Sung or Sai Sung, a kind of sea worm lives in
coastal areas of Van Don and Mong Cai in Quang Ninh
province, Sa Sung in Quang Ninh is considered the
best. Sa Sung also lives in the waters of Cam Ranh,
Can Gio. In Hai Phong town Sa Sung is call Bong Thua,
and in the south it is called "earth ginseng".
The most famous place to enjoy Sa Sung is Quan Lan
island, located in Bai Tu Long bay, just a few hour
from the World heritage Halong bay. In summertime a
lot of local tourists take their tours to Halong bay
and Quan Lan island, enjoy fresh Sa Sung sold in the
market in the early morning, fresh Sa Sung is very
good for health. At around 5.00 o'clock in the
morning hundreds of people are seen walking up and
down on the beach, most of them are women, they all
wear the same clothes, cover all the body except the
eyes, they carry a showel and a basket and a bottle
of water. Most men in Quan Lan go away on business
or go fishing in the sea, only women and young girls
go catching Sa Sung. This industry came to Quan Lan
island long time ago.
Detecting where Sa Sung have been hidden under the
sand was difficult, catching Sa Sung without killing
them is even more difficult, unexperienced beginners
often cut off the body of Sa Sung, it is hard to
sell dead ones because the flesh is dirty, loosing
the original sweetness.
Sa Sung has red skin, they look like the earth
worms, there are tiny fibers on their body, however
Sa Sung is bigger than earthworm and it's bowel
contains only sand. Sa Sung live in the holes deep
in the sand.
Sa Sung appear the most in early days of every lunar
month, one catches Sa Sung in the early morning when
the sea tides have just gone out leaving behind a
trail of Sa Sung after one night going out for food
and copulation. No one knows how Sa Sung move as
they have withdrawn into the sand before sunrise.
Like digging for earthworms, just shovel the sand
off Sa Sung will appear, food for Sa Sung is organic
detritus, ephemera...A Sa Sung measures 5-15 cm in
Like the earthworms, Sa Sung will terrify the weak
minded people with its horrible looks, However the
dishes from Sa Sung no one can refuse.
Dishes processed from Sa Sung are literally as
expensive as gold, 1 kg of dry Sa Sung is worth a
tael of gold, and very few people got to enjoy Sa
Sung therefore Sa Sung is only used to make soup
liquid for Pho (noodle) and Bun (vermicelli).
A very small amount of dry roasted Sa Sung put in a
filter bag will make the liquid stronger flavour, Sa
Sung is called the soul of Pho in the past time when
there were no spices.
Sa Sung can be baked, served with salt, chili and
lemon, Sa Sung can also be mixed with pepper and
grilled, diners tend to have roasted Sa Sung with
beer, like shredded dried squid, it is crunchy, soft
and tough, tastes sweet and fatty very enjoyable.
Fresh Sa Sung can be used to make fried, baked and
cooked dishes or make porridge. To process fresh Sa
Sung, after washing throughly one adds ingredients
to the dry roasting pan on the stove and pour to the
basket, remove all those grains of sand clinging to
it, Sa Sung is then ready to make delicious dishes.
Sa Sung themselves have a natural sweetness the
longer diners chew the sweeter it becomes.
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