Bitter bolete and seafood soup
Bitter boletes are wild mushrooms grown from Melaleuca leaves in Melaleuca forests. Bitter bolete appears like an umbrella. It has a tannish brown cap and stalk but white root and extremely bitter flavor. Bitter boletes only grow once annually, after the first rains and lastes about one month. Therefore, a tip for tourists who want to try this bitter bolete and seafood soup is traveling to Phu Quoc in May and July, when bitter boletes grow most.
Like the name, bitter bolete has a featured bitter taste, however, many eaters have been lured by that flavor. Bitter bolete is used to cook many dishes, but mostly for seafood soup. Seafood here could be grilled barracuda or giant sword minnow. Bitter boletes cooked with barracuda or giant sword minnow and added up an egg will give the dish a richer and deeper flavor. Tourists will experience many flavor in one dish, from bitterness to sweetness and finally fattiness.
Sea urchins are considered to be a product that locals both love and hate. Hate because they are easily pinked by urchin’s spines if they are careless when diving. When being pinked, the feeling is sharply painful. However, this edible gold from the ocean has brought a delicacy to Phu Quoc cuisine.
To eat live urchins, fresh urchins have just been caught from the ocean are selected. Sea urchins are cut in half, carefully rinsed and removed all blood vessels inside. Take the yellow roe inside into a bowl, add few drops of lemon and mustard, mix them well and you can enjoy it with mustard greens. However, the most common recipe is grilling. Sea urchins are only needed to be lightly grilled and they can be served with the mixture of pepper and lemon with few peanuts added up. The scent of this grilled urchin is aromatic and taste like the pure deep ocean. Sea urchin is rich of nutrition as well.
Unlike other seafood, abalone is a rare and valuable seafood and extremely expensive as well. During feudal period, it was one of the eight “treasure bowls” only for the kings. Phu Quoc’s abalone is well-known for its crunchiness and chewiness and really good smell. Abalone is also nutritious: good for kidney, lower body temperature, anti-asthenia,… There are two types of Phu Quoc’s abalone, including dried abalone or fresh abalone.
Even abalones are expensive, tourists should try grilled Phu Quoc’s abalone once because it is sweet deliciousness. To enrich the taste, you should eat grilled abalone with sauce made from sliced ginger, chopped garlic and fresh fish sauce. When enjoying grilled abalone, you would feel like harmonizing with the fresh taste of the pearl land Phu Quoc.
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