Vietnamese edible bird’s nests are created by edible-nest swiftlets. They are made of bird fluids (saliva), not of plants, moss, leaves, or feathers like other birds. When the bird's saliva hardens, they will form a very solid nest that makes up the main ingredient Vietnamese edible bird’s nests. The nests are formerly harvested from caves, mostly the enormous caves. Their nesting houses are normally found in urban areas near the sea, since the birds have a propensity to flock in such places, and the most heavily harvested nests are from white-nest swiftlet or the black-nest swiftlet.
Vietnamese edible bird’s nests are among the most expensive animal products consumed by humans. It is usually white in colour, but there also exists a red version, sometimes called "blood" nest. The nests are supposedly rich in nutrients. They contain a high level of protein (45-55%), 18 types of amino acids, 31 trace necessary elements, such as: proline, phenylalamine, calcium, iron, threonine, glycine, or tyrosine. These substances do wonder for people’s health and skin like regenerating muscle cells and skin structure, lowering aging process, improving memory or adjusting blood sugar levels.
The best-known use of Vietnamese edible bird’s nests is bird's nest soup - a delicacy among Vietnamese cuisines. Besides, people often mix Vietnamese edible bird’s nests with another suitable material to be perfect dishes. These below are 5 popular Vietnamese edible bird’s nests meals in almost Vietnamese restaurants:
-Vietnamese edible bird’s nests baked with pigeon
This is a nutritious dish, suitable for patients to recover their health or pregnant women.
- Vietnamese edible bird’s nests sweet soup with lotus seeds, red apples
This is a refreshing sweet soup, suitable for hot summer days.
- Vietnamese edible bird’s nests mixed fresh milk
This is a unique taste of Vietnamese edible bird’s nests, adding micronutrients necessary for the body and brightening skin.
- Vietnamese edible bird’s nests with minced pork
This is a nutritious dish, suitable for babies, the elderly or patients to recover their health.
There are currently numerous brands of Vietnamese edible bird’s nests and the most popular one is “ Yến Sào Khánh Hòa”. Visitors can visit its website to buy them for presents or for self enjoying.