Salted lamp shell – Ha Tien specialty

KIEN GIANG – The special dish of Ha Tien land is a harmonious combination of spices and crispy fatty meat.

Ha Tien city is famous for its diverse cuisine, imbued with Vietnamese – Chinese – Khmer culture. In particular, salted coffee is considered a famous specialty, impressive from the name to the taste.

Salted Ca Xiu - a unique dish from the name
The ka Xiu is shaped like two pieces of chem copy put together and has a long beard. Photo: Ha Lam

According to Mr. Quoc An, a local fisherman, Ca Xiu is a type of seafood that usually lives in rivers, estuaries, brackish water, appearing in Dong Ho lagoon. Outward appearance is like two pieces of green carp put together, adding long beard, soft and sweet meat. The best harvest season for this seafood is from June to August every year.

If you want to preserve lamp shell for a long time and use them for many days, Ha Tien people will apply salt with fish sauce, sugar, chili, garlic… Ba Phi, a local, said to make quality salted coffee. , must first choose the fresh, uniform size. On the other hand, because this type of seafood lives in the mud, the preliminary processing must be meticulous. Only then can a quality product be produced.

First, when you buy it, separate the beard and body, cut off the black head on the beard to remove the mud, and wash it several times. Next, blanch the beard and body in hot water until the meat is cooked through. Put the tomato into the sage (nong/nia), spread evenly, dry in the hot sun for about 2-3 hours. This way helps the tomato to dry, when the salt will not be damaged and quickly absorb the spices.

Salted coffee bean - a unique dish from the name - 1
The lamp shell are dried in the hot sun for about 2-3 hours to dry. Photo: Ha Lam

Indispensable ingredients in salted coffee is delicious Phu Quoc fish sauce with garlic, chili, white sugar or jaggery as you like. Add fish sauce and sugar at a ratio of 1:1 (depending on the amount of coffee, you increase or decrease the amount of fish sauce and sugar when salting). Then cook this mixture for about 5 minutes, add a little MSG (main noodles) to help balance the taste, let it cool. Garlic peeled, sliced ​​thin, chili choose not spicy, sliced ​​(can be sun-dried for about 10-15 minutes).

Next, put the coffee into a large bowl with the cooled sugar fish sauce, mix well for about 5 minutes to infuse the spices, then the garlic and chili have just been prepared, mix well… Salted Ca Xiu in the morning can use in the afternoon. Just peel off the outer skin and take the meat inside to enjoy.

“Good standard salted coffee requires the performer to do the right technique and skillful when combining ingredients. If the salt is too salty, the coffee will be black and not delicious. Light salt will be difficult to preserve for a long time.” Ms. Phi shared.

Fatty eggplant meat, crispy beard mixed with a mixture of salted-sweet, moderately sweet, chili, garlic… served with steamed white rice is very flavorful. This dish is commented by many visitors as very special and worth trying. “I have been to Ha Tien a few times to travel and do not forget to buy jars of salted coffee to give to friends. Although salted coffee is not a delicacy, I am very impressed with this dish because of its tough, crispy meat. harmoniously combined with salty, sweet, and spicy flavors”, shared Ms. Thu Hoai (HCMC).

Salted Ca Xiu - a unique dish from the name - 2
Ca Xiu mixed with fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and chili. Photo: Ha Lam

A salted lamp shell can be put in a glass jar, sealed with a lid, placed in the refrigerator and used for several months. Currently, this famous specialty is sold a lot at Ha Tien market. If you come here, you can easily find salted coffee to enjoy or give to relatives and friends. A jar of salted lamp shell costs about 120,000 VND to 140,000 VND.