What vegetable is that?

A quick visit to Linh Lang Market in Ba Dinh this morning revealed some interesting fresh produce that you probably wouldn’t find in a Western supermarket. Here are the highlights:

Rau rút (aka water mimosa) is used to make clear soup with tomato

Quả cau (areca nut) is bought for 2 main reasons – firstly, as a pain killer (wrapped in a betel leaf and accompanied with lime paste, you can chew on the nut and your gums will become numb…. And eventually your teeth will be stained orange) and secondly – as a gift from a man’s house when he asks for the hand of his bride. The nuts are carved with a small knife and turned into adorable flower-like creations. You can find qua cau and other wedding gifts in Hàng Than St in the Old Quarter.

Quả mướp (melon fruit) is grown on a vine and makes a delicious clear soup

I’m not sure of the English translation for rau ngổ, but it’s in season now, it’s cheap and it tastes great in a fish soup stock

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