Tag Archives: tu hài

Grilled Snout Otter Clam – a specialty of Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

24 Aug

Snout Otter Clam (tu hài) is a specialty of Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong district. Actually, it’s so hard to find out the reason why it was named “tu hài”.

Grilled Snout Otter Clam

Its original name sounds like a Chinese name that is so difficult to be explained the meaning. People just can describe Snout Otter Clam to look similar to clam but its meat part is as thick as blood cockle, its taste is as fresh as abalone. Previously, Snout Otter Clam was a special seafood used as offerings for the kings.

Grilled Snout Otter Clam will be tastiest when being served with sliced-into-thread fresh ginger and deep-fried onion bulbs and Cat Hai fish sauce. Visitors who first time have tried grill Snout Otter Clam will feel its taste strange because the meat is soft, fresh and totally unique, different from other kinds of seafood.

Snout Otter Clam lays deeply below the low tide sand field in the coast. People have to dig on at least 50cm to find out it. Snout Otter Clam seekers must spend a long day in the sand field to gather several tens of Snout Otter Clam, that’s why it becomes the most specious kind of seafood in the local area. Because of the difficulty in seeking Snout Otter Clam, there are not many people doing this job. The experienced seekers find it easily to dominate the fields and the cost of Snout Otter Clam also increases due to this.

There is a seafood restaurant in Hai Phong which has bought fresh Snout Otter Clam and raised it in the aquarium containing salty water in order to satisfy the customers who are interested in seafood. However, after being raised, Snout Otter Clam can’t be as greasy as when they have already been gathered. In addition, the salty water in aquarium must be the one from Cat Ba Bay so that Snout Otter Clam can live. The sea water from other places are not appropriate to the living environment of Snout Otter Clam because of the difference in salt level.

Furthermore, people say that the chef of this restaurant who is proficient in making grilled Snout Otter Clam formerly was the cook of  an military unit which had the famous astronaut Tuan Pham in America defending period, that’s one of reasons for the large number of customers coming to this restaurant.

It can’t be denied that grilled Snout Otter Clam is extremely delicious although the dish can only be served in afternoon drink time in the port area or as the appetizer of a luxury meal in the hotel. To totally feel the taste of  this specious specialty, there is a recommendation that diners should enjoy it with several cups of  herbal wine.

If you are interested in exploring Vietnam tourism you can visit Vietnam travel agency, Halong cruises, Halong Bay, Halong travel site to know further attractive places.