Specialties of rats eating ginseng seeds for distinguished guests at Ngoc Linh mountain

Xe Dang people in the Central Highlands region save kitchen rat meat for holidays, weddings, and inviting guests.

 

Specialties of rats eating ginseng seeds for distinguished guests at Ngoc Linh mountainNgoc Linh ginseng is grown mainly in Ngoc Linh mountain communes, Nam Tra My district (Quang Nam), Dak To district (Kon Tum). After a period of overexploitation that seemed to be exhausted, the precious ginseng variety has been rebuilt on an area of ​​hundreds of hectares in Tu Mo Rong district (Kon Tum). The 2,600 m high mountain peak is foggy and wet all year round, inhabited only by mountain rats, squirrels and pheasants. They eat everything related to ginseng, so it is considered a dish "Noble" of indigenous people.

Ngoc Linh ginseng is grown mainly in Ngoc Linh mountain communes, Nam Tra My district (Quang Nam), Dak To district (Kon Tum). After a period of overexploitation that seemed to be exhausted, the precious ginseng variety has been rebuilt on an area of ​​hundreds of hectares in Tu Mo Rong district (Kon Tum). The 2,600 m high mountain peak is foggy and wet all year round, inhabited only by mountain rats, squirrels and pheasants. They eat everything related to ginseng, so they are considered a “noble” dish by indigenous people.

The Ngoc Linh mountain area is inhabited by the Xe Dang ethnic group. On every occasion of Tet, holidays, moving into a new house, engagements, and weddings, there must be dishes of mouse, bird, and pig meat hanging in the kitchen to entertain distinguished guests. "Mountain rats that eat ginseng often have reddish-yellow fur. They are difficult to detect with the naked eye because they resemble leaves, so you have to observe carefully to catch them."said A Luan in Mang Ri commune (Tu Mo Rong district).

The Ngoc Linh mountain area is inhabited by the Xe Dang ethnic group. On every occasion of Tet, holidays, moving into a new house, engagements, and weddings, there must be dishes of mouse, bird, and pig meat hanging in the kitchen to entertain distinguished guests. “Mountain rats that eat ginseng often have reddish-yellow fur. They are difficult to detect with the naked eye because they resemble leaves, so you have to observe carefully to catch them,” said A Luan in Mang Ri commune (Tu Mo Rong district).

Mice often appear when Ngoc Linh ginseng seeds are ripe. To catch this clever mountain mouse, Xe Dang people make simple traps in rock holes or tree stumps where mice often stay. Rats passed by and got caught in the trap, and the stone fell on them. Or when they discover rats ravaging ginseng, people follow footprints or noises on the leaves and then release bait in one place. After 2-3 days, they set traps or use slingshots. People understand the behavior of mountain rats quite well, so they often go hunting at night.

Mice often appear when Ngoc Linh ginseng seeds are ripe. To catch this clever mountain mouse, Xe Dang people make simple traps in rock holes or tree stumps where mice often stay. Rats passed by and got caught in the trap, and the stone fell on them. Or when they discover rats ravaging ginseng, people follow footprints or noises on the leaves then release bait in one place. After 2-3 days, they set traps or use slingshots. People understand the behavior of mountain rats quite well, so they often go hunting at night.

Around this forest, more than 300 people work to look after the ginseng garden. Mostly men, each indigenous person is in charge of a ginseng growing area day and night. Ngoc Linh Peak is rainy and windy all year round, so they often gather around the fire. Smoke from the kitchen cooks food and dries clothes.

Around this forest, more than 300 people work to look after the ginseng garden. Mostly men, each indigenous person is in charge of a ginseng growing area day and night. Ngoc Linh Peak is rainy and windy all year round, so they often gather around the fire. Smoke from the kitchen cooks food and dries clothes.

Every morning when they come back from hunting, people will clean the mice and hang them up in the kitchen until they are dry to avoid rotting.

Every morning when they come back from hunting, people will clean the mice and hang them up in the kitchen until they are dry to avoid rotting.

Mountain rats are the most delicious meat among all the meats in Ngoc Linh Mountain. Every time they catch a mouse, they leave it to eat, not sell it.

Mountain rats are the most delicious meat among all the meats in Ngoc Linh Mountain. Every time they catch a mouse, they leave it to eat, not sell it.

Every time a distinguished guest comes to their house, the Xe Dang people will bring mice to treat them. When they take the mice from the kitchen upstairs, they will crush all the soot (coal dust), wash them and put them on the grill.

Every time a distinguished guest comes to their house, the Xe Dang people will bring mice to treat them. When they take the mice from the kitchen upstairs, they will crush all the soot (coal dust), wash them and put them on the grill.

Grilled mouse is best eaten when it's still hot and sitting around the fire drinking wine.

Grilled mouse is best eaten when it’s still hot and sitting around the fire drinking wine.

When eaten, rat meat has a fragrant, chewy, slightly bitter taste, crispy bones, and crispy skin.

When eaten, rat meat is fragrant, chewy, has a slightly bitter taste, crispy bones, and crispy skin.