Sa Dec, a small and tranquil city in Dong Thap province, Vietnam, is renowned for its beautiful landscapes and is often referred to as the “largest flower basket” of the Mekong Delta. In addition to its scenic beauty, Sa Dec is also well-known for its delectable cuisine. If you visit Sa Dec, you must definitely enjoy the following 5 specialties in Sa Dec. Update 09/22/2023
Sa Dec noodle soup
Hu Tieu is a highly renowned dish in Sa Dec. It is distinguished by its essential ingredient, rice flour noodles, which are soft yet firm. According to locals, the key to achieving a delicious bowl of Sa Dec noodle soup lies in the quick boiling of the noodles in hot water. Overcooking them would result in a mushy and broken texture.
The various components of the dish, such as liver, kidney, and meat, should be thoroughly cleaned and rubbed with salt to eliminate any unwanted odors. The broth is prepared by simmering beef bones, and any foam that forms on the surface should be promptly skimmed off to maintain a clear broth. To infuse the broth with a distinct and delightful aroma, dried squid and dried shrimp are often added.
These careful steps and attention to detail contribute to the exceptional flavor of Sa Dec’s Hu Tieu noodle soup. When exploring the culinary delights of the city, be sure to savor this beloved specialty and appreciate the expertise that goes into its preparation.
The Sa Dec bowl of noodle soup features a clear broth, served with white bread, and topped with essential ingredients like pork liver, meat, kidney, and quail eggs. These ingredients are arranged generously on a bed of noodles. The dish is further enhanced with the addition of chives, bean sprouts, and a few stalks of lettuce, providing a refreshing crunch. To add a well-rounded flavor, fresh chili and satay are also commonly included.
The combination of these elements creates a harmonious balance of textures and flavors in the Sa Dec bowl of noodle soup. It is a dish that showcases the richness and variety of ingredients found in the region, providing a satisfying and delightful culinary experience for those fortunate enough to taste it.
Silkworm cake is another must-try specialty in Sa Dec. This unique dish involves a meticulous process that begins with rice flour and tapioca flour, which are then kneaded and transformed into fibers before being steamed.
The finely cut skin is combined with various spices, and in some places, shumai or spring rolls are added. The dish is complemented by herbs, bean sprouts, cucumber, a layer of extra skin, spring rolls, and a drizzle of sweet and sour fish sauce and rich coconut milk.
When served, the silkworm cakes are placed on a plate with a bed of herbs, bean sprouts, cucumber, extra skin, spring rolls, and topped with coconut milk and sweet and sour fish sauce. Each delicate strand of the silkworm cake absorbs the flavors of the sweet and sour fish sauce, while the richness of the coconut milk and the aroma of the herbs create an unforgettable taste sensation.
The combination of textures and flavors in the silkworm cake dish is truly unique, offering a delightful and memorable culinary experience for visitors to Sa Dec.
Grilled snakehead fish
Grilled snakehead fish is a beloved specialty in Sa Dec that attracts many food enthusiasts. This dish is prepared with simple yet readily available ingredients, including snakehead fish, fresh herbs, cucumbers, and lotus buds.
The snakehead fish is grilled over dried straw until it achieves a golden brown color, imparting a delightful aroma and a tender, sweet flavor.
When enjoying this dish, diners typically roll the fish meat with fresh vegetables and vermicelli, and then dip it into tangy tamarind fish sauce. For those who enjoy a bit of heat, adding some spicy chili provides a perfect balance of flavors.
The grilled snakehead fish showcases the natural goodness of the fish, enhanced by the smoky and slightly charred notes from the grilling process. It is a delectable dish that captures the essence of Sa Dec’s culinary delights.
Crazy fish hotpot
This dish is a specialty of the floating season in Sa Dec, featuring two main ingredients: Linh fish and Dandelion cotton. The Linh fish is prepared by removing its tail, washing it, draining it, and marinating it with garlic, monosodium glutamate, and sugar. As for the Dandelion cotton, the buds are separated from the stalks, washed, and dried.
To prepare the hot pot, fresh coconut water is used as a base, seasoned with fish sauce, sugar, tamarind, chili, garlic, and other desired seasonings. The hot pot is simmered to create a flavorful broth.
When enjoying this dish, the fish is placed into the hot pot and quickly taken out to be savored. Diners can also add the Dandelion cotton into the hot pot and let it cook. This rustic and simple dish is typically enjoyed by dipping the cooked fish and Dandelion cotton into a savory fish sauce accompanied by chopped chili.
The combination of tender Linh fish and the unique taste of Dandelion cotton, along with the flavorful hot pot broth, creates a delightful dining experience. It is a dish that showcases the local flavors of Sa Dec during the floating season.
Water lily braised sauce
Water lily braised in fish sauce is another rustic dish in Sa Dec. This dish is particularly popular during the floating season when water lilies are abundant. The water lilies are picked, washed, and cut into stalks for cooking.
The key ingredient in this dish is fish paste or fish chok, which is used to make the fish sauce. Other ingredients include lemongrass, bacon, and fish varieties such as snakehead or goby. The fish sauce is seasoned to taste.
When enjoying this dish, the water lily stalks are added to the braised fish sauce and immediately taken out to maintain their crispness. It is recommended to eat the dish while it is still hot to fully appreciate the delicious flavors. The aroma of the fish sauce and the rich taste allow diners to experience the essence of the local cuisine in Sa Dec.
Water lily braised in fish sauce is a dish that showcases the freshness of the water lilies and the savory flavors of the fish sauce. It is a favorite among the people of Dong Thap and offers a taste of the local culinary traditions in Sa Dec.