Seafood specialties in Ha Long
Like other coastal areas of North Vietnam, Halong has a wide variety of seafood specialties. The most popular are:
- Arca: Lives under mud and has two shells, it is as big as a cup and it can be steamed, grilled or made into soup. "Ruou ngan" (arca wine) is a specialty of Halong, which is highly nutritious and simple to process.
- Sopuncuchlac (sa sung): are varieties of sea worm that live in the sand and are about 4 cm in long, with tiny veins running lengthwise. This species is peculiar to Halong. After processing the fresh sopuncuchlac it should be stir-fried with celery and leeks or grilled. It goes well with beer drinking, especially as a noodle consommé.
- Holothuriodiac: is referred to as sea ginseng. There are two kinds, black and white. It looks like a cucumber with a soft body. It is prepared with pork, chicken, and bamboo shoots and dried pigskin as a dinner dish.
- Sepia esculenta: is a kind of large cuttlefish weighing up to 2kg., which can be prepared with leeks, garlic leaves or boiled. The fresh Sepia esculenta can be dried, grilled or fried with sweet and sour source. It goes well with beer and is makes a good present for friends after a trip.
- "Blood" shellfish: has been a famous seafood specialty in Indochina for some years. It can be steamed with beer, fried or boiled and eaten with pepper-salt.
- Teredo: lives in the aegiceras and mangroves, mostly at the foot of the mountains. Opening two hard and sharp shells reveals the teredo's meat. It is prepared with egg and flour or used for soup and is a popular dish.
Besides these sea products, there are the usual seafood specialties such as: shrimp, crab, garruppa fish, pomfret fish, threadfin fish etc.