Red ant eggs are a rare delicacy found deep in the Vietnamese jungle, served in bitter betel leaves.
- 3 tbsp red ant eggs, plus extra for serving
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 3 red Asian shallots, finely sliced
- 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely sliced
- 1 small handful perilla leaves, sliced
- 10 mint leaves, sliced
- 10 Vietnamese mint leaves, sliced
- 3 saw-tooth coriander leaves, sliced
- ½ tsp fish sauce
- pinch chilli flakes
- 1 tsp toasted rice powder
- juice of 1 lime
- 12 betel leaves
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Serves 2-4 as an appetiser
1. Place all the ingredients except the betel leaves and toss together well. Divide the salad between the betel leaves, then top with the extra ant eggs and serve immediately.
Catch Luke Nguyen on the tracks dishing up Vietnamese fare in the brand-new series, Luke Nguyen's Railway Vietnam.