When being asked about Phu Quoc in Vietnam, most of you will mention these long beautiful beaches right away. It is true but sometimes it is just not enough. Phu Quoc is a paradise for beach lovers and big fans of seafood at the same time. Read this article from phuquocislandreviews to understand more about that.
Must-enjoy dishes in Phu Quoc
Raw herring salad (goi ca mai)
Raw herring salad (Source: Internet)
While Japanese cuisine is famous for sashimi – a delicacy consisting of very fresh raw meat or fish sliced into thin pieces, Phu Quoc in Vietnam gains its nation-wide fame for raw herring salad. Made from herring, which is plentiful on Phu Quoc Sea all year-round, this salad dish is not only the most popular dish but also the flavor of Phu Quoc cuisine, the favorite of all locals.
As it names suggests, this dish is very fresh. Do not expect the presence of oil or anything greasy but only raw fish and shredded coconut mixed with chili, mint, and chopped onion. It sounds incredibly simple? In fact, the preparation is time-consuming and requires the cook’s elaboration. Attention must be paid to every detail to make sure that the white meaty fish is perfectly washed and clean as well as well-marinated. If not, this dish will be sickly or bland.
How to enjoy this dish? Unlike other salad courses in other regional cuisines in Vietnam, which are ready-to-eat, goi ca mai is enjoyed in shape of traditional rice paper rolls. How to create your own rolls? It is pretty easy. Just pick up some pieces of raw fish, shredded coconut, fresh lettuces, cucumber slice, and herbs, then, wrap them in rice paper. It has almost done. The last but not least step is to dip your rolls in the special dipping fish sauce made from Phu Quoc fish sauce, finely chopped garlic, chili, and toasted peanuts.
This salad has everything to become a stunning appetizer: the natural sweetness and saltiness of the fresh fish, the sourness of lime juice, the tartness of the vegetables, the richness of the peanuts and coconut meat, and the spicy, fragrant and unforgettable flavor of the dipping sauce.
Grilled Sea urchin with grease and spring onion (nhum nuong mo hanh)
Grilled urchin (Source: Internet)
Having brown cover and looking like a coconut after its green skin has been taken off, nhum is the weirdest shell you should not miss to try in Phu Quoc.
Sea urchin can be eaten rawly or proceeded into porridge or grilled dish. If your stomach is familiar with raw food, do not hesitate to give raw nhum a try. If not, grilled sea urchin, especially urchin with grease and spring onion – the dish retains the natural sweetness of sea urchin, is what you should not miss.
After the thorns of fresh sea urchins have been removed, sea urchin must be carefully cleaned in advance and then after customer’s order, topped with grease, spring onion, and roasted over charcoal fire until your nose is filled with the aroma. The finishing flavor cannot be complete without salt and lime juice. How to enjoy? Use your spoon to scoop out the flesh and eggs from the shell, dip it into a mixture of salt, black pepper, and lemon juice and finally, savor! In spite of its incredibly ugly appearance, the sweet flavor and the richness of fresh sea urchin combined with the sourness of lime juice is too good to deny the second help.
Nhum attracts gourmets not only for its tempting flavor created by the richness of sea urchins and the fragrant aroma of roasted peanuts, grease and spring onion but also for its high nutrition giving it the name “ginseng of the sea”. A party with Phu Quoc sea urchin, which is low in calories, very low in fat and rich in protein, will provide you with enough energy to continue discovering Phu Quoc.
Best restaurants in Phu Quoc
A restaurant in Phu Quoc (Source: Internet)
- Song Xanh Restaurant 30/4 Street;
- Trung Duong Marina Restaurant at 136 30/4 Street, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc;
- Vuon Tao Restaurant (Apple Garden restaurant) at Cua Lap Hamlet, Duong To commune: This restaurant is most famous for raw herring salad;
- Le Giang Restaurant at 289 Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc;
- Zen Restaurant 30/4 Street, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc;
- Com Bac Restaurant at 77 30/4 Street, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc
Cooked from the freshly caught seafood, Phu Quoc cuisine is a real delight on your trip to this island.