Mother nature has bestowed Ben Tre a land rich with fertile soil, green fields and orchards, particularly the immense coconut gardens. The coconut tree not only goes into poetry, but is also an essential element in Ben Tre cuisine...Mother nature has bestowed Ben Tre a land
rich with fertile soil, green fields and orchards, particularly the
immense coconut gardens. The coconut tree not only goes into poetry, but
is also an essential element in Ben Tre cuisine culture. Many famous
delicacies in Ben Tre are made with coconut as the main and
indispensable ingredient. Among such delicacies are the coconut rice, or
Ben Tre coconut rice, that is rice cooked inside a coconut, and the
roasted shrimp with coconut milk.
Tre coconut rice is prepared with glutinous rice, which has to be washed
carefully in clean water and then put into a fresh coconut. The coconut
water (water inside the coconut shell) must be enough to fill up the
rice. To cook the stuffs, just cover the coconut lid, put the coconut
into a big boiling pot with some water and steam it over stable heat.
For Ben Tre coconut rice, dwarf Siamese coconut is the ingredient of
choice, and it is best to choose a fresh mature one.
Coconut rice and roasted shrimp with coconut milk (Source: Ben Tre
Tourism Promotion Information Center)
most difficult thing to do is to balance between the coconut water and
the rice. More water than rice, the coconut rice will be too juicy to
eat. By contrast, less coconut water than rice, it will be too dry and
hard. It is best to serve coconut rice right after cooking, when it is
still hot. Left long before eating, the white rice will turn into an
ivory colour and lose its taste.
coconut rice, the best advice is to eat it along with roasted shrimp
with coconut milk. To prepare for this dish, we should choose small and
white shrimps that grow in fresh water. After cleaned up, shrimps should
be marinated with sugar, salt and monosodium glutamate and left for a
Just how to make it? It’s
rather simple: put marinated shrimps into a roasting pan, then pour in
coconut milk and roast the ingredients stably over low heat. By this
way, shrimps are gradually absorbed with the coconut milk and turn red.
That is when the dish is ready to serve. Shrimps now look glossy, are a
bid crispy and have characteristic taste.
visitors who come to Ben Tre for a culinary experience, it is regretful
to bypass the coconut rice and roasted shrimp with coconut milk. Coming
to Ben Tre, visitors should try to have a coconut rice along with
roasted shrimp with coconut milk to experience the quintessence of Ben
Tre cuisine and have a good impression of the homeland of coconut.
Written by Hanh Chi
Translated by Truong Hung