Visit Kon Tum to try ant-fish salad – exclusive dish of Ro Mam ethnic

Ant-fish salad of Ro Mam, one of the five smallest ethnic minority groups in Vietnam, has been going on for hundreds of years.

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The name makes many want to retreat, but only need to try it once, and it isn’t that bad at all.

Today, there are only 160 families totaling 460 Ro Mam people living in Le village in Mo Rai commune, Sa Thay district, Kon Tum province.

As an ancient ethnic group long living in the jungle, the Ro Mam have numerous bizarre foods that very few non-locals could love.

However, ant-fish salad is the most peculiar, mostly terrifying dish of Ro Mam people that is worth for tourists to give a try when they travel to Kon Tum.

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“When it comes to Ro Mam people, this extraordinary ant salad is a must-try. This food may first sound creepy and look dare-not-to-eat. Still, once tasted, it will definitely be enchanting, very hygienic and safe,” said a local tour guide.

The fish may not too big, with a size of three fingers, is cleaned, chopped, and removed the water inside the meat. 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, 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 spicy of the pepper and chili.

 

According to Ro Mam people, this dish used to be usual food. However, it has now become a specialty and is only prepared for holidays or when having guests over.

How to prepare fish-ant salad:

Visit Kon Tum to try ant-fish salad - exclusive dish of Ro Mam ethnic
Fresh fish is refined and minced

Visit Kon Tum to try ant-fish salad - exclusive dish of Ro Mam ethnic
Minced fish mixed with herbs…
Visit Kon Tum to try ant-fish salad - exclusive dish of Ro Mam ethnic
… and then with ant. The mixture is left for around 30 minutes

Visit Kon Tum to try ant-fish salad - exclusive dish of Ro Mam ethnic
It is then squeezed
Visit Kon Tum to try ant-fish salad - exclusive dish of Ro Mam ethnic
Meat or fish are both fine for mixing with ant

Visit Kon Tum to try ant-fish salad - exclusive dish of Ro Mam ethnic
Fish-ant salad is better served with acrid herbs.
Visit Kon Tum to try ant-fish salad - exclusive dish of Ro Mam ethnic
Visit Kon Tum to try ant-fish salad - exclusive dish of Ro Mam ethnic
Visit Kon Tum to try ant-fish salad - exclusive dish of Ro Mam ethnic

Photo: Dan Tri

Tu Linh