Vietnam Time

5/13/2019 7:54:24 AM

5 unique and unusual foods in Ca Mau

Ca Mau (Cà Mau) is located in the Mekong Delta of southern Vietnam, and is the southernmost of Vietnam’s 58 provinces. The province is also the home of the famous U Minh Ha forest. In the end of Vietnam, the culinary in the area is very similar to its extraordinary neighbors yet there are more to be tried.

1.Ba Khia

Rice porridge with ba khía is among the popular dishes in the Mekong Delta. (Photo: Chuc Ly)

The wetland-dwelling ba khía (three-striped crab) is most popular in the southern coastal provinces of Bac Lieu and Ca Mau where locals consider the creature a familiar delicacy.

For generations, the crab has been preserved and eaten year-round as a salty addition to most meals. These days, however, urban cooks are coming up with new and interesting takes on the once-simple delicacy.

Ba khía are easily identified by their purplish pincers and eight "furry" legs. Their underbellies are typically ruddy and their flavorful insides are either orange or grey.

The ba khía are typically found in brackish coastal mangrove forests. The striped crustaceans typically hide out in these forests all day but come out to feed at night.

Prior to the harvest season, coastal farming communities typically hold a weekend festival centered entirely around the tasty treat.

During the feast holiday (which typically falls in the tenth month of the lunar calendar), members of the community wait for nightfall, when the small crabs crawl out of their burrows to feed on the outlying branches.

The hunters harvest the ba khía by vigorously shaking the trees. Children scurry around the trees filling buckets with the falling creatures. Wives are ready to begin preparing them the minute they're caught.

Some of the crabs are cleaned and steamed on the spot. But the majority are cleaned, salted and preserved for lean time. They are soaked in salt water for seven days. After a week of fermentation the tiny creatures will reliably keep fresh for an entire year.

The crabs are often eaten alone, over plain rice.

At other times, they're shredded and sprinkled with lime, chili, garlic and sugar. The dish is typically eaten with fresh vegetables, herbs and rice.

2.Mam tom

Ca Mau shrimp paste - a special food and is almost indispensable to people in Ca Mau. (Photo: Chuc Ly)

Shrimp paste is one of special food and available in almost of Ca Mau family. This sauce is very popular and especially in Lunar New Year, almost of Ca Mau family have 1 bottle of delicious and stunning shrimp paste for treatment. With fresh red of shrimp, mix a little crunchy papaya, a bit of the sting of chilli and ginger, plus a slightly sour taste forming a very unique flavor of Ca Mau shrimp paste.

For processed delicious shrimp paste, choose silver or soil shrimp (prawns), not too big nor too small but it is alive. Before processing, shrimp are washed, soaked in diluted salt water for 10 minutes. Picked up for the drain, peeling off heads and roes. Then rinse thoroughly with water, use white wine and continue to rinse again. Rinse until the water is clear and pick up to dry. This stage is important because it will help eliminate fishy smell of shrimp. The next step is marinated garlic and chilli for shrimp, add 30ml of white wine, mix well and taken about 30 minutes under sun exposure. Then, put shrimp with garlic, chilli, ginger, galangal sliced into bottle and put sauce with sugar that boiled, let cool until approximately. On the top, use some guava leaf or gooseberry lead to avoid moldy and black. Finally, close tightly and dry shrimp paste for about 5 - 7 days in the sun. Then the shrimp paste will turn red look very beautiful and edible. For as long as the sour shrimp paste. Thus, if left standing, it should be storaged in cool of refrigerator.

Shrimp paste can be eaten with boiled meat, papaya salad, fish dots or boiled rice batches, can eat with rice or noodles are delicious. In particular, the Ca Mau shrimp paste becomes delicious to sip a few glasses of wine in New Year.

3.Tom tich

Mantis shrimp (Tôm tích) is a special gift from Mother Ocean to Ca Mau people and travelers coming to Ca Mau. Mantis shrimp usually lives, resides in a marine environment, unpolluted, sediment-rich, such as deep rivers, coastal. Mantis shrimp is one of the special dishes with high economic value and high nutrient content.

It is called mantis shrimp because it looks like both mantis and shrimp. Its legs are similar to mantis’s leg which help it to hunt and fight.

Local people row boats, sampan to the mouth of the sea to catch mantis shrimps. It is easy to buy this kind of shrimp at many markets or order mantis shrimp dishes at most of the local restaurants in Ca Mau. However, it is better to come to Song Doc, Da Bac, Khai Long, Dat Mui, Nam Can to enjoy delicious dishes from fresh mantis shrimps which have just been caught from the sea while sightseeing immense forests and sea.

The simplest and quickest way to eat mantis shrimp is that boiling it, dipping in a mix of salt, ground black pepper, lime juice and eating with aromatic herbs. Other more difficult recipes are Steamed mantis shrimp with beer, Steamed mantis shrimp with coconut water, Steamed mantis shrimp with lemongrass, Grilled mantis shrimp, Stir-fried mantis shrimp with garlic.

Ca Mau is the kingdom of dry foods from fish, seafood, buffalo, beef. They make dry mantis shrimp to store it longer. Grilled dry mantis shrimp is attractively smelling, crunchy and sweet-salty. Dishes from mantis shrimp and dry mantis shrimp pair well with beer/wine. If you have a chance to visit Da Bac, Khai Long beach, Mui Ca Mau – the southernmost point of Vietnam, do not taste and buy some dry mantis shrimp to bring home.

4. Ca thoi loi

Ca Mau province in Mekong Delta region of Vietnam is famous for giant mudskipper which has become a favorite food of many people. It can grow to a length of 27 centimeters, occurs in marine, brackish and fresh waters. It is most frequently found along muddy shores in estuaries as well as in the tidal zones of rivers. It lives in a burrow in the mud and emerges from the burrow at low tide on sunny days. It can move quickly across a muddy surface and is capable of breathing both in and out of the water. It can also climb trees. Giant mudskipper eats fiddler crabs, shrimp, and smaller fishes.

Mudskippers are a characteristic fish of the mangrove areas. Not only jump out of the mud, the people here also named it tree-climbing fish. This type of fish has a peculiar shape, yet its meat is sweet and soft.

The mudskippers don’t have fat in it, so in order to keep the moisture of the dish, a thin layer of oil is usually painted outside of the fish’s skin. The locals usually use coals to grill the fish so that the fish has a natural smell. Tourists can enjoy the tasty dish of mudskippers in ecotourism resort Cape Land (Đất Mũi.)

5. Dia Sam





Dia sam.

Dia sam (or sa sung) also known as peanut worms, are usually 15cm in length. Dia sam are not only good for your health, often used in traditional medicines, but are also believed to act as a natural Viagra.

People have over time dug up the roots of the black mangrove trees to collect peanut worms in Ben Tre, Bac Lieu and Ca Mau Provinces.

In here, you can eat dishes such as peanut worms roasted chili salt, peanut worms dipped soy sauce./.

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