Ngán (Austriella Corrugata) – Mud Clam
Ngán is a large bivalve mollusc species that lives in low-tide mangrove forests with a primarily muddy and sandy floor. Australia Corrugata is its scientific name, however, it’s popularly known as mud clam. Although this delicious mollusc may be found all along Việt Nam’s coast, it is most numerous and of the highest quality in Quảng Ninh Province and Hải phòng City in Northern Việt Nam.
Grilled or steamed ngán is the most popular way to prepare it in the northern region. To keep the delicious and valuable juice from evaporating during the preparation, ngán is often knotted together while being steamed. Ngán is a mineral-rich mollusc and has a briny, bitter, sweet aftertaste with a hint of the sea. Another popular way to prepare this rare and delicious shellfish is ngán porridge.
Mud clams are a popular protein source in North Việt Nam; however, because all mud clams are harvested in the wild, the population is rapidly declining and may soon collapse due to excessive demand and a lack of regulation. Local governments must implement sustainable fishing practices as soon as possible if they want to continue relying on the ocean as a major source of food.