Local flavor

Grilled sea urchin with spring onions

A great combination of pork fat and tasty sea urchin meat intermingled with the fragrant aroma of spring onions and roasted peanuts, the dish is a delicacy of fishermen in the central coastal region.

Sea urchins live mainly in the sea from the central coastal region to Phu Quoc island.  They live in the area of coral and rock because their food is seaweed.  Sea urchins grow rapidly from the third to the sixth lunar months so their meat is most delicious during this time. There are many types of urchins, but the black sphere-shaped one with the size of an orange is the best. 

It is very simple to cook the dish. Stir chopped green onions with the grease from pork fat. Roast the peanuts until they turn brownish yellow and crispy and then smash them to small pieces. Remove the thorns and clean the fresh sea urchins, cut them in half, and grill them over hot charcoal. Top the tasty grilled sea urchins with roasted peanuts, grease and onions.

The dish is best served with salt and black pepper mixed with lemon, or with mustard. Sea urchin porridge is also a delicious and nutritious dish. 

Sea urchins provide calcium that help strengthen one’s health. The species has a high economic value, selling for between 20,000 and 30,000 dong/piece. 

Story: Son Nghia - Photos: Nguyen Luan

Pa Thens Sticky Rice Cake

Pa Then's Sticky Rice Cake

Day (sticky rice) cake is one of the indispensable dishes during the Tet holidays of the Pa Then ethnic people in Lam Binh District, Tuyen Quang Province. This cake serves as offerings to ancestors and deities to pray for a prosperous and joyful new year, favorable weather, abundant harvests, and a warm and prosperous family.