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Keep your stomach warm and release your heat with “trái sả” - wild pepper

Thursday, 09/10/2015 15:36
“Trái sả” looks like pepper, so some places called “wild pepper”. It is present in parts of the Truong Son mountain, such as Ba To in Quang Ngai province and Tay Giang in Quang Nam province, and it is normally grown on the hillside.

Food expert Mrs.Suong Thi Bui told us that “trái sả” has the same impacts and effects as pepper. Because of its rarity, found only in Ba To and Tay Giang, many scientists study its properties for possible use as a medicine. It has been used to warm the stomach and cut down the effects of the flu.

There are three kinds of wild pepper. The first one is called “trái sả” because “trái” means fruit and “sả” means lemongrass. Its oil is spicy, like pepper, but has the smell of lemongrass. Many chefs use it to season barbeque or make sauces. The second one has the shape of wild pepper, but has the smell of lemon. The third one looks like “trái mắc khén”- a special spice found only in the northwest region. It is spicy with a very good aroma.

Chef Trung Hoang Nguyen of Van Thanh Tourist Area, Ho Chi Minh City won the second prize in the 2015 Golden Spoon contest impressed everyone by presenting his dishes using “Trái sả”.

The menu of Chef Hoang Trung included spring roll with aloe vera; grilled prawn with “trái sả”; salad with lotus root; grilled Siberian sturgeon served “trái sả” sauce; chicken cooked with “trái sả”; chocolate cake served with fruits. “Trái sả” can be used fresh or dried, but if you use too much it tastes bitter.

If you want to keep the natural color of “trái sả” it must be cooked with a medium to low flame. If the fire is too strong then it will turn black.

Trái sả” is usually ground to season prawns, then carefully steamed over hot stones. The Siberian sturgeon is usually sauteed. Chicken is stir fried so as to keep the smell of “trái sả” , then prepared in broth.

As Chef Hoang Trung advises, in order not let the dish be too bitter, the ratio is only five fruits of “trái sả” to one gram of fish.

The sauce served with the grilled Siberian Sturgeon is sour, salty, sweet and orange - from tomato. The sauce is cooked under a low heat.

Le Nam

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