On the hunt for the king of all mushrooms

By Duyen Huynh   July 14, 2016 | 10:45 pm PT
If you go down to the woods today... make sure you get there early!

Deep in the forest, lies a treasure known as termite mushrooms. They only grow at night and die within a day. On top of that, they only grow between June and September.

The only way to get a taste of this delicacy is to head for Vietnam's southern provinces, such as Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Can Tho, Vinh Long, Ben Tre and the Mekong Delta, where it is crowned the king of all mushrooms.


Termite mushrooms.

In the early morning (between 3 and 4 a.m.) when the sun has yet to rise, the mushrooms pop out in a bud-shaped form. This is when they are at their best. If you wait until noon when they grow big, you will lose the sweetness and pleasurable crunchy texture.


It is crowned the king of all mushrooms.

This is also the time when termites eat the mushrooms. Only the early bird catches the mushrooms, in this sense. Rain is also its enemy. The mushrooms are crushed and blown away by even a light shower.

They also break easily, making it very hard and risky to transport them to distant provinces.

A wide range of dishes can be cooked with the mushroom, but the most recommended are mushroom cooked with creek premna (a forest leaf) and mushoom and chicken soup.


Rice with fried mushroom and creek premna.


Mushroom and creek premna soup.

Fried mushrooms cooked with chili is also a strong dish, allowing the flavors to really dominate.


Fried mushroom with chili.

Photos by VnExpress/Vo Van Phong

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