Delicious salted beef with yellow ants – a specialty dish of Kon Tum ethnic minorities

When Tet comes and Spring comes, the people of Kon Tum mountain town are excited to prepare delicious dishes and strange things to welcome guests from far away, relatives and friends. There are also banh chung, fresh green banh tet, melons, sweet and sour pickles, and hot bowls of bamboo shoot and vermicelli soup, but they also go out of their way to find cows with salt and yellow ants. In the past, this was a specialty dish of Kon Tum ethnic minorities, but with its delicious taste and complex aroma, yellow ant-salted beef became famous, a delicious dish and a precious gift. for guests from far away.

February 25, 2015.1 ttdl

At a time when people and families are doubting the quality of cans of dried beef sold widely on the market, Bo Moi Sun is like a “wonderful lifesaver” for those who love the sweet, fragrant, seductive taste. of beef. Sun-dried beef is left whole, coated with a layer of rich spices, keeping the shape of each beef fiber intact. Customers just need to look at it to be assured of the quality of pure beef, not shredded dried beef, laced with dozens of colorful additives. On cold evenings at the end of the year, the whole family gathers around the charcoal stove, puts a piece of beef on the sun, and after a while the flavor spreads: the sweet aroma of beef, the strange sour taste of ant salt. yellow, is the strangeness of ant salt. Shred a piece of meat and dip it with a piece of ant salt. You’ve never had such a rich, sweet and chewy taste.

February 25, 2015.4 ttdl
Crawling in the sun on a charcoal stove

To make a sunny cow, it is not fussy, but the first important step is to choose the ingredients: thigh meat or tenderloin of young beef is roamed on the hillsides, eating grass and drinking stream water all year round, so the meat is very firm, but only is the place. No one uses farmed beef to make one-sun beef, because that type of beef is friable, has fat, and when dried, it will be very wasteful, and the flavor is not good. When the cow has just been slaughtered, and the meat is still warm, people slice it lengthwise to avoid being tough. The pieces are as big as a hand, about 1 cm thick, and washed with wine to remove the sultry smell. The meat marinade mixture includes fish sauce, salt, pepper, lemongrass, MSG, chili, and especially wild pepper – creating a special delicious taste. After marinating with spices, the meat is dried in the sun for a while to absorb evenly and then put in the oven to dry. While drying the beef, people must be on duty to continuously turn the meat so that the meat is cooked evenly, then leave it to dry in the dew overnight. At this time, the beef is dry and has a natural sweetness and unique flavor. One kilogram of fresh meat can only produce 700 – 800g of finished beef, the meat is also nearly 60% cooked, the meat is not hard or soft, the inside still retains the fresh and sweet taste.

February 25, 2015.2 ttdl
Finished beef in one sun

Cows in the sun Store in the refrigerator for a few months, when desired To enjoy, you just need to grill it on a burning charcoal stove, turning it evenly. When the meat is golden brown on both sides and has an attractive aroma, it can be placed on the tray. Don’t let the beef overcook or it will dry out and lose its pure sweetness. The piece of meat is slightly scorched on the outside, but still bright pink inside. Take it out, tear it and place it on top of herbs, cucumbers, sour star fruit, and astringent bananas. Next to it is a bowl of weaver ant salt – without this type of salt, you will lose the opportunity to fully enjoy the taste. The story about weaver ant salt is also a thrilling feature that many people are curious to know. For a long time, Kon Tum ethnic minorities have long considered weaver ants as a precious ingredient to prepare special dishes such as bitter eggplant yellow ant soup, ant eggs cooked with bamboo shoots, weaver ants cooked with wild fish… The simplest is a bowl of ant salt to dip boiled wild vegetables, or as a spice for soups. The yellow ant has a plump belly, is greasy and has the sweetness of eggs mixed with a sour taste similar to salt and lemon. The people catch the entire ant nest and roast it over a fire, then pound it with wild chili, then len leaves and a few other types of forest leaves, making sure it’s not too sour, not too smelly, not too salty, but blends properly.

February 25, 2015.3 ttdl
Yellow ant salt
February 25, 2015.5 ttdl
Golden ant stream fish salad

There’s nothing more fun than in the early days of spring, next to a pot of wine roaring passionately, and a charcoal stove in the warm sunshine. The host personally handed the wine to the guests, tore a piece of beef and dipped it in ant salt, inviting guests to enjoy. Everything combined: the sweetness of meat, the strange sour taste of ants, the salty taste of salt and the spicy taste of chili, there’s nothing better than it. In addition, weaver ant salt is also a friend of green toads, raw mangoes, fresh guavas, eaten with hot rice, boiled meat, grilled meat,…

Previously, salted cows and yellow ants were only found in ethnic villages, but are now present in big cities, becoming a precious gift for guests from far away. It is the subtle variation that retains the flavor and sweetness of fresh beef that has turned this indigenous dish into a unique gourmet dish. This dish has truly conquered a large number of gourmets and affirmed its place in the Vietnamese culinary scene.