“Vietnamese Cuisine is Loved by Travel Blogger for its Uniqueness”

When it comes to Vietnamese cuisine, many tourists are familiar with popular dishes like Pho, Bun Cha and Banh Mi. But, lesser-known fare with delightful flavors and unique appearances can be discovered all over the country. One of which is Vietnamese fried sea urchins.

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Recently, an Indian travel blogger known as Our Collection uploaded a video clip sharing his experience with Vietnamese street food that attracts more than millions of views. Among the dishes that he introduced, there is one dish that draws people’s attention for its strange-looking shape and uniqueness, which is called fried sea urchin.

An unusual but delicious Vietnamese street dish

Photo: Dien may XANH
Photo: Dien may XANH

In his post, the Indian travel blogger shared that he had a chance to try a portion of “one-of-a-kind” street food in Ho Chi Minh City that is sold in Ho Thi Ky night market. Sea urchin has an ugly shape, but it is one of the best Vietnamese food which is eaten frequently in the middle of the nation. These dishes from sea urchins are not only delicious but also really good for health.

A sea urchin is a type of mollusk that lives in one group. It can be found in the rocks and near the moss in the middle sea. From the early summer to late autumn, it is time for sea urchins to reproduce, so the fishermen usually catch them at this time. There are many types of urchins, but the black sphere-shaped one the size of an orange is the best.

Photo: Cang Hai San
Photo: Cang Hai San

According to research, sea urchin is a delicious and nutritional food that brings a lot of benefits to people’s health. Besides, these creatures are abundant in Vietnam’s sea areas. However, Phu Quoc sea urchin is said to have a yellow fat layer, which makes the dish more appetizing.

In the clip shared by the travel blogger, after taking the sea urchin, which has been refrigerated in a styrofoam box with ice, the seller will use a gas torch to pre-cook the inner layer of fat, then crack an egg on top of it before grilling it on a charcoal stove.

Photo: Viet Giai Tri
Photo: Viet Giai Tri

When the egg and the fat are cooked, they will add the sauce on top, along with a part of the dipping fish sauce. What makes this food interesting is that the urchin shell, which is shaped like a bowl, will be used to store the food without having to pour it into a bowl or plate.

Each serving has a prize of VND50.000 (US$2.11) and is prayed for its juicy, delicious, and fatty flavors.

Photo: go2joy.vn
Photo: go2joy.vn

The clip introducing this street dish has gone viral with more than millions of views, and thousands of likes and comments of netizens.

A lot of Vietnamese followers said it was the first time they have ever heard of this unique dish before, and they are deeply intrigued by its appearance and taste.

Other must-try sea urchin dishes in Phu Quoc

When traveling to Phu Quoc, aside from tasting the most traditional foods here such as Bun Quay (Stirring rice noodles), Banh Canh (fish cake thick rice noodle soups), Hai Sam, or Ca Mu Nuong Moi, tourists can also try the mouth-watering dishes made from the sea urchin. This dish can be eaten with mustard, grilled with onions, or cooked with porridge, which brings a lot of nutritional value to people’s health.

Sea urchin porridge

Photo: Vietnamnet
Photo: Vietnamnet

The porridge is finely cooked from the delicious rice, and the flesh of sea urchins, scallops, shrimp or crabmeat, and green onions are added. To enhance the flavor of the dish, the cook will add ginger to the porridge, sprinkle a little pepper, and fry onions on top. Some cooks even add egg yolks so that diners can mix the egg yolks with the porridge when it is still hot.

Sea urchins with lemons

Photo: MIA.vn
Photo: MIA.vn

This can be considered as a dish that helps keep the most natural flavor of the sea. After being cut in half, it will reveal the juicy yellow flesh inside. Diners can squeeze some lemon juice, add some mustard then scoop each spoonful of sea urchin meat to enjoy it. This is a dish that is loved by the fishermen.

Charlotte Pho