Phu Quoc Island is greatly well-known as a pearl island of Vietnam’s sea tourism because of its magnificent beauty endowed by the Mother Nature with turquoise sea, white sands, yellow sunlight. Phu Quoc also aroused tourists’ curiosity more by numerous sea cuisine. Visiting Phu Quoc without savoring seafood specialties here means that you have not completed your perfect trip. Daily Travel makes sure that 6 superb dishes listed below would impress you just by one bite.
Among those seafood specialties that are rich of Phu Quoc’s sea flavor, grilled eggy squid with chili must be counted first. Eggy squids are available everywhere along Vietnamese coastal regions, however, only grilled eggy squid with chili dish on Phu Quoc is amazingly popular to tourists. The dish has become familiar and had a little rustic just like the locals here.
A bit salty and spicy flavor of grilled eggy squid with chili
Eggy squids are just about one adult’s finger and only impeccably fresh squids are selected to process. After washing carefully, each of whole squid is grilled until brown by charcoal grill. The ready eggy squids has a sweet aroma of fresh squids mixed with a pungent smell of chilies pervading everywhere. This fancy scent would captivate anyone passing by, make them have to stop and turn fast towards the eggy squid street-shops on the roadside.
Besides, Phu Quoc locals can process lots of delicious food made from squids, such as: steamed squid with ginger, fried, steamed with onion, roasted, fried with fish sauce and so on.
Grilled “Còi biên mai”
A dish made from a kind of sea scallop (bien mai) that has a triangle-shaped shell, hides deeply under the ocean floor and is about an adult’s backhand. For tourists who love adventure, with one diving snorkel and a half mask for diving are enough to go down to the ocean floor and harvest scallops. “Coi bien mai” can be processed into different delicious, nutritious and tasting of ocean foods, such as frying with mushroom, using with hot-pot… However, tourist’s most favorite are fried “Coi bien mai” with salt and chili, grilled “Coi bien mai” with chili and citronella
Harvesting “bien mai” will be an unforgettable experience
Each crunchy and chewy muscle mixed with pungent taste of chili smell clean, sweet and like the ocean of Phu Quoc that would make tourists want more and more. To enjoy all the sweet and delicious taste of “bien mai”, tourists should use with fermented soya, basil, lettuce, salad, green banana, cucumber and pineapple.
Steamed mantis shrimp
One specialty that tourist cannot miss is steamed mantis shrimp. The name in Vietnamese “Tom tit” came from its appearance which is like a centipede. The mantis shrimp is a long-length shrimp and has a translucent body. Its abdomen and carapace are segmented and for Vietnamese, it looks like a centipede. Even it has a hard shell, the meat is intensely sweet and tender. You can also suck the great broth outa its head if you want. Mantis shrimp is used as an ingredient for many dishes because of its crunchy and chewy meat, sweet and intense flavor.
Steaming is the simple way to eat mantis shrimp, however, it gives the most delicious taste since the ocean scent of the mantis shrimp is remained as its origin. After rinsing and soaking in clean water, cutting both sides of each mantis shrimp. After that, marinating mantis shrimps with chopped mixture of flavors, including garlics, peeled gingers, lime leaves and lemongrass. Then, mantis shrimps are ready to be steamed. Steaming until they turn to nice red color and they can be served. Ripe mantis shrimps are sweet, chewy and soft, but not friable. They taste best when using with the mixture of salt, pepper and lemon.
Steamed mantis shrimp with lemongrass eat with fish sauce for a faint scent
Bitter bolete and seafood soup
Bitter boletes are wild mushrooms grown from Melaleuca leaves in Melaleuca forests. Bitter bolete appears like an umbrella. It has a tannish brown cap and stalk but white root and extremely bitter flavor. Bitter boletes only grow once annually, after the first rains and lastes about one month. Therefore, a tip for tourists who want to try this bitter bolete and seafood soup is traveling to Phu Quoc in May and July, when bitter boletes grow most.
Unique bitter boletes on Phu Quoc
Like the name, bitter bolete has a featured bitter taste, however, many eaters have been lured by that flavor. Bitter bolete is used to cook many dishes, but mostly for seafood soup. Seafood here could be grilled barracuda or giant sword minnow. Bitter boletes cooked with barracuda or giant sword minnow and added up an egg will give the dish a richer and deeper flavor. Tourists will experience many flavor in one dish, from bitterness to sweetness and finally fattiness.
Sea urchins are considered to be a product that locals both love and hate. Hate because they are easily pinked by urchin’s spines if they are careless when diving. When being pinked, the feeling is sharply painful. However, this edible gold from the ocean has brought a delicacy to Phu Quoc cuisine.
To eat live urchins, fresh urchins have just been caught from the ocean are selected. Sea urchins are cut in half, carefully rinsed and removed all blood vessels inside. Take the yellow roe inside into a bowl, add few drops of lemon and mustard, mix them well and you can enjoy it with mustard greens. However, the most common recipe is grilling. Sea urchins are only needed to be lightly grilled and they can be served with the mixture of pepper and lemon with few peanuts added up. The scent of this grilled urchin is aromatic and taste like the pure deep ocean. Sea urchin is rich of nutrition as well.
Appealing grilled urchins
Unlike other seafood, abalone is a rare and valuable seafood and extremely expensive as well. During feudal period, it was one of the eight “treasure bowls” only for the kings. Phu Quoc’s abalone is well-known for its crunchiness and chewiness and really good smell. Abalone is also nutritious: good for kidney, lower body temperature, anti-asthenia,… There are two types of Phu Quoc’s abalone, including dried abalone or fresh abalone.
Abalones- a treasure from the ocean allure eaters from everywhere
Even abalones are expensive, tourists should try grilled Phu Quoc’s abalone once because it is sweet deliciousness. To enrich the taste, you should eat grilled abalone with sauce made from sliced ginger, chopped garlic and fresh fish sauce. When enjoying grilled abalone, you would feel like harmonizing with the fresh taste of the pearl land Phu Quoc.
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