As a part of Mekong Delta, Ben Tre, like most of the provinces in this area provide rice not only to the entire nation but also to export to the world trade. However, there are so much more to discover the fascinating about this culinary land.
Dishes that introduced here are having the same thing in common. They are all stewed. They are loved by many people, and in different areas, there are different ways to cook them. But like its neighbor where coconut is a very important part of life, it is also an important part in any Southern stewed good taste.
Cua đồng kho dừa sả (Stewed field crab with coconut and lemongrass)
The special about the crab is that this type of crab isn’t from the sea. This is a fresh water crab that isn’t raised but grown natural on the vast rice fields of the Mekong Delta. After washing the mud, removing the shells, the crab is crushed, extracted essences. These essences will be boiled with the coconut juice until the curd appeared so that the curd can be removed.
Added into the mixture minced lemongrass, a few slice of chilly, and then seasoned and stewed it in small fire. The final dish serves with rice will have the smell of lemongrass in the air but the special taste of the coconut and the sweetness of the crab will linger for a very long time.
Thịt heo kho (Stewed Pork)
The most common and also the most tasteful dishes in the Vietnamese culinary extensive arsenals. The pork can be stewed with snakehead fish, or most of any fresh water fish, eggs, or tofu depends on the person. In order to have the best stewed pork, the lean part must be taken from the shoulder.
Tôm kho (stewed shrimps)
Cleaned the shrimps then marinated them with ingredients so they can be completely soaked. Keep the heads of the shrimps to fry with garlic and onions. Poured the coconut juice into the pan, boiled the juice until the mixture looks smooth then added into juice the red part of the egg in small fire. You can add the minced coconut meat to increase the sweetness. Stewed shrimps usually serve with plain rice so that the taste of the shrimps won’t be mixed with any other flavors but still keep you full.
Cá đồng kho (Paddy field stewed fish)
To cook this type of food, first, the fish usually marinate and then being quick fried. This method will turn the color of the fish to yellow and tougher so that the fish won’t fall apart when stewed. Star fruit, ginger, lemongrass are situated in the bottom of the pot, then we put the fish right on top of the ingredients then we add more water. The fish should be stewed until the water is gone then we can pour the coconut juice in. The secret is to keep the fire small so the coconut flavor can soak into the fish. Stewed the mixture until the sauce has the texture of caramel then it is perfect.
Chuột kho dừa (mouse stewed with coconut)
Try it before you say “Ew.” Besides from the in-pot-grill paddy field mouse, the paddy field mouse stewed with coconut is also delicious. The mouse, grown on the paddy field, is eating only the rice. First, we seasoned the meat then fried it until it turn yellow, then we put the meat into the coconut mixture to stew. When the water dried, we pour the water two to three more times. After that, turn off the fire, put on some crushed fry peanuts. Before you say anything, take a shot and try out this new delicious rustic food that is served with basil and salad, salt pepper and lemon mixture. You will try it, and you will love it.
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