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Weaver Ants’ Eggs – Specialty of Ham Ho

Monday, 09/11/2017 08:08
Whoever already has a crush on weaver ants’ eggs certainly have to know Ham Ho, Binh Dinh province. People have said that ants’ eggs are given special gifts because they’re delicious, exotic, and nutritious yet also so rare.

Ham Ho is an attractive location for tourists at Tay Son, Binh Dinh province. That dried area has all natural advantages for ant nesting. Weaver ants’ eggs carry high nutrition so that locals have used them to cook delicious and nourishing food.

Ants’ eggs harvesting season lasts from January to end of February. This is the time when quality of ants’ eggs reaches their best – milky, succulent, and nutritious. During the season, local people can collect 6 – 8 kilograms’ eggs and earn millions Vietnam dong.

Local people in Ham Ho ants’ eggs are given special gifts.

Experienced ants’ eggs hunters said that valuable weaver ants’ nests had a thin white cover all outer leaves, where contained lots of mature eggs.

To seek weaver ants’ nests, locals must go into primary forests and it’s not a piece of cake. Hunters must have both experienced tricks and tack or they will be attacked by the tremendous ant families.

Newbies usually mistaken between ants’ eggs and ants’ larval. To distinguish those two, hunters base on colors of ants’ nest. If nests are still dark green, inside eggs should be new; if nests turn into bright yellow, certainly eggs have developed to larval.

To collect ants’ eggs, hunters use a bamboo tree about 8-meter-long with one end sharpened, where hangs a bucket to catch eggs. They poke ants’ nests by the bamboo picket times to times, shaking to get all ants and their eggs dropped into the bucket. On the bottom of the bucket is a thick layer of ash to protect eggs. Finally, hunters just need to pick eggs out.

Seeking and collecting weaver ants’ eggs are not a piece of cake.

Weaver ants’ eggs can be found at other regions, from the Middle Highlands to Quang Binh province or the west of Nghe An province. Highland people cook ants’ eggs with local bamboo shoot; people in Cu Chi have ants’ eggs sour soup with giang leaves and sliced banana trunk; and in Minh Hoa (Quang Binh province) locals love to have ants’ eggs sour soup with fresh rice noodles. Ants’ eggs must be enjoyed slowly as caviar to feel all their rich flavors.

Ham Ho locals have 3 favorite dishes: ants’ eggs salad, stewed ants’ eggs with pickled mustard, and ants’ eggs soup.

Salad recipe is quite simple. Stir-fry ants’ eggs and season; thinly slice cucumbers, and young jackfruits; break pummelo’s segments into pieces; mix all vegetables and fruits with cooked ants’ eggs; serve with roasted peanut. This unique salad carries all acrid, sour, and sweet tastes.

Famous ants’ eggs salad of Binh Dinh province.

Stewed ants’ egg with pickled mustard is another delicious dish. People usually use old pickled mustard to stew about 2 minutes and serve it hot.

Ants’ eggs soup is even simpler. Bring water to boil; drop ants’ eggs into boiling pot and season to taste; garnish with chopped green onions; serve with rice.

So many delicious dishes are made from weaver ants’ eggs.

Especially, Ham Ho locals have their own natural medicine to treat diabetes. Weaver ants are able to produce an amount of acid that promotes the growth of citrus plants, such as orange, lemon, or grapefruit. They just hang a piece of beef on a tree where weaver ants are nesting in two hours. After that, they thinly slice the beef and make porridge. Immediately, the sour stuff from the ants infiltrated into beef will reduce excess sugar in the blood of patients.

So valuable but weaver ants’ eggs are getting much fewer because of environmental effects. If you’re lucky coming to Ham Ho during harvest season, you still may enjoy that amazing given gift.

By Thu Pham

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