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Luong Son specialties

Diners visiting Luong Son commune in Yen Lap district will experience meals inspired by the mountains and trees. One of them is vinegar-cooked stream fish. A familiar, uncomplicated, but not less distinctive Muong dish.

Luong Son specialties

Muong people’s feast at Luong Son commune, with vinegar-cooked stream fish.

Dinh Cong Toan, Vice Chairman of the Luong Son Commune People’s Committee, opened his lips and took us to the residence of Mr. Ha Viet Cuong and Ms. Ha Thi Minh (White Stone area): "It’s called specialties, but these are all rustic, familiar dishes with people in difficult times." Now that life is more rich than ever, the people here are preserving it as a traditional beauty of their nation." Mr. Cuong’s extended family was busy preparing Muong foods to greet us. The highlight is the vinegar-cooked brook fish. The key element is, of course, the stream fish. The fish consumes moss and aquatic creatures and lives in clean streams, so its flesh is solid and tasty. Following that is batch vinegar, which is made from rice grown in the mountains and fermented to a specified acidity. The dish’s seasonings also include ginger, onions, garlic, chili, turmeric, and sour bamboo shoots.

The dish’s preparation is not difficult, but it does need expertise and attention to detail. Ms. Ha Thi Minh lit the wood burner and immediately mixed onions, garlic, ginger, and turmeric until aromatic and combined. The perfume of spices fills the kitchen as the firelight flickers. She then added three ladles of vinegar to the saucepan and stir-fried everything together to absorb the seasonings. The pleasant sour aroma of fermented vinegar stimulates the eyes. After a few minutes of rapid stirring over high heat, half a bowl of filtered water will be added to the pot and heated until it begins to bubble. Add the cleaned stream fish, cover the saucepan, and wait approximately 10 minutes for it to boil.

Luong Son specialties

Muong girls make food expertly.

Because this food cooks fast and does not need elaborate preparation, it was once popular among foresters. “About 20 years ago, people went into the forest with only a few handfuls of rice, went to the camp to light a fire to cook rice, and caught a few stream fish to grill,” Ms. Ha Thi Su, now 75, recalls. It’s also great boiled with vinegar." Fish fried with vinegar can be served as a standalone meal with crushed sour bamboo shoots or as a dipping sauce with fish salad. You can’t go wrong with raw veggies of all kinds, including yam leaves, lettuce, coriander, dill, fishy fish sauce, and young ones harvested from your own garden.

This dish’s preparation is as straightforward and rustic as its name. The consumer will take a handful of raw veggies, wrap it around a slice of fish salad, then dip it in spicy sauce before devouring it. The taste of raw veggies combined with the moderate sourness of vinegar masks the fishy flavor, making it incredibly tasty. People who take one mouthful want to eat another. This meal has thoroughly captivated and conquered lowland eaters.

Luong Son specialties

Prepare raw veggies to go with the vinegar-cooked stream fish.

We sensed the great fondness that the inhabitants of the highland region have for visitors from far away while eating Muong foods and listening to the women and gentlemen humming the Vi Du song. Currently, Luong Son commune is developing a roadmap to convert local products into OCOP products connected with the “One commune, one product” initiative. Initially, Da Trang green tea goods and the future Din Van sticky rice promise to send positive signals, helping to introduce local products to customers both inside and outside of the province.

Thuy Trang


Thuy Trang

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