If you come to Hon Khoi in the season of anchovies, from October to February lunar calendar, you should try lua salad. The salad is made from fish, and added soup when eating so it has a very special flavor.
With 4 coastal communes, Hon Khoi offers year-round fresh seafood. In its menu, Hon Khoi has a particularly tasty dish processed from fresh fish and vegetables from home gardens called lua salad, which makes a unique culinary culture.
Lua salad is made from small fish without scales and blood (not fishy) like perch or mai fish, but the most common and the most delicious is anchovy.
The season of anchovies is from October to February lunar calendar. For a tasty salad, fish must be newly caught and fresh. In this region, most of the families have large and lush gardens with all kinds of vegetables used as materials for the salad including the core of banana trees.
It must be the inner core of the banana that makes the uniqueness for the dish. When cutting down the banana tree, people choose its core part to make salad, ensuring the crispness and softness after dabbling boiling broth. Vegetables served with the salad include lettuce, herbs, perilla ... Especially, lua salad is not served with noodles but with baked rice paper produced in Ninh Hoa.
To make the salad, choose fresh anchovies, remove head and bone. The fish meat is soaked in lemon ice water. Baby fresh shrimps are peeled and chopped.
The core of the banana tree is minced moderately and soaked in diluted salt water to keep white. Onions are minced and dried. Herbs, eggplant are chopped tomato. Mix minced bananas, onion and fish together. Take it on the plate and decorate with herbs, dried onion, peanuts.
Put the salad on the bowl, dabble boiling broth (in order to make the fish cooked again by heat). Crumble a little baked rice paper.
Lua salad is suitable in the cold season when the family gathers around the table. Enjoying lua salad is enjoying both in one: the taste of the sea and the smell of a vegetable garden.
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