Can Tho specialties

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8 Must-try Specialties in Can Tho City
Date: 04/01/2019

Can Tho cuisine is diverse, and it portrays the features of the South-West region. In fact, Can Tho culinary culture is wide-ranging since it is sharpened up from specialties of different localities in the Mekong River Delta Region.
Gỏi xoài khô cá sặc (Mango salad with dried snakeskin gourami)

Gỏi xoài khô cá sặc (Mango salad with dried snakeskin gourami)

Being well-known in Can Tho cuisine, this dish enchants diners much despite its simplicity. The salad is easily processed without much effort, but it is well-seasoned with good flavors and tastes.

The fragrance of dried snakeskin gourami mingles with Vietnamese coriander. The sourness of mango is outstanding when it is soaked in a tiny bowl of sugar and fish sauce. The mild taste of carrots gently mixes with the piquant shallots. Above all, the combination of all ingredients performs the quintessence of the dish of Can Tho river-based countryside. Though it is homely, the dish still attracts a lot of diners.

Bánh tét lá cẩm (Cylindrical glutinous rice cake with magenta leaves)

In Can Tho, the best cylindrical glutinous rice cake recipe belongs to Huynh Family in Binh Thuy District. The Huynh descendants make it even unique by boiling magenta leaves in little water to extract the juice, and by stir-frying glutinous rice with coconut cream and filling it with pork and salted duck egg yolks. To make a good cake, you should choose the best glutinous rice, then soak it into the magenta leaf juice to make it naturally purple. The leaves must be fresh. If not, the juice will turn dark purple. The filling must be made from seasoned fresh pork.

Stir-fry glutinous rice with coconut cream before wrapping it. It takes you 4 - 5 hours to cook it well. When you cut the cake across, it appears appetizing and smells wonderful with the crush of fine purple glutinous rice crust and the filling of pink pork, yellow salted duck egg yolk, and shiny pork fat.

Bánh cống Cần Thơ (Can Tho Vietnamese fried shrimp cake)

This is a favorite snack of the locals as well as tourists. Diners quickly love the dish at first sight because of its striking smell.

The crust is made from rice flour with green peas, and the filling is from the minced pork. Its flavor is especially created by the locals.

The dish is served with some herbs and complex dressing. After enjoying the sweet, crispy and delicious cake combined with green vegetables and sour spicy sauce, tourists will hardly forget its special taste.

Nem nướng Cái Răng (Cai Rang grilled pork sausage)

Grilled pork sausage sold in Cai Rang riverside has been popular near and far. It is made from fresh pork. First, the meat is smashed to be tough. Next, it is seasoned and char-grilled. Each of the grilled pork sausages is eye-catching and delicious. It is served with raw vegetables, wrapped in rice paper to make a roll, which you will dip into hoisin sauce and enjoy.

The flavor of grilled pork sausage in Cai Rang District seems to be more attractive due to the immense river scenery and the hospitable Westerners, which all make it nearly impossible for tourists to leave this land.

Ốc nướng tiêu (Grilled snails with pepper)

The dish is one of the renowned specialties. Snails are quickly boiled and then put on charcoal fire. While grilling them, you should add a little fish sauce which has been flavored with pepper, garlic, flavor enhancer, etc. When the liquid inside the snails boils, display the snails on Vietnamese coriander on a dish.

Slightly spicy, sweet-and-salty, crunchy snails are really delicious. Especially, it is definitely amazing when you sip the liquid from inside the snails. Or if the shells are slightly burnt, the smell is even more fascinating.

Lẩu bần phù sa (“Phu Sa” mangrove apple hotpot)

With some very simple ingredients, Can Tho people have created a subtle mangrove apple hotpot. It is cooked from ripe mangrove apples in light and savory broth with the special fragrance of the mangrove apples.

Some seasonal fish are added to the hotpot. These days, many "stylish" diners desire to try the mangrove apple hotpot with softshell turtles. If you travel to Can Tho City in the flooding season, you can have a chance to enjoy the hotpot with common sesban flowers, hummingbird tree’s flowers, banana blossoms, water lily stems, etc.

Bánh tằm bì (Rice noodle with shredded pork skin)

Its taste is very special. Rice noodles are put in the steamer, so they are always warm. The shredded pork skin is very delicious along with well-prepared fish sauce. The creamy flavor of coconut cream is mixed with the white rice noodles, fresh herbs, spring sprouts and pickles. It will be more enjoyable if the chopped green onion oil is added in the dish. Breakfast just like that is cheap but delicious. To Can Tho people, no matter how far from home they are, they always recollect its flavor.

Ba khía rang me Cần Thơ (Can Tho stir-fried three-striped crabs with tamarind sauce)

This is a famous specialty in Can Tho City. With its unique flavor, the dish brings diners unforgettable memories on their first try.

Though the recipe is not too difficult, it demands your skillfulness in order to have a delicious dish. The three-striped crabs must be fresh, female ones with hard plate and a lot of flesh. After cleaning the crabs, remove their base. Then, wash them thoroughly once more in water and drain them. After that, add the fried garlic into the crabs and stir-fry until they are well cooked. Next, pour the seasoned tamarind sauce and simmer it until the sauce is condensed.

Finally, display the cooked three-striped crabs on Vietnamese coriander on a dish. Then sprinkle some crushed stir fried peanut on the surface. Now, you can enjoy the dish. The light sourness of tamarind, the buttery taste of peanuts and the piquancy of Vietnamese coriander make the dish much better.

Source: - Translated by Diep Truong

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