Red jellyfish – Vietnam’s sashimi from pedlars
Around early February till May (lunar calendar) every year, cuisine lovers in Hà Nội come to pedlars on sidewalks to enjoy the most cooling dish in the summer, red jellyfish.
Red jellyfish is a kind of seasonal food with the best favored jellyfish emerging in March when attractive trays full of red jellyfish and side dishes are displayed in sidewalk stalls or pedlars.
While white jellyfish are known to many people, red jellyfish are only found in Hải Phòng and Nam Định. Jellyfish in Hải Phòng are dark red and jellyfish in Thái Bình are light red. After being caught, jellyfish are put immediately in a water tank mixed with the root or body of Bruguiera to prevent jellyfish from dissolve, to deodorize, and maintain a beautiful red color.
It’s up to their liking, cuisine lovers can choose to eat jellyfish stings which are crispy or jellyfish bodies which are soft like jelly. A set of red jellyfish with side dishes such as herbs, fried tofu, coconut, and lemon is sold at 30,000 vnd. A red jellyfish is placed on a perilla with coconut and a slice of fried tofu. Those are rolled and eaten with fermented shrimp sauce. This kind of food is also considered the Vietnamese version of sashimi.
Nếu ai lần đầu thưởng thức hoặc nhạy cảm sẽ thấy sứa hơi tanh, ăn không quen. Tuy nhiên nếu đã thích nghi được mùi vị của món ăn thì chỉ mong đến mùa để được thưởng thức. Sứa mềm mịn, mọng nước, không tanh lại có độ thanh mát nên giải nhiệt rất tốt.
Those who eat this dish for the first time or are too sensitive will find it a little bit fishy. However, once familiar, cuisine lovers are always looking forward to summer to enjoy this dish. Red jellyfish are soft, juicy, and cooling.
Visiting Hà Nội, cuisine lovers can enjoy red jellyfish in sidewalk stalls or from pedlars with a few small chairs. Small space can not prevent you from enjoying the taste of such a renowned dish.