Cà Mau is renowned for its abundance of unique and delectable seafood specialties. Today, we will explore dried shrimp, a prized delicacy from the countryside of Cà Mau. Despite its high cost, dried shrimp remains highly sought after!
1Overview of dried shrimp
What is dried shrimp?
Dried shrimp, also known as split dried shrimp, comes from Cà Mau, the largest aquaculture region in the southwestern part of Vietnam. Although the process of producing dried shrimp used to be challenging, it has now become a staple in the kitchens of the people in Nam Can, particularly during special occasions when hosting guests.
Furthermore, despite not being as renowned as other varieties of dried shrimp, dried shrimp is still in high demand due to its unique and delightful flavor. It captures the hearts of countless culinary enthusiasts and is often sought after by tourists as a gift when visiting Cà Mau.
How is dried shrimp prepared?
The people in Nam Can carefully select large-sized shrimp with red tails. They remove the shells while leaving the shrimp tails intact for easy handling and consumption. Next, they thread the shrimp onto skewers made of pandan leaves or strings, spacing each shrimp 2 inches apart. The skewers are turned every 30 minutes to ensure even drying of the shrimp.
Unlike the well-known dried fish from Cà Mau, dried shrimp requires proper sun-drying for 3-4 days under full sunlight to achieve a superior and long-lasting product. Due to the labor-intensive process, dried shrimp is relatively costly. Nevertheless, its exceptional and delectable flavor makes it a regrettable omission if not sampled during a visit to Cà Mau.
Additionally, experienced food enthusiasts can evaluate the quality of dried shrimp based on its color. A brick-red color, natural aroma, and absence of fishy smell indicate well sun-dried and excellent quality.
2How to store dried shrimp
After purchasing dried shrimp from Cà Mau, it can be divided into portions based on the serving size of your family members and stored in the freezer. However, to prevent loss of natural sweetness and aroma, it is advisable not to store it for an extended period.
Alternatively, if you prefer not to use the freezer, you can sun-dry the dried shrimp once again before packaging it in a container or vacuum-sealed bag. Additionally, placing moisture-absorbing packets alongside the dried shrimp aids in ensuring good quality and prolonged preservation.
3Delicious dishes using dried shrimp
Due to its unique taste, dried shrimp is not commonly used in various other cooking methods. However, its fast and straightforward preparation allows for grilling the shrimp over charcoal or a small flame on a stove, which enhances its sweet flavor, chewy texture, and distinctive aroma.
Furthermore, dried shrimp can be combined with other traditional dishes like salad or stir-fried vegetables to intensify the flavors. It can also be used as a dipping sauce for fresh spring rolls or rice paper rolls, among others, to elevate the taste. These are the details about dried shrimp – a valuable specialty of Cà Mau that maintains high demand despite its premium price.
We hope that this article has provided you with interesting insights and an opportunity to savor this traditional and delectable gift!