Dong Thap province is not only famous for beautiful immense lotus fields but also sweet and lightly sour, tender, crunchy, chewy Lai Vung fermented pork (Nem chua Lai Vung) which attracts most of the people at all ages. Along National Highway 1 in Dong Thap, you can see many shops with bunches of nice green cubic Nem chua Lai Vung. Coming to Dong Thap, do not miss tasting some delicious Nem chua Lai Vung and buy a few bunches of them to bring home as an amazing gift for your family or friend.
Fermented pork is a favorite food of Vietnamese people. There are various fermented pork recipes in the country. Phung fermented pork in Hanoi capital of Vietnam, Giao Thuy fermented pork in Nam Dinh province of Northern Vietnam, Thanh Hoa fermented pork in Thanh Hoa province of North Vietnam, Dong Ba fermented pork in Thua Thien – Hue province of Central Vietnam are famous fermented pork in Vietnam. What makes Lai Vung fermented pork in Dong Thap different from the others?
The first fermented pork was made by Mrs. Tu Man who lived in Tan Khanh hamlet, Tan Thanh commune, Lai Vung district, Dong Thap province. Initially, Mrs. Tu Man made the Nem chua for her family, then local people ordered the food for parties. Falling in love with the Nem chua, local people learn to make it. Since then, the fame of food has spread to other provinces in the country.
Main ingredients for Nem chua Lai Vung are lean pork, pork skin, Erythrina orientalis leaf (or Otaheite gooseberry leaf), banana leaf. The ratio of lean pork to pork skin is 4:1. Pork skin is shredded, lean pork is ground. Mix the lean pork, pork skin, black pepper, chili pepper. Form the mixture into square pieces. Cover each piece with Erythrina orientalis leaves (or Otaheite gooseberry leaves). Wrap the piece in banana leaves and use banana barks to tie it. Finally, the cook should be experienced and skillful enough to make the fermented pork cubic. Leave the cubes for 3-4 days, the fermented pork is ready. The leaves are used not only to wrap the food but also to enhance its flavor and smell. Erythrina orientalis leaf (or Otaheite gooseberry leaf) is one of the ingredients which make
Unwrap the banana leaves, the shining pink-red fermented pork piece attracts you at the first look. Its typical smell spreads in the air. When eating, you can feel the sweet, sour, salt, hot tastes at the same time. The perfect blend of tender meat and crunchy skin makes the food outstandingly tasty. Nem chua Lai Vung can be eaten raw as a snack or served with steamed rice, rice noodles or plain bread.
A Vietnamese folk song says:
“Lai Vung là xứ lạ lùng
Nem chua mà ngọt, thơm lừng mà say…”
(“Lai Vung is a strange land
The fermented pork is sour but sweet, smelling but drunk…”
Read more about What to eat in Dong Thap?
The mixture is divided into small pieces which will be wrapped in Erythrina orientalis leaf and banana leaf
Lai Vung fermented pork is wrapped into a square shape. They are tightened into bunches for selling
Pink Lai Vung fermented pork looks attractive