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Ho Chi Minh City
Monday, April 22, 2024

Luoi long soup – A refreshing choice for hot days

By Viet An

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Luoi long, also known as drooping prickly pear (scientifically known as Opuntia monacantha), is commonly found in central Vietnam and provinces in the south-central region.

Belonging to the cactus family, this plant is filled with juice, making it a staple ingredient in simple yet highly nutritious dishes that help diners beat the heat on scorching days.

Despite its tough and thorny appearance, luoi long boasts a remarkably slimy texture inside. Every part of the plant holds medicinal benefits, including the stem, leaves, flowers, fruit, and seeds. After processing, luoi long has a light sour flavor with a high water content, offering a slightly crispy texture when enjoyed, neither overly chewy nor crumbly.

Chefs typically select young luoi long branches for making the dish. These branches undergo a process of removing their outer spines and green membrane before being thinly sliced or cut into bite-sized pieces. Luoi long is then used as a vegetable ingredient, often paired with fish or shrimp to make a soup or featured in stir-fry dishes.

Once finely cooked, luoi long typically takes on a yellow hue. Diners are mesmerized by the interplay of flavors in a bowl of luoi long soup—the light sourness and crunchiness of luoi long harmoniously mingling with the richness of fresh fish or shrimp, creating a delectable culinary experience.

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