dining restaurants which are for rich people and tourists. However, the real Saigon is at local restaurants which are favorite places of many Saigon people. Reaching the local restaurants outside of District 1 sometimes is difficult for foreigners. A Saigon Food Tour is a great choice to immerse into the city life, enjoy all the exotic foods with your tour guides as friends.