12 delicious dishes that sound strange and taste strange in Kon Tum

Leaf salad

12 delicious dishes that sound like an ear and a mouth in kon tum

If you come to Kon Tum and have not eaten leaf salad, it is considered as if you have not arrived. As the name suggests, this leaf salad is full of… leaves. There’s only one dish that fills the tray, because the “authentic” leaf salad has up to 40-50 types, from familiar vegetables such as mustard leaves, perilla, polyscias fruticosa, fig leaves, apricot leaves, onions, and basil. … to types of leaves that rarely appear in meals such as: mango leaves, guava leaves, sour leaves, gooseberry leaves, pentaphyllum leaves… and many types of leaves that are unique to the Central Highlands but many people do not know all the names.

In the middle of the “leaf tray” is a plate of side dishes. Boiled pork belly, sliced ​​thinly so that the fat and meat are just enough, not too greasy. A few slices of carp, boiled shrimp, pork skin. Especially, there is an extra plate of whole pepper and salt. The most special and amazing thing about this leaf salad is the dipping sauce made from sticky rice, dried shrimp, pork belly, pork belly, and satay.

Enjoying this dish also requires style, do not rush to “grab” all the leaves but must follow the correct process. First, take mustard leaves or apricot leaves as rolling leaves, then add sour leaves and a few other leaves depending on the eater’s choice, roll into a small funnel, put pieces of pork belly, shrimp, pork skin… into the “funnel”. “, be sure to add pepper and salt, and a little dipping sauce. Each time the leaves are rolled, there are different types of leaves, creating different flavors, sometimes sour mango leaves, sometimes rich fig leaves, astringent guava leaves.

Grilled young veal

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Grilled baby veal is Kom Tum’s second unique delicacy. The veal is soft and sweet, grilled thickly over charcoal and then dipped in salt and chili. The sweetness of the meat, the rich taste of salt and a little spiciness of fresh chili, a little spiciness of basil leaves, a little astringency of young bananas make the dish wonderful. Here, Kon Tum people do not cut the meat thinly like the restaurants in Saigon but cut it very thick, but the meat is still soft and sweet, and the skin is crispy.

Roasted Black Shoot Pig

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Mang Den pig breed (field pig) of the indigenous people. Pigs are raised with natural food from the mountains and forests, so the meat is firm, sweet-smelling and very nutritious. The largest one when fully grown is less than 20kg. Pigs are cleaned and their organs are removed; Then marinate with ingredients from the Mang Den mountains and forests such as compressed compost, coriander, coriander root, lemongrass, and chili. Roast the whole pig over charcoal fire until the skin is golden and crispy, emitting a delicious aroma.

Fish salad with yellow ants

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Coming to Sa Thay district, Kon Tum, where the Ro Mam ethnic group lives, you must try the unique and strange fish salad with yellow ants. Many people feel scared when they hear the name of a new dish, but once they taste it, they want to eat it again.

Stream fish are caught in the right size, the size of three fingers, cleaned, minced, and squeezed to dry out the fishy smell. Yellow ants choose the young ant nest, and bring the eggs back to pound and keep separate. Take salt, green chili, wild pepper and mix it with fish and ants, add a little roasted rice powder and scorched rice to create a fragrant aroma. When eating, roll the fig leaves into bite-sized pieces and enjoy. The sweetness of the stream fish blends with the fatty taste of young ants and the spiciness of pepper and chili, creating a wonderfully delicious flavor.

Cement sticky rice

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It’s just a familiar sticky rice dish, cleverly combined with wild bamboo shoots, but it has become a familiar breakfast dish for every person in Kon Tum.

Making sticky rice with bamboo shoots is quite simple and not very complicated. After being dug from the forest, fresh bamboo shoots are peeled, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces. Through preliminary processing to remove the bad smell, the bamboo shoots are stir-fried with spices to become rich. Choose good quality sticky rice and soak it in diluted salt water mixed with turmeric powder to color it for about 8 hours, then bring it out until cooked.

Having its own unique characteristics in the charm of color with a bit of bright yellow from wild bamboo shoots, placed on a bowl of turmeric-colored sticky rice, bamboo shoot sticky rice attracts passersby with its special aroma, making many people linger. just to buy a package of sticky rice in time to go to work. Unknowingly, that delicious dish became something to hold people back once they passed through the mountainous town of the Central Highlands.

Fried crickets

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If you have the opportunity to come to Kon Tum, don’t forget to enjoy the fried cricket specialty to feel the aromatic, fleshy, rich taste without being sick. Dishes made from crickets are quite strange to people in the delta, but to Kon Tum ethnic minorities, dishes made from crickets have become familiar and very popular. There are many types of crickets such as rice crickets, charcoal crickets, fire crickets, etc. but to prepare dishes, only rice crickets are delicious.

To have a plate of fragrant golden fried crickets, it is necessary to go through many processing steps. First, the caught crickets are washed, drained, then fried in a pan of boiling oil. That way, parts such as the head, legs, etc. of the cricket become crispy, while the body of the cricket does not lose its inherent fatty taste. Next, to make the cricket dish more flavorful, people add spices, add chili, lemon leaves, and chopped lemongrass to roast together. When adding the spices, roast them quickly so that the lime leaves do not lose their green color.

Urchin meat

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The Brau ethnic group has many dishes made from wild vegetables and wild animal meat such as wild boar, bamboo meat, field mice, etc. Among them are dishes from hedgehogs that are both nutritious and delicious but also have a variety of ways to prepare them.

