Skip Navigation Linksnews

Coconut young core salad – the quintessence of Ben Tre’s cuisine

16/08/2019 18:00 |

Ben Tre is known as the homeland of coconut, with a rich and diverse ecosystem. In that ecosystem, the coconut tree is seen as an abundant source of materials that the people of Ben Tre have long used for various purposes.

Every part of the coconut tree has its own use. Coconut water can be used as a kind of healthy beverage with the effect to releave heat, refresh, and detoxicate our body during the summer time. Coconut oil works to nourish the skin and hair, and the solid waste from the oil making process is used as food for cattle. Next, the leave of coconut tree can be used in several ways, such as house roofing, its stalks can be used for making broom and fine art items. Coconut shell and coconut trunk (the very old one) are good materials for making fine art and handicraft products.

The young core is a vital part of the coconut tree. It is the core of the upper part of the tree, which is deemed to generate the new leaves and bud of the tree. So, the whole tree has to be chopped down so that a block of young core will be taken for food.


Coconut young core salad, the quintessence of Ben Tre’s cuisine. (Photo from collection)

The young core of the coconut tree is considered a kind of vegetable, with fine and mildly sweet taste. It contains lots of minerals, which is considered very good for our health, especially the digestive system. Coconut young core is commonly used in making various dishes, such as salad, saute, soup, fillings of Vietnamese savory pancake, etc. Among them, the coconut young core salad, which has been honored the quintessence of Ben Tre’s cuisine, is listed as one of more than a hundred of coconut-based dishes to serve for visitors in Ben Tre. It is the graciously sweet taste of the coconut grown on Ben Tre soil that makes up the very characteristic delicacies for the province.

Coconut young core salad is a harmonious combination between the crunchy coconut core and the well-tasted shrimp and pork side. The making process of this dish is very simple: coconut young core, after preliminary treament, is sliced into thin chips; carrot, cucumber are prepared the same way, adding boiled shrimp, pork side, some chopped-up fragrant knotweed, peanut, spices and herbs. Once ready, coconut young core salad is served along with shrimp chupatty and dipped in sweet-and-sour fish sauce. Sometimes this dish is also processed together with other types seafood such as cuttlefish, jellyfish, etc, depending on diners’ taste.

In Ben Tre, coconut young core salad is served in almost every eat-and-drink event, and visitors can try it at any restaurants here. In a typical party, coconut young core salad is among the best starters that diners enjoy before moving on to the main courses. Have you tasted it before? If not yet, try it, and don’t miss this delicacy whenever you pay a visit to Ben Tre. It was recognized by the Viet Nam Records Organization as one of Viet Nam’s 100 culinary specialties in 2016.

Written by Hanh Chi

Translated by Truong Hung