The lives of the people of Phu Quy Island are closely tied to the sea, so seafood is an essential part of their daily meals. It could be as simple as a pot of boiled, steamed, or grilled fish soup, but the flavor and freshness of the seafood leave a lasting impression on visitors. Travelers to the island will be captivated by the local seafood specialties, such as emperor crabs, moon crabs, red groupers, helmet snails, and snail salads, which are prepared in a simple yet delicious way.
Emperor crabs and moon crabs, known for their fragrance and taste, are often steamed and served with lime salt or cooked in porridge. Emperor crabs are available throughout the year, but they are most abundant in the lunar month of December. This is also the time when they are at their best: large, firm meat and full of roe.
Red grouper is considered a specialty of this coastal region, known for its fragrant and sweet flesh. Simply steaming the grouper with ginger and scallion creates an unforgettable flavor for travelers. Currently, Phu Quy is the only island district in Binh Thuan province that successfully breeds red grouper in floating cages at sea.
Snail salad is also a very enticing dish on the island, made from various delicious snail varieties such as Gai snails, Giac snails, Helmet snails, Palm snails, and Nang breast snails, served with grilled rice paper. The rich flavor, combined with the aromatic herbs, the spiciness of chili, and the sweetness of the snails, keeps you craving for more.
In addition, Phu Quy offers many other equally attractive specialties such as fresh squid, sun-dried squid, tuna, dishes made from seaweed, lobster, and agar jelly salad.
Sea cucumber is the most preferred delicacy. It is believed to have nourishing properties, benefiting the kidneys, strengthening the yang energy, and balancing the yin energy. With its medicinal value, sea cucumber is often featured in lavish banquets and is an export commodity highly favored by Southeast Asian countries as well as countries like Canada, the United States, and Australia. According to the fishermen on Phu Quy Island, there are approximately 100 species of sea cucumbers with different colors, sizes, and names.
Among them, they can only distinguish 10 types as follows: white and cottony sea cucumber, black sea cucumber, dark brown sea cucumber, reddish-brown sea cucumber, spotted sea cucumber, apple-shaped sea cucumber, aromatic sea cucumber, Chinese lantern sea cucumber, white-skinned sea cucumber, and black ink sea cucumber.
When it comes to the cuisine of Phu Quy Island, we cannot forget the dishes made from tuna. This seafood not only provides delicious and renowned meat but is also closely associated with Phu Quy Island through its long-standing name: Cu Lao Thu, the island of tuna.
Not only famous for its fresh and delicious seafood, Phu Quy’s hot beef dish is also very appealing. The cattle on Phu Quy Island are raised in a free-range manner directly on the island, fed with natural grass, resulting in flavorful, tender, and sweet meat. The way of serving hot beef creates a unique culinary feature of the island. When customers visit the restaurant, they only need to buy the desired amount of fresh beef. The owner will slice it, and customers only pay the market price of the beef, while the accompanying raw vegetables, grilled rice paper, and beef porridge are complimentary.
Furthermore, there is a special accompanying dish whose flavor cannot be found anywhere else, and that is the Raw Island Vegetables. It is completely different