In ancient times, in order to offer the king, in addition to high nutritional value, the dishes must contain rare taste and wonderful flavors, even simple dishes such as vegetables, fish, sauce….
Anh vu fish
Anh vu fish (also known as Tien Vua fish), according to the Dai Viet Su Luoc – history book (written in the 14th century) and the Dai Viet Su Ky Toan Thu – history book written in the 15th century), the third Hung King, named Hung Quoc Vuong, a fishing man caught in the Lo River a strange fish, green scales on back, white scales on belly, red fins, mouth like pig’s mouth.
Feeling strange, this man brought the fish to the king. When eating, the king found this fish meat is sweet, more fragrant than any other fish, when finished the king felt clear mind and comfortable as a tonic. The king said that this was a rare species of fish, from then on; people who have caught such fishes have to offer the king.
This fish has thick body, tapering toward the tail with two pairs of whisker. The fish body is gray color, pale yellow belly. This fish has lower mouth, with triangular broad lips, with many spines. Scales of this fish are straight and not as much as other fish.
Anh Vu only eat algae and live in clear water, in deep caves and when water cold they come out to find food. Therefore, it is a feat to catch an anh vu fish. In the cold season, the season of anh vu fish come out, many fishermen have to drink fish sauce, hold their breath and dive to catch anh vu fish. Many fishermen say the fish is rare, but to catch that fish sometime is the exchange of life.
Culinary expert highly appreciate anh vu fish’s meat: white, tasty and delicious than any other fish in the river. In Anh Vu fish, the best part is the cartilage of lip. The cartilage is not only very crispy, but also can treat many diseases.
Ha Yen tiny shrimp paste (mam tep Ha Yen)
This is a unique and rare specialty in the lowlands of Thanh area, in which the most famous places are two villages Dinh Trung and Yen Xa in Ha Yen commune, Ha Trung district. The work of making tiny shrimp paste requires in special season, when tiny shrimp is good and fat. People choose only tiny shrimp to make sauce. The tiny shrimp paste,longer more delicious, better three months or more.
Previously, in order to make tiny shrimp paste for the king, the dignitaries in the village have to choose the experienced people to catch tiny shrimp.And the group had to go to the Gia Gia river in the village of Co Dam (the current is Bim Son) catch type of tiny shrimp with transparent body live in the bundle of many algae, only this type of shrimp offer delicious broth. For other kind of shrimp has the white opaque body is for normal people use only.
Tiny shrimp must be selected carefully; no impurities can be brought into salt water. The added ingredients are small roasted rice powder, pounding into small power, to get the smooth powder. White salt must also be roasted thoroughly. The jar for containing is a small neck jar and has been used many times, if people put shrimp into the new jar, the tiny shrimp paste is reduced the quality very much. Put washed tiny shrimp into the basin of water, add salt, roasted rice powder, and put into the jar.
Ancient people use paper to seal the mouth of jar. How to do it carefully, every layer of paper was covered with a plastic lime layer, made many times very tight and thick, write the day on the top of jar, leave overnight and do incubation in the kitchen, next to the straw kitchen. About five months to half a year, tiny shrimp paste is well done and can be used. When finishing, the sauce rises up, people just filter sauce through clean cotton, will be excellent sauce.
Sen Chieu water morning glory
It is said that the king passed through this land was the people offered specialties of water morning glory. Colors and savor were rustic but the harmonious taste from this rustic dish has attracted the senses of the king. Since then, according to the annual charter, the people here picked vegetables as supplies to the king. Therefore, water morning glory in Linh Chieu became famous as food for king.
The way to grow water morning glory is very complicated; this kind of vegetable cannot withstand the harsh weather as other types. Each tops of vegetables must be apart from each other up to 40 cm, the distance of normal water morning glory is about 15 cm enough. Water morning glory on this soil has a special taste because it is grown in the area of clean water and fertile alluvial soil from the Red River. Water morning glory are white, turn to light green after boiled, taste is sweet. If frying with grease, add a few slices of crushed garlic, the vegetables have a very specific taste. Even better is the salad of water morning glory with crunchy vegetables.