For those who have traveled to this mountain area, it is for sure that they will remember unique specialties of Kon Tum which can’t be found anywhere else such as bitter fish or Mang Den toasted pig.
Mang Den toasted pig
Mang Den pig is a kind of pig of local tribe. Pigs are fed with natural foods so its meat is very firm and nutritious. Pigs are cleared, its organs are taken out, and then marinated with spices which are ingredients from the mountains of Mang Den. The whole pig is toasted on charcoal fire until skin turns golden, crunchy and fragrant.
Kon Tum vegetables salad
It can’t be considered to have been in Kon Tum without eating vegetable salad. Although there is only one dish, it covers almost the whole tray because actually, there are up to 40-50 kinds of vegetables from common ones such as cabbage leaves, perilla, dinh lang, fig leaves, stink vine, onions, basil to less common ones such as mango leaves, guava leaves, tomato leaves and a wide variety of unique leaves of Tay Nguyen.
Porcupine meat with sweet savor, cold nature is nutritious and laxative, can be processed into attractive dishes. Grilled porcupine, bamboo tube –stuffed porcupine meat, porcupine bone soup cooked with cornstarch, porcupine packed with dong leaves. All dishes are unique and delicious because porcupine flesh is firm, fragrant but not fat; its dermis is thick but brittle.
Sticky rice with bamboo shoots
It is only familiar sticky rice, cleverly combined with bamboo shoots, but became familiar breakfast dishes for every people in Kon Tum.
If you have chance to visit Kon Tum, do not miss the opportunity to enjoy sour fish-the specialty of Je Trieng ethnic group- with the bold flavor of the region. The longer the dish is stored, the more delicious it is because the pieces of fish become smaller thanks to spices permeating into the fish meat. This makes people feel the saltiness of salts, spicy of chili, sweetness of bep leaves, fragrance of corn and sourness of the fermented mix.
When visiting Kon Tum someday, remember to try fried crickets to feel its bold taste. Dishes from crickets are quite unfamiliar to people in plain region, but to the ethnic minority in Kon Tum, these dishes have become familiar and much-loved.
Fish and yellow ants salad (Ca goi kien vang)
Traveling to Sa Thay district where Ro Mam ethnic group live, you should enjoy a unique and strange salad of fish and yellow ants. If just hearing its name, you may feel afraid, but when you have eaten, you will want to eat again.
Field mouse meat
Je Trieng people in Dak Glei district have another specialty. It is field mouse meat, processed into two dishes: grilled field mouse meat and dried field mouse meat. Harvesting season is also the time when field mice become fat; the locals start to hunt mice. Roll a pile of straw to fire mouse. By this way, mouse radiates aroma and keep the sweetness of meat.
Bitter eggplant is a rustic dish of Kon Tum ethnic minority. Bitter eggplant is cut into thin slices. Bitter eggplant is cut each slice and skewered through each grill stick. When eggplant turns dark brown, and radiates aromatic flavor is when it is medium cooked. Eating with forest salt or forest grilled meat is very tasty.
Sim Mang Den sweet wine
The source of materials used to produce sim wine – the specialty of Kon tum is wild sim growing naturally in the highlands of Mang Den village in Kon Tum. From this precious source of materials combining with French modern technology of producing wine, all make a rustic and natural aroma for Sim Mang Den wine.