The name don is quite strange, so if it’s the first time, it’s hard to imagine what it looks and tastes like?
Don – a dish not only has a unique name and is also considered the culinary beauty of Quang Ngai land. Maybe each person has a different way of feeling, each person has a different taste. However, one thing can be certain, what don brings to the diners is an interesting experience with 1-0-2. Every time they have the opportunity to visit Quang Ngai, tourists have the opportunity to enjoy this unique and extremely delicious dish.
If it’s the first time hearing the name of this dish, many people will frown and can’t imagine the shape and taste that don will bring. They don’t know if this is a dry dish or a water dish, don’t know how to enjoy this dish, don’t know if it’s a plant or an animal? However, if you have discovered this dish already, you will surely love and understand more and the culinary beauty of the people here.
Don is a bivalve, belonging to the mollusk family. One shell of the don is light black, the other half is pale yellow. Don was about the size of an adult’s little fingernail, about an inch longer and shaped like a filling. Don’s shell will be thinner than the shell of snails. The intestines are yellow and have pink tassels around them. Don only emerges once a year, the rest, they usually lie deep in the sand about 5 cm thick.
One can only find don in two major rivers in Quang Ngai, the Ve River and the Tra River. Don usually do not live in groups, but will live scattered everywhere such as on the banks of rivers, riverbeds or near river mouths. The place where they prefer and concentrate the most is in the soil and sand environment. Usually, every time the dry season comes (around April to May), the people of Quang Ngai have the opportunity to rake and catch don. However, there are years, until July, don’t appear much.
The process of digging and catching don is actually not easy at all. Because don likes to live buried in sandy soil, people here have to accept to soak in water for hours and try to rake the soil and sand deeply to be able to catch many don. There are days when the country is big, it is even more difficult to dig, but the amount of don’t dig is not much.
To talk about how to enjoy don, it is indeed as simple and true as the people of the Central region. Don, after being scratched, will be soaked and washed thoroughly with water. Next, people will drop the don into the pot and then bring it to a boil with water, stirring vigorously and continuously with a plate. When don begins to open his mouth, it is also the time when the water used to boil the don contains all the most precious and quintessential things. This don’s broth will be put in another pot and seasoned to taste.
As for the don after boiling, the intestines will be removed. Next, people will break the raw rice paper and put it in the bowl. Then pour the don’s broth into the don’s meat, add a little green onion, onion, chili pepper, and pureed pepper, and the dish is done. Just wait until the rice paper is soft, you can enjoy it.
And if the tourists are lucky, come to Quang Ngai in the right season, they will have the opportunity to enjoy this dish. In non-don season, people here often replace don with mussels to prepare dishes. Although don and mussels have the same surname, in a bowl with yellow don and pink tassels around, the dish is still much more attractive and eye-catching.
It can be said that, although the don dish has a simple processing and enjoyment, it is not too picky, but the price is not too expensive. But it is the sweetness of don that holds the diners even the most fastidious when visiting the land of Quang Ngai. Rustic and rustic is that, but this soup is like the soul and contains the most beautiful features about the people and cuisine here.