From our imperial Nguyễn dynasty, the art of ‘Royal Cuisine’ revived

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From 1802 to 1945, Hue was Vietnam’s capital and the heart of our Nguyễn royal dynasty (Nguyễn is ‘Win’ in English).  In their short history, our royal families provided priceless and valuable historical evidence you see on your Vietnam travel.  Especially in and around the city of Hue.

One imperial art lost over the years was ‘royal cuisine’ – astonishing Vietnamese dishes served to Nguyễn kings and families.

Xuan Tu Vietnam Tours - Hue cuisine
Hue royal cuisine

Xuan Tu Vietnam Tours - Hue cuisine
Mr Ho Van Ta – the final royal chef

The Nguyễn dynasty ended in 1945 with many traditional royal recipes thought lost as they weren’t popular to ‘new’ Vietnam and its people.  Especially once Mr Ho Van Ta, our final royal chef passed away.

Fortunately, his granddaughter Mrs Ho Thi Hoang Anh became a cuisine artisan.  She has revived the cuisine of our Nguyễn kings – it’s fruit jams, candy and sweet & savoury cakes which were an important part of daily royal life.

Mrs Ho Thi Hoang Anh

These jams, candy and cakes were made from the highest quality ingredients, harvested in season from many Vietnamese regions and prepared specially for royalty.  One special sweet potato cake was made from purple potatoes and glutinous rice flour of Huong Can village near the city of Hue. Inside a mix of ingredients including Vietnamese shrimp & suckling pig, wood-ear mushrooms and bamboo shoots from Manh Tong!

The royal chefs created harmony between colour and taste, yin and yang, hot and cold.  They provided dishes balancing calories and ingredients based on the royal nutritionists’ instruction.

Xuan Tu Vietnam Tours - Hue cuisine
Various cakes, sweets and candy from Hue’s royal gastronomy

Hue royal cuisine: considered by many to be the pinnacle of Vietnamese gastronomy for sophistication and refinement.

Today, Mrs Ho Thi Hoang Anh is determined to restore typical dishes that have almost fallen into oblivion.  Dishes like sea cucumber with shrimp and vegetables, sweet potato cake, and Hue chicken salad.

Xuan Tu Vietnam Tours - Hue cuisine
Eight kinds of fruit preserves

Xuan Tu's Vietnam Tours - Hue cuisine

Lotus preserves

Xuan Tu's Vietnam Tours - Hue cuisine
Preserves made with strawberry, mung bean powder and rock sugar

Video about the “Sweet Taste of Hue Royal” by Mrs Ho Thi Hoang Anh: