Goi ngo sen (Lotus stem salad)
A refreshing dish for hot days, “gỏi ngó sen” is healthy, vibrant, delicious on its own and certainly crunchy. The most special taste comes from the pure flavor and crunchy texture of pickled lotus stem. What is more, it is easy to make. The main ingredients are lotus root, carrot, tender pork, shrimp, shallot, coriander, mint, onion, and roasted peanut with the appetizing dressing being as an integral part of the dish. First, boil the pork shoulder and shrimp separately in water with a little of salt and sugar added; let they cool, then slice the pork as thin as possible, de-shell and de-vein the shrimp. Next, rinse out pickled lotus stem, pickled carrots, cut or slice them into pieces and drain them. Then, coarsely chop the fresh coriander, mint, and cilantro and mix them together with above ingredients with a gentle toss. The dressing poured into the concoction is a perfect combination of hot, sour, spicy, salty, and sweet. Finally, crispy fried shallots, roasted peanuts sprinkled over the dish make it look much tastier with a nutty flavor. It is commonly served with prawn crackers. Enjoy it and you definitely never forget its refreshing flavor and amazing crunchy texture.