Unique flower dishes in Dalat
Jan 1st 2017.
Try to imagine various dishes made from the pansy, lotus, water lily, pumpkin flowers as well as other traditional dishes from artichoke bulbs, cabbage flowers, broccoli, white and purple cauliflower and dessert cooked from the attractive fragrance of roses, grapefruit flower, jasmine… these have given us a diverse feeling of multicolor overwhelmed with natural aroma that invigorates and sublimates our soul.
Towards the true value from natural aroma
Under the skillful hands of Dalat talented chefs, like Nguyen Huu Huong-head chef of Palace Hotel for over 10 years and currently head chef at Ana Mandara Hotel Dalat, dozensof high-classed dishes processed from artichoke bulbs were served to many international delegations to Dalat, many central delegations, many senior leaders, for instance, the late General Secretary Truong Chinh, the late Prime Minister Pham Van Dong, the late General Vo Nguyen Giap he has been received praises from the most difficult diners. With Huong, these are the sources of happiness of the cook.
Flower dishes eaten in the romantic and noble space of the city of thousand flowers surely provides tourists with a source of endless inspiration. According to Head Chef Nguyen Huu Huong- one of the first head chefs of Accor group that previously managed the 5-star Palace Hotel& Chairman of the professional chefs club shared: artichoke is actually a high-end dish of Dalat, for it contains such minerals as manganese, phosphor, iron, vitamins A, B1, B2, C Artichoke bulbs when cooked can improve people’s health, stimulate digestions, bring appetite to diners, beneficial to liver, cardiac and diuretic support, detoxify, increase secretion of milk for pregnant women(when stewed with pork leg) Artichoke is considered a”panacea” for liver disease because it cleans the toxins in the liver. Your skin is also dependent on strong or weak liver function, good or poor digestion. So enjoying dishes from fresh artichoke bulbs will improve your skin a lot. It makes your skin smoother and brighter due to liver cooling effect, discharge toxic waste, restrict acne and roughness.
Artichoke dish is said to be a high-class dish because of its high price during off-season(sometimes up to several hundred thousand VND kg). Each artichoke bulb when being priliminarily processed can only be taken out very little matter inside, so the cook must know how to improve the”value” of processed artichoke by creating”high- ranking”, eye-catching and appealing dish. The dishes prepared from artichoke ingredients may include traditional pork stew artichoke: Artichoke spring rolls, artichoke soup, artichoke grilled shrimp paste of European, Asian, Japanese or Indian style artichoke cake, artichoke tea, artichoke cream Particularly, a very strange dish rarely known in Dalat, i e., Artichoke sprouts dish stewed with beef marrow and bone, giving an excellent and nutritious soup. Artichoke sprouts are picked after each harvest, many artichoke sprouts grow but are not exploited, because our people often take bulbs and and artichoke plants, while this dish is very valuable
Head Chef Huong confirmed: Most of the dishes by international standard when processing must preserve the natural flavors of the dish. The chef should not mix too many spices which will lose their natural flavor ingredients. The current eating trend of the Vietnamese people is not only the delicious, nutritious food, but also aesthetics, arts including directions to the sophistication of the dishes through the perceived”true natural flavor of Dalat vegetables, tubers, fruit, flowers, being the natural products bestowed by nature.
Varied according to people’s emotions towards flowers
Mr Pop Ailen and Mr Nguyen Ba Hung are those who first operated the organic vegetable farms in Dalat with many flowers such as pensies, sweet lotus, slightly acrid, pungent Mexican daisy, as decorations and guests can eat them raw… dozens of years ago Head Chef Nguyen Huu Huong and many foreign colleagues freely”variated” dishes from the many flavors of flowers to produce dishes unforgettable to diners.
Pensies are liked by a lot of tourists but when becoming a dish they will give a unique” feeling from the attractive red, purple, pink, yellow, orange colors. The fragrant petals with a slightly spicy taste mixed with sweet taste processed by the chef to be a Pens salad with vinegar dressing creating a very pleasant taste.
Roses, lotus, grapefruit, jasmine seduce people by their mild aroma, and can be used to make dressing sauce for many special salads, or desserts from roses, dried roses, grapefruit flower tea, jasmine tea all are popular to tourists in most famous restaurants like Hotel Palace, Ana Mandara, Saigon-Dalat, Sammy, Hoang Anh Gia Lai…
Stuffed pumpkin flowers, stuffed fried shrimp, telosma cordata flowers fried with beef, dried telosma cordata flowers steamed with fish, fresh shrimp fried with daylily, or vegetarian dishes, soup, hot pot, daylily stuffed with cheese are very appealing. According to the experience of many chefs, with food ingredients from flowers, if insects can eat any flower species, then the flowers are edible. However, we should have the knowledge and ingenuity to create delicious dishes that do not affect human health.
Diners can also mingle with the different degrees of feeling from the herbs such as perilla, basil, coriander, dill with rich and diverse aroma, and especially medicinal herbs, good for human health. Currently, at Ana Mandara resort, people plant many types of herbs and organic vegetables to process vegetable dishes for their customers.
By Ha Nguyet