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Cay – a crab-like specialty, everyone loves to eat it

From April to September of the lunar calendar, walking along the forest of parrots in Bang, Thong Nhat (Ha Long City, Quang Ninh) will see twinkling night lights. That’s when people here go “hunting” fish.

Cay belong to the family of crabs, there are many types of fish: red claw, wind fish, black fish, hairy fish, but the most delicious is the red catfish. They live in brackish water near estuaries, so some people call them sea fish, others call them river fish. Fish usually have small but rather large hairs, smaller but hairy legs, and many striated gills.


Cay is a famous specialty in Quang Ninh

This special species often lives in caves on the banks of fields or ditches, river banks, the bigger the sun, the more foxes crawl out of the cave to find food. Mr. Tien (in Ha Long, Quang Ninh) said that the civets are “dead cowards”, whenever there is a slight noise, they hide in the cave, they run very fast, so hunting is not easy.

In the past, there were many civets, going to the fields, along rivers and streams for a while, it was possible to catch a basket full of fish to cook. At that time, fish was the food of the poor, the price was extremely cheap. But now it’s different, the fish from “take away” is now worth dozens of times higher than rice production. When the fish was sold for a price, the fisherman’s life was changed.”


In the past, fish was present in the meals of the poor, now it has changed its life into an expensive specialty

According to Mr. Tien, hunting squirrels also must be experienced, must be very skillful and quick to catch them. From early in the morning when it was still dark, when the fish came out to eat, it was the easiest time to catch. “At that time, the civets that come out of the cave to find food will get into the basket. By mid-morning, they have to come and collect the baskets to bring back. If they don’t stay too long in the hot sun, they will die. Each person can catch 15-20kg of fish. sold to traders”, Mr. Tien said.

According to the survey, in the fish season, it is sold for 80,000-100,000 VND/kg. If there is a day when there is no water, the amount of fish is scarce, the selling price of the fish can still be up to 150,000 VND/kg.


In times of scarcity, fish can be up to 150,000 VND/kg

According to local people, the dishes made from sedge are simple but extremely attractive. Most restaurants in Quang Ninh have fish dishes to serve tourists, the most famous being fish sauce. The jars of fish sauce after salting take 2 months to eat, more difficult to eat until 1 year later, at this time the fish sauce will have a bright yellow color. This is the perfect fish sauce, once eaten, you will remember it for a lifetime.

After catching fish, remove the bib and strip of feces that are the cause of the stinky meat and then soak the fish in clean water for 30-40 minutes. Next, separate the carcass part and keep it separate, the body of the pike is also pounded or pureed. When pounding, add a little salt. According to folk experience, adding a pinch of salt when pounding together will cause the meat to clump when cooking and must be simmered to retain its deliciousness.

Ms. Hoang Xuan (local resident) revealed that when she peels off the bib, there are usually tiny clusters of tiny eggs. This bunch of eggs can be peeled off separately, left in a dry place, and then dipped with dried onions and fat into a nutritious and delicious dish. Cockroach eggs can be cooked with jute vegetables, spinach.

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