BINH DUONG – Chicken with firm meat, yellow skin, mixed with mangosteen, dipped with chili salt and lemon is a popular dish this season.
From April, visitors to Ho Chi Minh City and the surrounding areas start looking for mangosteen fruit gardeners in Lai Thieu ( Binh Duong ) to enjoy the specialty of mangosteen chicken salad, the salad is considered “queen”. . This dish is not rare because there are many restaurants that prepare it deliciously, but you have to wait until the mangosteen season to enjoy it, usually from April to June, to be ready.
As the name suggests, the salad consists of two main ingredients, which are chicken mixed with fresh mangosteen, sweet, crunchy, slightly sour, and added auxiliary ingredients such as spices, onions, carrots, peanuts, etc. fried onions, laksa leaves… The dish is usually served with a bowl of hot straw mushroom porridge, cooked loosely.
According to the chefs, mangosteen sold in the market or supermarket is usually ripe fruit, dark purple skin, and soft and sweet flesh. Mangosteen mixed with salad must be left with green skin or slightly yellow, then the new flesh will be crispy, less sour, and sweeter. If you can’t find green fruit, you can still mix the salad with ripe mangosteen, but it will not be as delicious.
Making mangosteen salad is the most elaborate part of peeling the fruit. The green mangosteen has hard skin and a lot of latex (resin). The chef has to peel the fruit right under the tap and rinse it continuously to clean, the second way can be soaked in saltwater and peeled gradually. Mangosteen, after peeling, retains the flesh, cut into medium slices, not too thin to keep the crispness.
Chicken salad is usually bamboo chicken or chicken with firm meat, the natural sweetness is not greasy. Chicken is boiled with spices such as fish sauce, onions, pepper, and seasoning… to make the meat richer and have beautiful yellow skin. Shredded chicken to taste, mixed with sliced onions, and carrots, added sweet and sour sauce with consistency. Need some fried onions, laksa leaves and peanuts to enhance the flavor of the dish.
Ms. Dong Ngoc Nha Phuong in Binh Duong is a “natural guest” of this dish, In this year’s mangosteen season she has eaten it twice and plans to enjoy it again. She and her family stopped at a restaurant on Binh Nham street 81 in Thuan An city, ordered a chicken mixed with mangosteen and grilled with salt and pepper, and added mushroom porridge, a total of 600,000 VND for 4 people.
“I like the dish because the chicken is fresh and naturally sweet, the taste of laksa leaves and onions is just a little, the sweet and sour sauce is very light, mainly the scent of the mangosteen is still green, crispy, sweet, less sour and not bitter. If you want to eat more delicious, you can dip it with salt and chili,” Phuong said.
Guests can choose mixed bamboo and chicken salad for 500,000 VND per chicken or Vietnamese chicken for 550,000 VND, eating half salad, half grilled, with an additional fee of 50,000 VND. Ms. Phuong is impressed with grilled chicken with salt and pepper, soft sweetmeat, not dry, and rich in spices. The guest also noted that on weekends, the restaurant is crowded from morning to evening, she and her family choose to go on weekdays to be less crowded.
In addition to the Vuon Mang shop, Afternoon Nay restaurant on Le Hong Phong street, Thu Dau Mot city is also a favorite address of many people. The price is about 490,000 VND for a chicken salad and porridge.