What to eat in Phu Quoc (Part 2)

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Not only is famous for beautiful attractions, Phu Quoc is also renowned for its stunning cuisine. If you get the opportunity to travel there, don’t miss these food below.

>> What to eat in Phu Quoc (Part 1)

Tram Mushroom

Tram Mushroom (also known as Five Hundred Mushroom or the Melaleuca Mushroom) is a seasonal mushroom found in the mangrove forests of Phu Quoc Island during the beginning of the rainy season. In Phu Quoc, this mushroom is cooked in a broth that contains either with shrimp, chicken, or squid.

The mushrooms have a slight better taste to them and also have some medicinal attributes. The local specialty is chicken soup with tram mushrooms.

Where to buy

You can buy dried Tram Mushrooms in Duong Dong Town Market and Ham Ninh Fishing Village. If you want to buy fresh mushrooms, then the best place to find them would be the Duong Dong Market. If you are interested in trying a soup made with this mushroom, then go to any of the Vietnamese restaurants found in 30/4 Street in Duong Dong Town. The price for a bowl of soup is 60,000VND.

Tet Cake, Phu Quoc Style

Tet cakes are popular all over Vietnam and are made with rice, sugar, and mung beans however in Phu Quoc, these cakes are unique because of the packaging material that is used – the La Non Palm, or Lanonia centralis.

Tet Cake (via otophuquoc)

Lanonia centralis is an evergreen, broad-leaved palm with stems as tall as five meters that grows all over the Ham Ninh mountain range. It is often used to make leaf conical hats. But in Phu Quoc, where banana leaves are rare, it is used to wrap the Tet Cakes.

Where to buy

The best place to buy this unique Tet Cake is at the Duong Dong Market and cost 10,000 VND.

Sea Cucumber Soup

There are twenty five species of sea cucumbers in the waters off Phu Quoc and eleven of these species are edible. The most famous sea cucumber dish found in Phu Quoc Island is the sea cucumber soup.

How sea cucumbers are processed

Once the fishermen have caught sea cucumbers, they are immediately processed at sea or near the port. The sea cucumbers are squeezed to force the ejection of the guts and water, or a small cut is made. They then washed in seawater and either sold to restaurants immediately or boiled and left in the sun for some days to dry them out.

Where to buy

Due to the increase demand of sea cucumbers in China, majority of the sea cucumbers are exported and finding a restaurant that serves this soup is relatively difficult. It is considered a “luxury food” product that has high nutritional value and also medicinal value. If you want to try this soup, the best place to find it is in An Thoi Town. The cost for a bowl of soup is 70,000 VND.

Besides the soup, there are a variety of other dishes made with sea cucumbers that you can try, such has baked sea Cucumber in aluminum foil, sea cucumber salad, sea cucumber braised with beef tendon, sea cucumber porridge, and braised Sea Cucumber with oyster sauce.

Sea cucumber soup (via thebakerwoman)

A special kind of sea cucumber – the ball sea cucumber

Ball Sea Cucumber (Banh Long or “fury ball”) is new in demand sea animal that is being much sought after here in Phu Quoc thanks to an increase in Chinese demand for this mysterious bottom dwelling creature. The Chinese claim that this species of sea cucumber has magical healing properties and are willing to offer top dollar for the creature. For you science enthusiasts, this species belongs to Dendrochirotida an order of sea cucumbers from the Holothuroidea class characterized by ten to thirty tentacles. The ball cucumber belongs to the Echinoderms phylum due to its radial symmetry.

How to prepare ball sea cucumber

When the ball sea cucumber is caught, it is cleaned and then covered in salt, then boiled in water, and left to be dried. It is then sold in its dry state. To cook it, you soak it in water for 3 to 4 days, then boil it, slice it, and serve it with other ingredients like mushrooms and pork.

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