Fertile and immense within the central southern coastal region, Phu Yen province has a total area of 5,045 square kilometres and a coastal length of 189km. Besides the resounding feats, the particular cultural features preserved in history here also possesses lots of specialties of the land, the rural people, not easily found in other places… Phu Yen Newspaper reports.

Homemade and homegrown dishes

First of all, it’s a must to mention the sweet and sour soup of “dit” leaves in An Xuan commune (Tuy An district) and other communes of Son Long, Son Dinh, Son Xuan (Son Hoa district). “Dit” leaves cooked in sweet and sour soup are so tasty with lots of seafood, but the most delicious one is “dit” leaves in with chicken. Add ample amount of water and when the chicken is well done, roughly crush the prepared parts of leaves to place into the boiling pot, then immediately turn off the oven, add a little bit salt. Sweet and sour soup with “Dit” leaves is often served with a small bowl of hot chilli salt. The flavor of the soup is mild, with a unique taste of sour, the stout and evil smell of chicken, the spicy taste of chili and even the really sweet flavor of the combination, which can be felt right at the tip of the tongue, and this is definitely uttered.

In Son Hoa district, there’s one specialty named one-sun exposure policy, which is also the province’s specialty. That way of naming creates both the image of rural inhabitants and the hardship, the unforgettable feeling and duty when it comes to food enjoying. According to Nguyen Thi Ha, owner of the most well-known unit processing one-sun exposure beef in Son Hoa district, to have tasty beef, it’s a must to choose the young grass cows raised in natural conditions. Take two parts of thigh and flesh in a cow to pre-process, then cut into thin slices, about 0.4kg each, marinate with salt, sugar, small chili before drying it in the sunlight. On strongly sunny days, it’s only necessary to dry one time, in case of no sun, it’s possible to dry with coal. After the pre-processing steps, the remaining flesh will be both dry and tough, with naturally sweet flavor, so unique. The best way to enjoy one-sun exposure beef is by grilling over charcoal, tearing alongside the meat into small pieces, dipping into the yellow ant salt, to serve with cucumbers, sorts of mints. This dish is used as souvenirs by those from the north and the south of the country, to express the hospitality of the people in the mountainous district of Son Hoa.

It’s inevitable not to mention the specialty of La Hai, which is “muong” fish, shaped like the white fish only existing in streams and rivers. The fish body is slim with the length from 10cm to 15cm, minor fins, silver in colour, the size is about the index finger of an adult. In the cuisine list, this fish is also named, and the “top” is the grilled one. The fresh fish is directly placed over the coal, well-cooked one is enjoyed immediately, one can feel so much crispy, sweet. On rainy days, grilled “muong” fish is served with rice paper, vegetables, fish sauce, one can feel full but still craving.

Unique with the sea and river tasty dishes

O Loan lagoon is one of the famous scenic spots in Phu Yen. It has lots of precious seafood like shrimps, shells, blue swimmers, “vuot” fish, oysters… with the last being considered the “top” of O Loan lagoon. Oysters are processed into various dishes like grilled, cooked with banana trunks, but the most yummy one is congee. Congee with oysters should be processed from red rice, fresh oysters with some normal spices. Like other types of congees, yet, oyster congee possesses a very strong flavor once added with spices. Oyster congee is more tasty if eaten cool, not hot.

Besides, O Loan lagoon also has another type of fish called “mai”, appearing in density from February in the lunar calendar to summer. Fishermen catch and process lots of tasty dishes, and most yummy of all is “mai” fish salad. Brought from the lagoon, the fish is still fresh, then cleaned, sunk in salt water for some minutes for the flesh to be solid with white colour preserved. The dish is served with a big bowl of lime juice, about 300 grams of peanuts and some mints of various kinds, banana flowers, green tomatoes, bitter bananas, star fruits... “Mai” fish is also a kind of dish with high nutrition, seemingly becomeing a particularly good quality dish.

Phu Yen is the “capital” of oceanic tuna, which is processed into such tasty dishes as grilled tuna, served with mustard, “beacon” steamed as well as other dishes made from the fish parts like guts, ribs, fins… Among the popular dishes from tuna, the tastiest one is definitely tuna served with mustard, which food connoisseurs call oceanic tuna in sashimi type. Eating this dish requires green cabbages and fish sauce mixed with mustard, bitter bananas, sour star fruit, white onions; basils to be served along with are corianders, white mints; fried peanuts, grilled rice paper. Also, not less tasty is the dish of steamed tuna’s eyes, which are normally as big as a fist. The eyes are marinated and preserved carefully. To be processed, one eye is marinated with herbal medicine, lemon grass, chili, pepper… then placed into a clay pot to steam. It can be said that the dish has a strong and unique flavour in Tuy Hoa city. It brings about high nutrition, is good for our health, with a necessary amount of vitamins to help human have a relaxing feeling after a stressful working day.-VNA