Bee sauces in Ca Mau – A unique specialty of Vietnam


To start my Vietnam culinary tour, I met up with Mr. Nguyen Van Tinh, living in U Minh District, who has more than 50 years of experience in making bee sauces. According to him, in addition to taking the honey from the beehive, the workers also have to cut off a part of beeswax. The cut part, then, will be rebuilt by the worker bee. If the worker cut or leave the whole beehive, the bee will find a new place to build their nest.


Local people take only a part of the nest

Due to the exploitation in such a way, every time in the season, people will take the young bees from cut beehive to make salad or grill. Local people find that if they keep the way to cook like that, they will soon get bored. As a result, they try to make bee sauce – a unique dish of Vietnamese cuisine. Bee sauce is not difficult to make. After cutting a part of the beehive, people will cut it into pieces at medium size. Then workers put them into the pot and boiling with water. When boiling, the man must quickly mix the ingredients so that the beeswax melts. Then, they have to remove the young bee to drain. It depends on the number of young bees, you can choose the compatible container. Often people use a small glass to make bee sauce. When the bee is drained, local people will put them in that small glass with a little salt, then cover and bring it out to the sun. When the bees and salt are soaked, it is essential to mix the bees with the audiophile. You should expose the jar to the sun for 3 to 4 days until it has a light yellow color.


Bee sauce put into a jar for sale

In my Vietnam food tour, I happen to know Mr. Phan Van Ri, owner of Hai Ngoi bee sauces production in U Minh Township. He said that his family sold about 1 ton of bee sauces each year at the price of VND 80,000 per kg. About half of which is sold on the Lunar New Year.  Although bee sauce is in the same type as others sauces in Vietnam, the time to reserve it is shorter. Normally, bee sauces are reserved within a week. However, if they are stored in the cooler of the refrigerator, their flavor can last for about 1 month.


You can make many dishes with bee sauce

Local people often cook and eat bee sauces in many different ways. When visiting U Minh, you will have the chance to enjoy the fresh bee sauces eating in local ways, which is very attractive. Local people will combine eating this sauces with pock, toad leaves, banana, pineapple, and some other wedges. The fatness of young bees combined with an aromatic smell, sour taste from vegetables and fruits make the dishes become one of the best dishes in Vietnam. It is a simple dish but it meets the criteria of taste. Just looking at it, you will get excited and feel the attractiveness of the dish. Ca Mau is a region that the number of poor people is still high. This is a dish you can eat alone with rice to make sure you are not hungry and have a good meal. If you want to enjoy the bee sauce properly, you will have to prepare more food such as young banana, chili, and fig leaves, bacon, fresh coconut milk, banana, cucumber, toad, ginger, cilantro. In addition, if you notice, you can find that the family here also change the taste by eating with mulberry leaves, charcoal grilled gunfire. Try to eat this dish in that way, you will enjoy the full good taste of bee sauce that is one of the most unique dishes in your Vietnam culinary tour.

On rainy days, when the local market is lack of shrimp, fish or there are guests come to play, the U Minh people get bee sauce as a specialty to treat their guest properly. Easy to use, delicious enough to show hospitality and no less formal, bee sauces is usually used on Ca Mau people daily life. On the trip to Ca Mau, besides having a jar of forest honey as the gift, you should also try bee sauces that are one of the must-eat dishes in Vietnam.

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