Tra Vinh, a province of the Mekong Delta, is surrounded by two tributaries of the Tien and Hau rivers, thus providing fresh water for aquaculture in the area. In particular, shrimp and fish are the natural products that this land has more than the others. Thanks to the abundant raw materials, fish products also strongly develop, especially the sauce. Therefore, fish sauce making became popular among the local people here. Among the fish sauce in Tra Vinh, the most unique is the “Mam Bo Hoc” – Prahok. Plus to more information about this dish, the section of travel Tra Vinh experience would like to introduce to visitors and readers about Tra Vinh specialties – prahok and quach, a unique kind of fruit.
Characteristics of prahok – The iconic dish of Tra Vinh specialties
Braised beef (prahok or pro hoc) is a dish associated with the Khmer in Cambodia as well as the Khmer in the South for many generations. Hearing the name for the first time, many people keep thinking that the main ingredients of this dish must be beef. Actually, the beef sauce is processed quite elaborately from the freshwater fish in the river such as snakehead, snakeskin gourami, tilapia, and seabass. Although prahok is the folk food, it makes many visitors “brokenhearted” at the first time enjoy.
In the Cambodian border, the beef dish is divided into three different types when used. The name Prahok jien (means fried prahok) is a kind of raw fish sauce mixed with pork or beef and chili then fried. To enjoy this peculiar dish, we combine fried prahok with cucumber, eggplant or rice. A family meal with the fried fish sauce not only looks good but also tastes scrumptious. Moreover, people gathering around the circle to share everything about life while savoring this “heaven dish”. What could be better than that!
Those who like to eat prahok with meat, banana leaf and then grilled should choose Prahok gop or Prahok ang. There is also a kind of fish sauce or Prahok chow tastes very delicious and is pleasing many customers. When devouring, the gourmet use lemongrass, garden egg, chili and squeeze extra lemon juice to make the secret sauce.
Unique delicacies with beef sauce
Grilled beef has become a familiar food in the daily life of the Khmer people from feasting on traditional folk to Tet holidays. Not only is a characteristic dish of the Khmer people, prahok is also known as Tra Vinh specialty. Dropping by Khmer home when Going to Tra Vinh, visitors always perceive some bottle of beef sauce. People usually make some sauce for a family meal or to dedicate precious guests. Grilled beef with lemon, sugar, garlic, chili sauce for boiled vegetables, rolls … is super appetizing.
In addition to the use of raw food, the beef sauce is also an important raw material to make a unique flavor for dishes such as noodle soups, crab noodle soup, fish sauce hot pot, hot pot of pork and fish sauce… The most cobbled must mention is the noodle soup. Referring to the noodle soups in the West, there are many famous brands such as noodles soup Tra Vinh, Bac Lieu noodle soup, Soc Trang noodle soup.
The difference comes from regional discrepancies
Each locality has different ways to satisfy the taste of each person. Many places also replace fish sauce with seabass and cirrhinus jullieni fish sauce … when cooking noodles. Particularly with Khmer soups of the Khmer people in Tra Vinh always use this well-seasoned prahok.
Another dish is very famous for with bubbly sauce is special beef noodles. Listening to the name of this, many people afraid of the taste of beef sauce without daring to try this attractive dish. When you smell the fragrant water, you will not be able to resist the taste of the sauce, the aroma of vermicelli, lemongrass, and fruit. All blends bring to visitors a lot of fun and unforgettable.
Although try a variety of famous vermicelli in the river, but when checking out crab noodle soup of Tra Vinh, visitors cannot forget the taste. Grilled beef is also used to make many delicious dishes. Visitors have the opportunity to visit the land is known as the “land of golden pagodas” of the Southwest, do not miss a chance to give it a try and buy cucumber sauce as gifts for relatives, friends.
Quach Fruit (Limonia acidissima) , the specialty of Cau Ke District, Tra Vinh
This has another name is Gao, the fruit looks like the bran, the skin is grayish white. The Khmer people in Cau Ke district prefer to plant the tree along the dike, around the house or watch the fruit trees together.
The tree is about 7-8 meters high, small leaves, branched thorns like trees to be promoted. The plant is about 7 years old, the longer the fruit, the longer the fruit. December, lunar January is a ripe season.
Way of harvesting and its taste
Like the durian, the corpse begins to ripen and falls off. Although falling from the top down but not squeezed because the crust is ripe, the fruit is still hard.
When the fruit is ripe, the fragrant smell stoke up all our senses. Although not the same as the smell of gold apple, it also attracts the olfactory sense. To add a few days or weeks to the rug, the shell is soft silver, white. Just use a knife gently to take the shell out, we can see the seeds as tiny dark purple seeds and it is very crispy.
For ladies, the dish mixed with fish sauce or sugar beet is the number one favorite dish. For men, while the marinated limonia acidissima wine is the best one!
To combine that fruit with sugar and ice, just scrape the left intestine into the glass to rub. Then, add sugar and ice, you will have a best soft drink ever in the summer!
Iced Quach Fruit
Put a full spoon of it into the mouth, the aroma of the waffle on the nose, the sour taste of the tongue. The sweetness of sugar, the fatty taste of milk spread throughout the palate, it is pleasant. But the most delicious is when you enjoy the fruit in the hot summer. The sour taste of the sausage makes the heat of the sun quickly disappear.
Quach Fruit Alcohol
At Cau Ke, people also make this fruit into a special wine. Drinking this wine will enjoy the aromatic flavor of the corpses, but also benefit those with high blood pressure, pain, kidney … To drink this, scoop the limonia acidissima flesh then marinated it into sticky rice wine or just rice wine. To make wine tastier, people add few pieces of this fruit into a bottle of wine to soak the flavor. But, according to many wine connoisseurs, you should chisel a few holes on the pulp and put into the wine. As their theory, it makes wine less milky than the above two.