Located in the Mekong Delta, Dong Thap is well-known for having a lot of breathtaking landscapes and historical sites. Especially, Dong Thap possesses a unique cuisine attracting many hostile foodies. Local people know how to make use of their natural resources and cooking skills to make the best food ever. If you are considering what food to try on your trip, why not follow our list about What to eat in Dong Thap?
What to eat in Dong Thap – Top local specialties in Dong Thap
1. What to eat in Dong Thap – Sa Dec rice noodles soup
Sa Dec city is not only famous for the stunning flower village but also the tradition of making rice noodles for more than 100 years. Also, the rice noodles are made by local people by using the traditional way. Additionally, the dish includes broth, rice noodles, pork, vegetables, and herbs. The broth is cooked basing on a special recipe with pork bones, dried shrimp, dried squid, and traditional spices. Thus, it tastes naturally sweet and intense. A bowl of Sa Dec rice noodles has rice noodles, broth, lean pork, pork heart, pork liver served with some vegetables such as bean sprouts, garlic chives, and salad.
Besides, visitors have a chance to enjoy Sa Dec rice noodles with special sauce and a bowl of soup. The dish will satisfy the taste of every tourist, even the hostile ones.
2. Nem Lai Vung (Lai Vung fermented pork)
The fermented Lai Vung makes visitors fall head over the heels with its special flavor. Lai Vung fermented pork is made from lean pork, pork skin, Erythrina Orientalis leaves, and banana leaves. Then, people mix the ground lean pork, shredded pork skin, black pepper, and chilies. They wrap the mixture in the Erythrina Orientalis leaves, then a layer of banana leaves to make a cube. Especially, the cube is left for 3 to days before it is ready to serve. When you try the Lai Vung fermented pork, you feel different flavors from sweet, sour, salty to hot from pepper and chilies.
3. Lai Vung Red Mandarins
Lai Vung is considered the land of Red Mandarins because it has favorable conditions to grow this fruit. During the harvesting season, Vinh Thoi, Tan Phuoc, Tan Thanh, and Long Hau communes are full of the orange color of red mandarins. Lai Vung provides more than 40,000 tones of red mandarins to the other provinces and Vietnam annually. What makes Lai Vung red mandarins more special than any other kinds of mandarins? The answer lies in its sweet taste, pleasant smell, thin skin, and very few seeds. Therefore, It is a wonderful idea to visit the red mandarins garden and try some red mandarins.
4. Sa Giang Shrimp Chips
There are only the two most famous shrimp crackers in Viet Nam produced in Dong Thap and Ca Mau. Sa Giang shrimp crackers have become popular since 1960. The main ingredients include tapioca starch, fresh shrimps, duck eggs, garlic, and spices. Then, people steam the mixture, roll it out, then cut it into round chips and dry it. To enjoy them, you need to fry them in oil for a couple of minutes until it is crispy, smelling good, and bigger. It can be served with chicken salad, duck salad, and noodle soup or eaten as an appetizer to make the main dish more delicious.
5. Cao Lanh Pancakes
Pancakes (Banh xeo) is always a favorite dish from the North to the South. But, what makes Cao Lanh Pancakes that special? In general, Cao Lanh Pancakes use similar ingredients with other Vietnamese pancakes such as rice flour, coconut milk, chopped green onion, and turmeric. Nevertheless, the filling is different with jicama, bean sprouts, especially duck or shrimp.
The process of frying Vietnamese Pancakes is very difficult because people have to make the crust thin and crispy with a semicircle shape. Another secret of making a tasty Vietnamese Pancake is the sweet-sour fish sauce with pickled carrot and daikon. The combination of pancakes, fish sauce, and local herbs makes Cao Lanh Pancakes become a great dish for travelers.
6. Grilled snakehead fish rolled with lotus leaf
Snakehead fish smoked in rice straw is a special dish in the Mekong Delta. However, in Dong Thap, snakehead fish is wrapped in a lotus leaf and then put inside the straw to burn. The lotus leaf can keep the snakehead fish from tasting burnt and butter. Besides, it can make the fish more sweet and chewy. The sauce is made from tamarind, fish sauce, chilies, and garlic following a traditional recipe. Another important part of this dish is local vegetables, especially young lotus leaves.
7. Linh fish hot pot with Cork Flowers
Linh fish hot pot with Cork flowers is a popular dish of the flooding season. People use coconut water, tamarind, Linh dish, and other spices to make a hot pot broth. The fish is prepared and washed carefully to drain until it is cooked. Besides, dried garlic and other herbs are added to the hot pot to increase its flavor and remove the stink of the fish. The main vegetable of the hot pot is Cork Flowers only existing in the flooding season. It tastes slightly sweet with a little bitter. Trying Linh fish hot pot with Cork Flower and other vegetables will cool the heat a sunny day in Dong Thap.
8. Sa Dec Grilled Duck
Sa Dec Grilled duck is famous for using a unique way to cook. This makes visitors impress with the tender, chewy, crispy skin and soft duck meat inside. After being grilled, the duck has a yellow-brown color looking so delicious. Local people use farm ducks to make grilled ducks because their meat is firm, tender, and little chewy meat compared to other kinds of ducks.
9. Hotpot with Paddy Crab Paste
If you are going to have a trip on Dong Thap, don’t miss the hot pot with Paddy Crab Paste. All of the ingredients of this hot pot have to be fresh such as paddy crabs, tomatoes, fish sauce, vegetables, and other spices and vegetables. The paddy crabs are crushed into tiny pieces, added some spices, and boiled to make paddy crab paste. Meanwhile, the hot pot broth is made from water, tamarind, tomatoes, spices, and herbs. Thus, it is the perfect dish for cold days.
10. Pink Lotus wines
Red Lotus Wine in Dong Thap is famous for its taste and high quality. The red lotus wine is made from different parts of lotuses following a traditional recipe for at least 6 months. Red lotus wine is also beneficial for people’s health with proper use. Therefore, this is actually a worth-trying drink in Dong Thap.
Top best restaurants in Dong Thap
1. Hu Tieu Ba Sam
Address: Tran Hung Dao Street Tan Binh, Sa Dec city
2. Huong Que Restaurant
Address: 662 Phu Long Hamlet, Tan Phu Dong Commune, Sa Dec city
3. Co Ut Crab hot pot
Address: 345/5 Tran Thi Nhuong Street, Ba Commune, Sa Dec city
4. Xeo Quyt Restaurant
Address: 4 Ward, My Hiep Commune, Cao Lanh city
5. Thuan Viet Restaurant
Address: 218A, Nguyen Hue Street, 2 Commune, Cao Lanh city
6. Ba Tam Restaurant
Address: 53, Pham Huu Lau Street, 4 Commune, Cao Lanh city