The dish that is popular among the locals and its name is also the name of the utensil for the hot pot: Cù lao. Cù lao is made of aluminum or stainless steel. It is similar to a large bowl with a tall cylindrical tube in the middle which is used to store charcoal for boiling or cooking food and broth. This image is like an islet floating on the river, expressing the people's creativity when making a special dish imbued with the indigenous identity.
The dish does not apply many cooking spices. Its broth is cooked from the pork bones, dried shrimp or dried squid, cabbage, carrots, or cassava so the broth is naturally sweet and clear. The ingredients of the dish include crispy dry pork skin, pork, pork organs, Bronze Featherback Fish cake, duck egg rolls with tofu skin, minced meat rolls with cabbage, etc. Just like other hot pot dishes, a plate of vegetables is an indispensable part of the dish. The slight sweetness of the broth and the freshness of the ingredients create a delicious taste for the dish which offers customers an unforgettable flavor. Cù Lao hot pot is often served at parties, especially weddings because this dish is delicious, easy to eat, and suitable for all ages.
Today, Cù Lao hot pot is not as popular as it used to be. It has been replaced by other hot pot dishes that apply a lot of spices and can be cooked quickly. Now, looking for a restaurant with Cù Lao hot pot dish in the middle of the city is even rarer. In Can Tho city, Thinh Phat Family Restaurant at 36A, Nguyen Van Cu, An Binh Ward, Ninh Kieu District (opposite Hong Phat Residential Area) serves this special dish with authentic traditional flavors. In particular, the restaurant also adds squid and shrimp to make the ingredients in the hotpot more plentiful and attractive. A 4-person hotpot is 299,000 VND.
Source: Can Tho Newspaper – Translated by Hoang Dat