If you have a chance to travel to Quang Ngai Province’s Ly Son Island, you will find an exotic plant for sure dubbed “male garlic”.
The reason locals call it “male garlic” is that it looks extremely tiny without clove like any other garlic plant. Its trunk and leaves are big and strong because nutrients are not concentrated in the garlic.
Locals do not harvest all the garlic. When it comes to preparing a salad, people will think of fish, shrimp, or meat as main ingredients.
But garlic salad is easy to create. The roots and pointed leaves of garlic are first disposed of. Use a knife to cut it into several segments and then divide it into two or three smaller parts. Immerse garlic slices in cold water for 10 minutes and then boil them until they are done. Take them off the pot to get rid of the strong odor. If they are over-boiled, the garlic slices will be too floppy.
Peanuts are roasted and ground. Mix the processed garlic with ground peanuts and washed raw basil leaves. Add some MSG and sugar to enhance flavor. Then present the mixture onto a plate. The dish looks delicious with green and white colors.
The salad is served with roasted thick girdle-cakes. Put some garlic salad on it and dip the mixture into a hot and spiced sauce. The richness of the cake in combination with the fragrantly-scented garlic creates a taste like no other.
Fishermen on Ly Son Island, which is also well-known for its special garlic, often eat the dish as garlic has medicinal properties. The salad is simple but truly an exotic and tasty delicacy of the island.