A: Welcome to VOV 24/7’s Food Delight. We’re A and B, ready to share some cooking tips with you.
B: Today, we’ll introduce you to “pickled cassava leaves”, which are one of the specialties of the Red Dao ethnic people in Yen Bai province.
A: But be mindful that not all cassava can be harvested with edible leaves.
B: Yep. There are many cassava cultivars, so it’s quite difficult to differentiate one from another. According to cooking practices of local people, white cassava with green leaves is preferred for this dish.
|“Pickled cassava leaves” are a must try dish in Yen Bai province. (Photo: vietnamnet)
A: The dish is simple, but requires careful preparation, from plucking, rinsing, and salting the leaves. Squeeze slowly so the leaves are crumpled but not in tatters before sprinkling a handful of sea salt over them and tossing them evenly.
B: According to Ms. Ban Thi Duc, from Van Yen district, the leaves are transferred to a sealed jar after being mixed with salt for fermentation.
“The more you squeeze the leaves with the salt, the better the dish is. By squeezing, you can press out all the bitter flavor. The fermented cassava leaves have an even yellow color, and release an attractive aroma, leaving a simple taste that is unforgettable,” Duc said.
A: A tip for delicious fermented vegetables is using boiled water that has been cooled to around 30 degrees Celsius. The salted leaves must be submerged into the water. The jar should be sealed with layers of Dong leaves or banana leaves.
B: Pickled cassava leaves take 1 week to be fully fermented. They can be cooked with fish, egg, and ground meat. This dish does not need any seasoning on the vegetables, according to Ly Thi Mui from Luc Yen district.
“We cook pickled cassava leaves with fish caught in the spring. The dish has a mildly sour taste from the pickles and smokey smell from roasted fish. It takes just 5 to 10 minutes to prepare this dish. This preserved food can be served as a side dish, or can be used as a source of acidity in Vietnamese sour soup,” she said.
A: Pickled cassava leaves can be served with steamed sticky rice. Visitor Nguyen Phuong Linh, said: “Whenever I travel to Yen Bai, I bring home pickled cassava veggies, which are indeed extremely tasty especially with fish. There isn’t a fishy smell, but instead, the aroma of salty and sour cassava vegetables. I truly enjoy the dish."
A: You can try this dish when you visit the Red Dao ethnic people in Yen Bai province. For more recipes, visit vovworld.vn/Food-delight, where many recipes are already waiting for you.
B: Join us again next week for more ideas to diversify your menu. And now, goodbye!