Grilled field mouse – delicious Western food

The rat meat is tough, fragrant, and evenly absorbed with the fat and satay flavor, which is a favorite dish of many diners when coming to the West.

Mr. Than, from Can Tho, shared that hamster meat is one of the most popular specialties in the West. Because the food source of this type of mouse is mainly rice and young plants, their meat is very fragrant.

Field mice often dig burrows in fields, dykes, to shelter, reproduce and develop. They appear all year round, but are most abundant during the rice harvest or flood season.

According to Mr. Than, there are many ways to hunt rats in the West. In some localities, during the rice harvest season, it is also the time when people invite each other to hunt field mice. Many years ago, people hunted rats by tickling, that is, using a net around a corner of a rice field to lure mice into hiding, then using a scythe to cut the rice wherever they went, they caught the mice there. Currently, in some fields, people use combine harvesters to replace rice harvesters. Where the machine runs, the mouse will run out, convenient for people to catch.

Grilled rat meat on charcoal stove until golden on all sides.  Photo: Khanh Thien
Grilled rat meat on charcoal stove until golden on all sides. Photo: Khanh Thien

In many other localities, the rat-hunting army usually consists of adults, children and dogs. Dogs will follow the edge of the field to sniff out burrows. After discovering the cave, people use hoe to dig or pour water in to let the rats run out. Outside, children ambush waiting to catch mice. In the flood season, rats will flock to the high banks. At this time, the tools to catch mice are canoes or shells, pitchforks (3-pointed type) and spotlights.

After catching mice, Westerners clean in many ways, the most common is smoking or boiling through boiling water to clean and then washing with salt, alcohol, and draining. After cleaning, the field mice are processed into many delicious dishes such as roasting, grilled with salt and chili, coconut water, stir-fried with lemongrass and chili, imitation civet, deep-fried, fried, etc. West will bring grilled rats with chao.

Rats will be marinated with pepper, lemongrass, chili, sugar, monosodium glutamate, satay, a little five flavors … to infuse the spices. After about 30 minutes or an hour, the rat is grilled on a charcoal stove, pureed, mixed with a little pork fat, spread evenly on top and grilled until golden fragrant on all sides. This dish can be served with herbs, salads and dipped with chili salt and lemon.

The rat meat is chewy, fragrant, evenly absorbed with the fatty taste of chao, a little spicy of satay and the aroma of charcoal stimulates the taste buds. Many diners are not familiar, the first time enjoying this dish will feel apprehensive. But if the “aversion” of rats is overcome, the dish can become a “favorite”. “At first, I felt apprehensive when I saw the grilled rats lying on the plate and did not dare to eat. But, later, it was the taste of this country specialty that made me fall in love,” said Mr. Ngoc Thanh. , Can Tho, share.

Currently, in the West, delicious dishes from hamsters are on the menu at some restaurants, tourist attractions, pubs and are a favorite of many diners.