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Dried milk cicadas, the taste of Son La

08:43 | 03/04/2020

Dried milk cicadas is notably a must-try dish in Son La – the province in the northwest region of Vietnam. Fried with roasted cricket and sour fresh bamboo, the delicacy might not suit everyone’s liking at first bite, but surely the proud dish of Son La people will make your day.

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The dish might sound strange at first, but it'll surely capture your heart (Photo: Vietnam Tourism)

Originating from the ethnic region of Thai, milk cicada fried with sour fresh bamboo and roasted cricket may not suit everyone’s liking. But for the locals here, it is a meal that makes them proud.

The young cicada is only about the size of the tip of your little finger with a round body and brown or light green colours.

To prepare the dish, young cicadas are soaked in salted water for an hour and then washed before cooking.

Spices for the dish include sour young bamboo water, chili, citronella, lemon leaves cut into threads and several spoonful of pork fat or cooking oil. The secret to the right taste is all in the bamboo water.

It is also important to fry a dried onion in fat and then put the materials into the pan, Thai people put the washed cicadas into a pan and pour the sour bamboo water in and then cook them over light fire until the pan is dried.

This helps to eliminate any bad odors from the cicadas to ensure it’s the right time to fry them with fat, fish sauce and chili until they turn to a red brown colour in order to keep young milk in the cicada’s belly, and help the food become greasier without being too dried.

After frying, the cicadas should be quickly poured onto a large plate and then sprinkled with lemon threads.

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