1. Chuot Dong – Rice Rat meat and Coconut Rat meat
Yes, rats. Not cute little white mice, but at least we don’t talk about those running rampant on the cities. These rats are those that run around the rice paddies in the countryside. Farmers trap them, skin them off to get their white body Then marinate the meat with lemongrass and hot chilly with salt and barbecue it. Rat meat is an ingredient used in more than 30 different dishes. Vietnamese grill it, steam it, serve it with lemon leaves or stir-fry it with garlic and onions. Rat has its own particular flavor, more akin to game meat, like rabbit or venison. The meat is white, dense, almost sweet, but you have to chew around many small bones, similar to eating frog….Notice: We do the same with Coconut rat meat…. and Coconut rat meat is the BEST one as they are so clean and eat and drink coconut water/meat all their life…. Hence, their hair is very oily that’s how to distinguish them with rice rat.Famers in M Mekong delta is encouraged to hand the rat’s tails to local authority (Rural development office in the every villages) for bounty.
2. Duong Dua – Coconut Worms
This exotic food will take your culinary experiences to the next level! In the Mekong Delta, eating live coconut worms is a delicacy. Oh, you can have fried, dried or boiled worms, served with glutinous rice. But if you are feeling adventurous, do like the Vietnamese and eat them alive and raw.The worms are as big as an adult thumb, and yes, they will wiggle around when you pick them up with your chopsticks or fingers. You should avoid biting the head and just eat the body of the worm, after having dipped it in the classic Vietnamese nuoc mam, the chili fish sauce. If you do not like fish sauce, you are still not getting out of that easily. Connoisseurs dip the worm in beer instead. Now the worm itself is fat and juicy and its texture is similar to raw salmon. It is very flavorful and as far from chicken as anything can be..
3. De Chien – Fried Cricket
Of course, we have to talk about eating insects when we talk about strange food. You will find restaurants in Mekong Delta that sells all kinds of insects to eat, from scorpions to grasshoppers. But the favorite exotic food of the Vietnamese people is the fried white cricket. The insects are roasted in hot oil, along with chopped pork and lemon leaves. The taste of the cricket is similar to prawns or crab, but crunchier. It’s a great source of protein, fat, and vitamins. It is also believed that eating crickets can cure rheumatism and obesity.
4. Ran Ho Mang : King Cobra Snake
Being a tropical region Mekong Delta has a wide range of reptiles, especially the snakes. such as King Cobra snake, Onion snake, fresh water snakes (non poisonous) horse’s striped snake, water lily snake………..However, the snakes used for foods in Vietnam are King Cobra snake and Onion Cobra snake..We can make many different dishes such as:
1. Taking King’s cobra snake blood to mix with local rice liquor. Chill the bottle then shaking it before your drink as aphrodisiac (Vietnamese blue pill without side effect)
2. Taking their skin and bone to fry them crunchy
3.Salad snake meat with onion
4. chopping meat in small peaces to fry with lemongrass and chilly
5. BBQ meat in Lalot -betel leaves.
6. Cooking the last with rice porridge in Lemongrass
7. Fried internal organs – guts, with baby bamboo shoots
Notice: However, the image of the chief using the knife to kill the snake may be quite scary. Furthermore, the blood smell of the snake and the taste of wine is an unpleasant combination. Those are still big hindrances for the foreigners when trying this dish… You can try if you dare….. very small portion that’s why we have to eat with something else .. You never get full to try all snake meat….
5. Hot Vit Lon: Balut ( embryo duck’s eggs)
The balut is a simple duck egg, served in a small cup and eaten with a spoon. You might think “well I eat eggs for breakfast all the time.” Yes, of course, but… The balut is a fertilized egg with a gestation period of 20 days. That means the bird’s embryo is almost nearly formed inside. Yes, you will find sometimes little feathers, legs, brain, and the beak too. The locals eat this Vietnamese dish as a midnight snack, usually after an evening of drinking. The egg is boiled for about 5 minutes and served with laksa leaves and a little dip consisting of salt mixed with black pepper in lime juice. It is strangely delicious once you get past the “I’m eating a little bird”
6. Tiet Canh Vit Xiem – Siam duck Blood Pudding
The blood pudding is exactly what its name implies: it’s made with the blood of an animal, usually a duck or a pig, but also goose, goat, and even snake. The blood is mixed with fish sauce and salt water to prevent coagulation. Chopped innards of the animal and some of its meat will then be roasted with peanuts and herbs like lemon, mint, coriander, and pepper, along with spicy chili. This mix is added to the blood, forming a layer on top. When it is served, the blood feels just like jello, but the dish looks like a pizza, with toppings on top. The pudding will taste a little sweet, and you should swallow directly instead of chewing it.
7. Sam – Horseshoes Crab
07 provinces in Mekong delta have its shores with muddy water… muddy beach then…As one of the special dish, horseshoe crab is greatly favored by both domestic and international tourists. In general, the meat of Sam may be used to make many different dishes, such as crab salad, pudding crab, crab sauté with lemongrass and peppers, sweet and sour crab legs, fried crab, steamed crabs, fried eggs and crab, stir-fried crab and glass noodle, and so forth. The list still goes on. Ensure to savor this food right after you set foot in the bay as it is always fresher and more wonderful than anywhere else!