Hi everyone, I am back now for top 10 must-try dishes of Huế’s cuisine. Today, let’s a have three-course meal consisting of appetizers with Nộm Vả and Nem Lụi, entree with Bánh Khoái and Bánh Canh and Chè for dessert. Foods are ready to be served, so let’s eat together.
6. Nộm Vả (Fig Salad)
Should we firstly “warm up our stomach” with Huế famous salad? I am sure you will like it.
Vả Nộm (Fig Salad) is a very special authentic dish of Huế cuisine that hardly is found anywhere else because fig trees are extremely popular with locals. Vả (fig) – the main ingredient of this salad is thinly sliced and mixed with roasted peanuts and sesame and mints.
Vả Nộm is now a very popular dish that can be found on the menu of any Huế restaurants as one of Huế specialities that the city could offer. If you are on the macrobiotic diet, surely this dish cannot be missed.
Tịnh Quán vegetarian restaurant, 2 Tran Cao Van street is my favourite place to reward myself this delicacy of Huế cuisine.
7. Nem Lụi (Lemongrass skewer with grilled pork meatball)
Anyone still wanna work up your appetite? Let’s go for Nem Lụi (Lemongrass skewer with grilled pork meatball).
Nem lụi has been considered as one of the very typical Hue dishes – a must-try Hue dish. The main ingredient is seasoned pork meatball shaped around lemongrass stalk. which is then grilled over charcoal. Like other Vietnamese typical dishes, Nem Lui should be served together with fresh herbs and veggies (Vietnamese basil, sliced star fruits, bean sprouts, thinly sliced unripe green banana, figs and a special dipping sauce. The sauce is a rich, fatty and delicate sauce made from pork liver, oil, sugar, fermented soya bean, fish sauce, coconut milk…
I am sure you are now packing it away and are completely hooked on the dish that you feel like to have this Huế speciality once visiting Huế or even to look for “Nem Lụi of Huế” stores/restaurant in your hometown. Am I right?
Okie, here some recommendations for you:
– Quan Thuy: 117 Mai Thuc Loan str., Thuan Thanh Dict
– Hạnh restaurant, 11 Phó Đức Chính Street.
– Lien Hoa (vegetarian): 3 Le Quy Don str.
8. Bánh Khoái
Do these starting courses get up your appetite? So let’s move to the main course. The first one is Bánh khoái (Vietnamese pancake called Bánh xèo in other places in Viet Nam) – a Huế crispy pancake packed with various fillings.
The pancake is made from rice flour batter cooked in a frying pan, creating a crunchy yellow exterior, offering you an interesting crispy sound while eating. The filling is various, but Bánh Khoái’s standard filling includes seasoned sliced pork, shrimp, bean sprouts, chopped scallion and chicken eggs in some places.
Before excitedly all up for an interesting part, we all need to wash our hands.
You know why? Bánh Khoái is a Vietnamese finger food. You will wrap up a slice of Bánh Khoái with different types of local herbs (mints, Vietnamese basil), mustard leaf, sliced green mango, etc… in a rice paper and then dip them into sweetened fish sauce or a sauce made from soya bean added sugar and chilli.
Is anybody vegetarian/vegan here? Do not worry, you surely can enjoy a vegan version of bánh khoái, with its filling made from a variety of veggies, deliciously fulfilling your hunger.
Here are places for you to try:
– Banh khoai Hong Mai: 110 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, (from 11 a.m to 9 p.m)
– Ba Tung Restaurant: 47 Nguyễn Công (from 2 p.m to 10 p.m)
– Nam Giao Vegetarian restaurant: 24 Điện Biên Phủ (from 7 a.m to 8 p.m)
9. Bánh Canh (Vietnamese Cake soup)
The next dish is Bánh Canh – a “cake soup” literally translated to English with Bánh refers to cakes or noodles made from flour and Canh means soup. Different to Pho or Bún thịt nướng (grilled pork vermicelli), Bánh Canh is thick translucent chewy noodles (like Japanese udon) made from tapioca flour.
Bánh Canh is a versatile Vietnamese noodle soup dish. The broth could be cooked from king prawns, crabs, pork; however, the most famous version in Huế is Bánh Canh Cá Lóc (Snakehead fish Bánh Canh). Fish is firstly cooked and filleted; the bones are removed, then pulverized, strained to take thinner water for making the soup base. It is like other Hue specialities, to have a delicious authentic Banh Canh requires high-quality fresh ingredients together with a very picky processing and cooking method of locals, who are surely experts.
Here some suggestions for you:
– Bánh canh Thuy Duong: 18 Dang Huy Tru
– Bánh canh Mu Doi: 40 Dao Duy Anh
10. Chè (Hue sweet soup)
Are you full now? You? I am full already but still have room for desserts. I know we all have, right?. So why don’t we finish our journey today by a bowl of Chè?
Chè (sweet soup) is a popular dessert around Viet Nam. Like other dishes of Huế cuisine, Chè Huế (Huế sweet soup) is a subtle dessert made by skilful hands of Huế women. There are no other places in Viet Nam that has so many kinds of Chè like in Huế, varying in different ingredients, thickness, forms and colours, etc…
As the capital of Vietnam during Nguyen Dynasty, Hue offers you a very special type of Chè: Chè Cung đình (Royal sweet soup) that uses “luxury” ingredients and is cooked and presented in a very meticulous way, serving royalty. Chè Cung Đình already has its own 36 kinds: mung bean sweet soup, lotus seed sweet soup, taro sweet soup, areca flower sweet soup…. and roasted pork wrapped in cassava flour sweet soup (so weird, right?).
Talking about Chè Huế (Huế sweet soup) cannot forget talking about Chè Hẻm. Chè Hẻm is literally translated to alley sweet soup (Hẻm refers to an alley,). In Huế, Chè is usually sold in small stores or street vendors in small alleys. That is a reason why Chè Hẻm – sweet soup sold at a street store/vendor – has become a branding of Huế sweet soup. The most famous sweet soup stores in Huế is located in alley number 27 on Hung Vuong street, run by 70-year-old lady – Mrs Linh Lan. The store was opened since 1985 and until now Mrs Linh Lan still carefully choose each of the ingredients.
Okie, time is up, this is now last stop. Thank you for staying with me until now and hope you all have stomach-satisfying journey. And you can find our part 1 in here Top 10 must-not-miss foods of Hue’s cuisine (Part 1). Goodbye for now and see you soon!!!