Food & Drinks
Besides stunning landscapes, Hoa Binh’s cuisine is also an attractive element of the province. Hoa Binh's specialities are both diverse and unique to the Northwestern mountainous areas of Vietnam. The following are some of the must-trys when you visit the place.
1. Dishes from Man pigs
The pigs roam are roasted, just shaved hair. After that, it will be washed before slaughtering to take viscera. Viscera do not wash with water; it only hangs up to drain blood. Therefore, meat can be kept for a long time. Then, it is mixed and putted to the pot to boil. When meat cooked to medium, it is taken to the chopping-board, ethnic people slice them and display on the banana leaves. Meat is used together with roasted-salt and “hat doi”. If tourists enjoy the dish, they will fell the sweetness of meat, the aroma of banana leaves, the taste of “hat doi”… At the first time, visitors cannot forget.
2. Lam rice (rice in bamboo tube)
Lam Rice bears strongly the taste and scent of Northwestern Mountains and forests. The only ingredient of this food is nothing more than sticky rice; however, it is cooked by a very special tool: bamboo cylinder. People put rice into the cylinder together with water in a standard recipe, then cover the cylinder by banana leaf and bake the whole cylinder over slow fire. When eating, gourmets only have to break the bamboo cover and enjoy much more sweet-smelling rice than usual ones. This food has its excellent taste when eat with sesame salt.
3. Pickled pork
The pigs roam are mixed with glaze of forest leaves and roasted rice within 60 minutes. Then, they take banana leaves on the fire and clean them. Ethnics put banana leaves to the bottom of bamboo and sprinkle the meat with roasted rice. Then, they close the bamboo by banana leaves and put them into stove. When tourists enjoy pickled pork, they will feel the color of meat, acidity of forest glaze, salinity of salt, aromatic of rice. This dish is usually served with forest leaves.
4. Lóong Soup
Loong soup is a special soup whose ingredients are poke and peeled banana collected in the forests of Hoa Binh. Banana tree are cut from the depth forest and then peeled to collect the inside part. This peeled part will be sliced into tiny, mixed with salt to demolish its acid taste then cooked with piglet and unique ingredients of the province : burned Dổi nuts and sliced Lốt leaf. This dish is cool and sweet that may make gourmets keep digging in.
5. Meat roll with pomelo leaf
This dish is not only unique for its delicious taste but it is also unique for Hoa Binh, The process to make it is very simple: high quality bellies meat sliced into small piece as big as pinkie, then spiced with fish sauce and onion. After that, washed pomelo leafs are sliced into half and each half would be used to roll a piece of sliced meat and then clip by bamboo sticks. Barbecuing the food on slow fire while smelling its alluring scent of poke mixed with pomelo leaf may make foodies dying for it.
6. Five colors sticky rice
Very popular with ethnic minorities in the Northwestern area of Vietnam, five colors sticky rice allure foodies first by its appearance which is usually decorated like a flower with five colors: white, green, black, orange and yellow. The five colors represent five natural elements according to oriental philosophy. Each color offers foodies a different taste since they are cooked with different ingredients and processes. For example, green color is rooted from pineapple leaf; orange color comes from Gấc fruit and yellow is the color of cooked green bean.
7. Pickled bamboo shoot with chicken
The chicken roam has weighing between 0.8 to 1 kilograms cleaned and slaughtered to put away viscera. Then, people chop into small pieces and mix with pickled bamboo within 20-30 minutes. After that it will be cooked about 1-2 hours. When chicken is well-done, ethnics sprinkle the chicken with a little “hat doi”.
8. Grilled fish
Some types of fish such as: Crucian carp, catfish, carp… are usually grilled. Before grilling, people often thrust one stick from mouth to stomach of fish and then grilled them. Grilled fish is put into the banana leaves.
9. Buffalo cooked "la Lom"
Buffalo is roasted and shaved hair then chopped into small pieces, stewed in clay pot. After that, people mix them with “la lom”, small rice and stew with buffalo. This is a popular national dish of the Muong, Hoa Binh province.
10. Stem wine
Stem wine is made from a bit crushed forest leaves and mixed with starch to produce ferment wine. When drinking, we only pour water into pot. In the banquet of wine, people sit around together, enjoy special flavor and soak into soul of gong in the festival.
11. Bitter bamboo shoots
If people want to enjoy delicious bamboo shoots, they must choose bamboo sprout, then roasted them to shrivel. It can be used with salt, pepper, ginger, “mac khen”, garlic leaves and crushed garlic. When eating, we can feel the bitter taste of bamboo shoots, salty of salt, hot taste of chili…