CUISINE IN HUE LAND – THE GATHERING OF FOOD GENIUS
Sophisticated in the selection of ingredients to the stages of food culinary and presentation, cuisine has become a significant feature of the former capital. Although the foods are of simple or royal styles, they all inscribe on the memory of those who ever once tastes the unforgettable flavors of the cuisine of this royal land.
From popular foods…
Talking about the food specialties of Hue, we must count a large number of cakes with different and typical delicious flavors that cannot be found elsewhere. Hue people make cakes not to eat, but to enjoy the essence of nature that the cakes contain. Each tiny cake is the combination of sophisticated and simple styles under the skillful hands of diligent women in the central region. Each type of cake is made by a distinctive culinary which convey a particular meaning. Therefore, foodies must enjoy the cakes with all five senses in order to feel the entire cuisine essence of the imperial capital.
Most popular off all is the gentle and delicate Banh Beo (bloating fern-shaped cake). It consists of tiny, round, rice flour pancakes, each served in a neat similarly shaped dish. The cakes are topped with minced fried shrimp, and other ingredients, such as chives, fried spring onions and crunchy pork rinds. The central element creating the delicious taste of this food is the sauce made from shrimp broth, sweet and sour fish source and some slices of red and green chili.
Banh Bot Loc, a kind a dumpling wrapped in banana leaf in a special way. The dumpling is translucent so that the inside filling can be seen. Biting the cake, you can feel the toughness of rice flour batter and the sweetness of crunchy shrimp and ground pork. Banh Nam, a flat rice flour dumpling topped with pink-colored shrimp wrapped in a Dong leaf. This dish is more tasteful when served with shrimp meatball. Banh Ram It is another kind of Hue dumpling. This cake is the combination of the white glutinous rice flour balls, the green fried onions and the yellow fried shrimp, which extremely catches the eyes of foodies.
… to famous specialties
Besides the cakes, Bun Bo Hue (Hue style beef vermicelli) is a renowned dish alluring foodies from everywhere. Nowadays, although this food is very popular and brought by Hue natives to all over the countries, Hue is always the place where you can enjoy a bowl of Bun Bo Hue with authentic flavor.
The secret of this food is the broth. The broth is prepared according to the family culinary method by simmering beef bones and beef shank with lemongrass and then seasoned with fermented shrimp sauce and sugar for taste. Very spicy chili oil is added later during the cooking process. It would be so wonderful to enjoy a bowl of Bun Bo Hue with spiraling smoke, pure white vermicelli, pinkish crab meatball, soft stewed pig's knuckles and thin brown slices of beef shank flooded in the hot broth. White bean sprouts, green basil, raw sliced onions, chili sauce, mint, and some lemon juice are indispensable additives contributing to the authenticity of this food. You would probably enjoy an unforgettable meal of Bun Bo Hue with extremely hot taste spreading to the tip of your tongue and making your tears come out.
If Bun Bo Hue is delicious with strong flavor, Com Hen (rice with clams) is a common and simple food which has the origin from the people floating on rivers to earn their livings. Com Hen is compared to a song, and its music notes are the ingredients of rice, boiled clams, sliced banana blossom, mint, carambola, roasted peanuts, dried pigskin, chili sauce, fermented shrimp, broken grilled rice paper, roasted salt and sesame, dried pork fat, etc. This food is really a picture of various colors.
The authentic Com Hen must be eaten with hot spices, a bowl of clam broth and chili. Although the dish is very hot and make you sweat a lot, you cannot help give complements to it while eating. The most popular address for Com Hen is Vy Da Ward where you can find a romantic place to enjoy Com Hen while feeling the charming scene mountains and rivers in the renowned poem “Here is Vy Da village” by Han Mac Tu.
… and sweet soup
It is said that if there are 36 streets in Hanoi, there are obviously 36 types of sweet soup in Hue. All kinds of sweet soup in Hue from royal to common ones are meticulously cooked by the skillful women of this land. The most typical one is corn sweet soup cooked from the young corns on Con Hen (Hen Dune). The corns are shaved off the cobs and cooked with fine rice flour and sugar until the soup becomes condensed and sweet with very attractive smell. Taro sweet soup is most adored by customers thanks to its charming purple color blending in the white greasy coconut milk.
Especially, the unique sweet soup of wheat flour ball stuffed with barbecued pork should not be missed out by tourists once coming to Hue. The wheat flour ball is translucent surrounding the square barbecued pork (including skin), then cooked in sugar water. The soup has salty and sweet, tough and crunchy mixing with greasy flavor.
Sweet soup of lotus seed stuffed in longan symbolizes the sophistication and refinedness of Hue people. Lotus seed is steamed before stuffed in logan, then cooked in the water of sugar candy until the soup is slightly boiled. The deliciously sweet taste of lotus seed melting in the gently sweet taste of longan results in an alluring bowl of sweet soup.
Other delicious and attractive sweet soups you can find on Hue streets are sweet soup with tiny pomegranate seed-shaped rice flour cubes, taro sweet soup, sticky rice cake with green pea paste, mung bean sweet soup, red bean sweet soup, kidney bean sweet soup, broad bean sweet soup, sweet soup with mixed beans, basil seed sweet soup, etc. Stalls of sweet soup are located along Hung Vuong Street, Tran Phu Street, Phan Boi Chau Street and Truong Dinh Street. These stalls are always crowded but not noisy. Customers enjoy sweet soup a slow and leisurely manner. The sweet soup is scooped only to half of the glass. The other half is filled with minced ice. As a result, whether the climate in Hue is hot or cold, Hue sweet soup always plays the role of an ideal snack food to serve to travelers after their long trip of discovering royal tombs and palace in Hue.
(Source: PR Dep)
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