Porcupine meat has a sweet taste and cold properties, has nutritious and laxative effects, and can be processed into many attractive dishes. Charcoal-grilled porcupine, stuffed porcupine meat, porcupine bone soup cooked with cornstarch, porcupine wrapped in dong leaves,… Every dish is unique and delicious because the porcupine meat is firm, fragrant, almost fat-free, and the skin is thick but crispy.

Hamster meat

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The Je Trieng people in Dak Glei district also have a specialty of field mouse meat, which is mainly processed into two dishes: Grilled mouse meat and dried mouse in the kitchen. The golden rice season is also the season when field mice are the fattest and tastiest, and people are in the season of hunting mice. Quickly roll up a pile of dry straw, set it on fire to remove the hair, in this way the rat’s meat becomes fragrant and the sweetness remains intact.

After cleaning the fur, cutting open the abdomen, removing the internal organs, quickly washing with water, rubbing a little salt all over the mouse’s body, then taking a bamboo stick and skewering it straight, grill it on a charcoal stove until golden and fragrant. Serve with some sour wild mango, make a bowl of wild salt and pepper, spicy, very suitable. Find some more wild spinach, put it in a bamboo tube, pour some water, grill it on a straw stove, just a little bit and you have a delicious dish.

Sturgeon cooked with bamboo shoots

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In the Mang Den plateau, Kon Tum is an area with many lakes and cool water all year round. Therefore, salmon and sturgeon are raised and grow smoothly here. Sturgeon is a type of cartilaginous fish. The entire skeletal system of the fish as well as the fish head are made of cartilage. The meat of sturgeon is white, tough, has a greasy taste, has high nutritional content, and is easy to absorb.

Coming here, you can enjoy fresh sturgeon caught from the lake. Sturgeon is cleaned, marinated with spices from medicinal plants of the Mang Den mountains, then steamed, steamed, grilled, dried… with charcoal, or cooked with sour bamboo shoots, any dish is delicious.

Salted/grilled bitter eggplant

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Bitter eggplant is a rustic dish of the Kon Tum ethnic minority. Bitter eggplants grow in patches along hills and stream banks. The fruits are as small as eggplants or oblong fruits, larger than a knuckle, dark green, with white stripes along the fruit. In the past, bitter eggplant was a wild plant that is now brought home by ethnic people to plant in their gardens. The fruit is larger, light green in color, the bitter taste is slightly reduced, easier to eat and suitable for many people’s tastes.

Bitter tomatoes, eaten raw or cooked, have their own unique and distinctive flavors. The simple way to prepare and preserve the delicious taste of bitter eggplant is to salt the bitter eggplant. The spicy taste of chili peppers creates a strange taste. Grilled bitter eggplant has a special delicious taste, cut into thin slices, skewer through each stick and place on grill. When the eggplant turns dark brown, the aroma spreads and is just cooked, still retaining a bit of bitter juice. , slightly chewy, soft, delicious dipped with salt and pepper or eaten with grilled wild meat. In addition, bitter eggplant is also cooked into many braised dishes with shrimp and shrimp caught in the river or bitter eggplant with eels and frogs. Every dish is delicious and has a seductive aroma. Those who eat bitter eggplant for the first time will feel uncomfortable with the bitter taste of the wild fruit, but after a few times they will grind it and will never forget its unique flavor.

Grilled dishes in bamboo tubes

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With ingredients native to the mountains and forests, the Ba Na ethnic people in Kon Tum prepare very unique and strange grilled dishes in bamboo tubes. After washing vegetables, river fish, stream fish and meat of livestock and poultry, chop or cut into strips. Bitter eggplant and eggplant are cut into pieces. Remove the intestines from the fish, cut the meat and mix it with wild vegetables, wild bamboo shoots, lemongrass, and crushed pepper and put it in a tube. The meat of cattle (buffalo, cow, pig, goat) and poultry (chicken, duck) is stewed on a fire and then shaved or plucked. Then cut the meat, chop into small pieces, mix spices and put it in a bamboo tube to roast over forest charcoal until it’s cooked with a unique aroma that can’t be found anywhere else.

Wheat leaves

  Sour cassava leaves cooked with wild chicken.

Sour cassava leaves cooked with wild chicken.

Brau ethnic people in Dak Me village (Bo Y commune, Ngoc Hoi district, Kon Tum) often use cassava leaves in dishes.

The simplest and least expensive way to prepare is pickled noodles, but you must choose Vietnamese noodles, not hybrid noodles, Japanese noodles with large leaves but are poisonous and do not taste good. This dish is eaten like Kinh people eat pickled pickles and pickled eggplants.

From sour cassava leaves, the Brau people prepare many dishes such as: Wild chicken mixed with sour cassava leaves, cassava leaves cooked with dried fish, sour cassava leaf soup, etc. The most delicious dish is wild chicken mixed with sour noodles. The dish of wild chicken mixed with cassava leaves present on the rice tray is easy to make people irresistible: the green-brown color of pickled cassava leaves, glimpses of white wild chicken meat, with the addition of red chili. The sharp sourness of salted cassava leaves, mixed with the natural sweetness of wild chicken meat, creates a rich and delicious flavor that makes you want to taste another, and another, after eating one bite.

When the rainy season comes and there is no fresh meat, the Brau people prepare cassava leaves with dried meat (deer jerky, deer jerky, beef jerky…), the simplest is cassava leaves cooked with dried fish.