“Scary” specialties in Vietnam

In addition to famous dishes, Vietnam has unique dishes made from fresh and uncooked ingredients that "challenge" the sight and taste of many people, particularly foreigners.

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Jumping fish

This dish is popular among Thai families in the northern mountainous province Son La. The main ingredient is raw baby carp, which are as small as two fingers.

The fish must be alive. They are placed in clean salt water for 1-2 hours so that the fish can discharge all inside impurities.

The live fish is processed and eaten at the dining table.

Fish is mixed with spices. While tasting this cuisine, diners can still feel the fish “jumping” in their mouth. That’s why this dish is named “ca nhay” or jumping fish.

Đáng sợ loạt đặc sản ăn sống khiến khách Tây 'khóc thét' ở Việt Nam
Đáng sợ loạt đặc sản ăn sống khiến khách Tây 'khóc thét' ở Việt Nam
Đáng sợ loạt đặc sản ăn sống khiến khách Tây 'khóc thét' ở Việt Nam

Coconut worms

The coconut worm has long been considered a specialty food of the southern province of Ben Tre. Though they are harmful to coconuts, they are raw material for processing many aromatic, fatty and delicious dishes.

Every year, in the rainy season, may-bugs begin hollowing out coconut trees to lay eggs inside. When the eggs are hatched into larvae, the larvae begin to eat the coconut trees. Then the coconut larvae become very fat. People cut down the coconut trees to collect the worms.

The living worms are dropped into a bowl of alcohol. After the worms emit contaminants, they are washed and put into a bowl of chili fish sauce. The living worms are fat and fleshy, like an egg yolk.

Coconut worms are also processed into other dishes like fried butter worms, fried worms served with herbs, and others. But the most unique is coconut worms with sticky rice. Coconut worms are steamed in a sticky rice pot. When the steamed glutinous rice is done, the worms are also done. Sticky rice and coconut works are served together, making a very special flavor.

Đáng sợ loạt đặc sản ăn sống khiến khách Tây 'khóc thét' ở Việt Nam
Đáng sợ loạt đặc sản ăn sống khiến khách Tây 'khóc thét' ở Việt Nam
Đáng sợ loạt đặc sản ăn sống khiến khách Tây 'khóc thét' ở Việt Nam

Sea urchins

Sea urchins often live in groups in rocky cavities. They are available in the waters of provinces in central Vietnam such as Binh Dinh, Quang Ngai, Ninh Thuan, and Kien Giang.

 

Sea urchin is a delicious dish that many tourists love when coming to the central region.

There are two species of sea urchins, white and black. The white sea urchin is often used to cook delicious porridge, while the black sea urchin is an ingredient for salad.

Raw sea urchin salad is the most popular dish for diners because they are fresh and delicious.

Diners often squeeze lemon juice on raw sea urchin, then add a bit of spicy mustard to reduce the fishy taste.

Đáng sợ loạt đặc sản ăn sống khiến khách Tây 'khóc thét' ở Việt Nam
Đáng sợ loạt đặc sản ăn sống khiến khách Tây 'khóc thét' ở Việt Nam

Ant salad

This food may first sound creepy and look dare-not-to-eat. Still, once tasted, it will be enchanting, and very hygienic and safe.

The fish are not too big, with a size of three fingers. They are cleaned, chopped, and the water inside the meat is removed. The ant nest is a raw ant nest, sometime with eggs. Bringing back the nest and grinding it, the chef will add in some salt, green chili, and jungle pepper, with some burned rice flour to increase the flavor.

When eating, you can also use fig leaves to make a roll, which is more bite-sized, and enjoy the sweet of the fish, the fat of the ant, the spiciness of the pepper and chili.

Đáng sợ loạt đặc sản ăn sống khiến khách Tây 'khóc thét' ở Việt Nam

Đáng sợ loạt đặc sản ăn sống khiến khách Tây 'khóc thét' ở Việt Nam

Đáng sợ loạt đặc sản ăn sống khiến khách Tây 'khóc thét' ở Việt Nam

Compiled by Pha Le