1. Hibiscus plant
Hibiscus flower (known in the South as cotton hibiscus), also known as Transcan da, belongs to the mallow family, native to tropical Asia. This is a small tree, 1-2m high, single leaves, alternate, serrated leaf blade. The flowers are large, red-pink, there are also white-pink, yellow-colored types, flowers usually grow in the axils of leaves or at the top of branches.
In Vietnam, the tree grows wild in many places, ever since it has become very familiar, especially to children in rural areas. Because hibiscus is often used as a fence, planted as an ornamental, the bright, diverse and vibrant colors of this flower make the yard and the road extremely eye-catching.
But few people know that, in addition to being used as an ornamental, the leaves of the hibiscus plant are also associated with a rustic dish of the people in the villages – hibiscus crab soup. Especially in Ninh Binh, this type of fenced leaves has become a “specialty”, visiting the ancient capital of Hoa Lu for thousands of years must definitely enjoy a bowl of crab soup cooked with cool hibiscus, served with coffee. salt cannon… It’s so simple, but you keep eating from one bowl of rice to another.
In addition, hibiscus leaves can also be boiled with chili garlic fish sauce to eat very well and cool. Stir-fried hibiscus with garlic is also a very famous dish in Ninh Binh. Many people first heard about field crab hibiscus soup, boiled hibiscus, sautéed garlic … must be alarmed: “This wild vegetable can also make so many dishes?”…
2. Tree of leaves
The plant belongs to the family Zanthoxylum. This family has about 250 species, of which there is a type called swollen tree. The Chinese call it dihedral because both sides of the leaves have spines. It is a thorny, climbing shrub. Leaves compound, oddly feathery, alternate, consisting of five whole leaflets. In Vietnam, thistle tree grows wild everywhere, climbing fences in some mountainous districts of Phu Yen province such as Son Tinh, Son Hoa district.
Visually, the leaves look like tea leaves, but are smaller and have a purple underside. Some gourmets in Phu Yen love this new “forest leaf”.
Mr. Nguyen Van Bong – chef at a hotel in Phu Yen said that the Ba Na, E De … in Phu Yen are very gourmet with dit leaves. Their popular dish is cooked with walking chicken. A few decades ago, they cooked with wild chicken with dill leaves, but now the quantity of “flying chicken” has become scarce.
Dit leaves cooked with sour soup are suitable for many types of seafood or wild birds, but cooked with fresh chicken is the most standard, worthy of the title of specialty. When eating this dish with a cup of crushed wild chili salt, the aroma and sour taste of dill leaves blend with the sweet and aromatic taste of chicken, plus the spicy taste of chili on the tip of the tongue, while eating and sipping.