Kontum leaf salad last year was recognized among top 10 Vietnamese specialties of Asian cuisine for the second time by the Asian Record Organization. The signature dish of Kontum Province is described as a jungle feast appealing to any visitors traveling to the Central Highlands.
As suggested by the name, the most important ingredients to make the salad comprise 40 to 50 different types of leaves such as mustard greens, perilla, basil, spring onions, bitter gourd as well as various local leaves. The dish is served with sliced boiled pork, pork rind and boiled shrimp. Especially, pork rind is mixed with ground galangal to create an attractive look with unique and spicy flavor.
Dipping sauce for the salad is made of the remains derived from the alcohol making process which are ground and cooked with crispy fried shallots, chopped pork, dried shrimp, eggs and satay to create an aromatic and greasy sauce like no other. Such dipping sauce is totally suited for the salad.
To enjoy the delicious dish, diners should shape the outer leaf into a funnel. Then add some other leaves, pork rind, boiled pork and shrimp in the middle with dipping sauce sprinkled on the top. The salad is also complemented with green chili, garlic, salt and pepper.
The most interesting part in Kontum leaf salad is a wide variety of fresh leaves. On taking a bite, diners will be able to feel the spiciness, sweetness, sourness and saltiness unleashed in their mouth at the same time. Paying a visit to Kontum Province, travelers can stop by Tran Cao Van Street where there are many restaurants offering the signature leaf salad known as the jungle feast.