Food & Drinks

Hue cuisine is not the combination of food in many regions like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Similar to Hai Phong and Da Nang, Hue food just mainly focuses on its own specialities which are mainly processed in the special style, strongly influenced by the palace processing style. In fact, Hue culinary still remains in its traditional characters, which are very picky in processing methods, choosing materials, and presenting the dishes. In Hue, it is harder to find many other dishes which are the specialities of other places compared to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Here are the best Hue food dishes to eat which are very famous, delicious, and have been existed for a long time.

1. Com Hen – Tiny Mussel Rice

Com hen – tiny mussel rice The first of the best Hue food to eat I would like to introduce in this article is the tiny mussel rice dish – a very famous food to eat in Hue that tourists should never miss! If you have a chance to come to visit Hue, you will be able to visit the beautiful sceneries everywhere: the Huong river with the sound of the bell from Thien Mu Pagoda, the mist and incense sight in Hon Chen temple, or go to visit Vy Da river, the Citadel, or visit the tombs of Minh Mang, Tu Duc ... Before traveling the rivers and mountains, you should stop at the first corner of the Truong Dinh Street and opt for Hue tiny mussel rice as a delicious, spicy, and aromatic breakfast. Hue tiny mussel rice is a rustic dish which is sold everywhere whether in the village or country road in Hue. This dish is very simple, rustic yet still tastes like a cheer. Hue tiny mussel rice is also called with a luxurious name: "Cau Lau Con" to honor the simply, rusticiality, and frugality which are the characteristics of Hue. Ingredients: - Tiny mussel - Mint leaves - Pennywort - Coriander - Basil - Julienned banana flower - White sesame, peanuts (roasted) - Dried pig’s skin - Hue’s penicilated shrimp - Rice - Fresh bean sprouts - Sour starfruit - Milled chili, ginger, salt, MSG, fish sauce

2. Banh Canh Nam Pho – Nam Pho Thick Noodle Soup

Banh canh nam phonam pho thick noodle soup Not popular and widely sold as beef vermicelli or tiny mussel rice, yet Nam Pho crab thick noodle soup (Phu Vang district, Thua Thien Hue) is still preferred by many tourists, so it attracts a lot of tourists to come and enjoy it whenever they have chance to visit the former Citadel . No bar, no fame, Nam Pho thick noodle is sold in small diners and mobile stalls on the sidewalk or in small alleys in every evening. Nam Pho thick noodle soup is not picky in ingredients. It just contains thick noodle (fresh), shrimp, crab, meat pie…yet very meticulous in cooking process. Therefore, the thick noodle soup here has its own characteristics compared to other thick noodle soup which is originated in other provinces throughout the Central. The meticulous requirement is expressed through each processing stage. First, the thick noodle fibers are also made from rice flour, yet it requires many efforts to create soft and tough noodle fibers which are used to make Nam Pho thick noodle soup. After milling the rice, the flour will be put into a hot pot and steamed over low heat. People will need to whisk the flour until it is viscous. After that, the flour will be poured into a plastic bag with a side cut in the tapering shape to create the noodle fibers in a pot with boiling water. When the noodle fibers are milky, take them out and soak in cool clean water. Ingredients: - Thick noodle: + Rice flour + Chestnut starch + Wheat flour + Salt + Hot water - Broth: + Cartilage + Crab flesh + Fresh shrimp minced finely with spices + Rock sugar + Large onion + Spices: salt, pepper, sugar, MSG, fish sauce + Chilli powder (or coloring chilli) - Side dishes: + Fried fish pie (or steamed fish pie) + Hue meat pie (sliced) + Scallion, coriander, lemon, fresh chilli

3. Bun Bo Hue – Hue Beef Vermicelli

Bun bo Hue – Hue beef vermicelli (“bun bo Hue” in Vietnamese) is the soul of Hue cuisine. The fame and delicious taste of this dish makes no discussion as it is on the list of the top 50 most delicious dishes in the world. Hue beef vermicelli contains a piece of pig’s leg, a piece of beef pie, a small piece of boiled pig’s blood, and of course a few thin slices of beef. The fresh herbals to serve with Hue beef vermicelli are also very fresh and plentiful. Ingredients: - Pig’s tale bone - Pig’s leg - Beef - Big-size vermicelli - Large onion, lemongrass - Lemon, fresh chilli, chilli powder - Penicilated shrimp paste - Brown cashew coloring powder - Fish sauce, salt, lard (cooking oil) - Julienned banana flower, fresh bean sprout, scallion, coriander

4. Bun Thit Nuong - Grilled Meat Vermicelli

Bun thit nuong -  Grilled meat vermicelli is a popular dish which is the favorite of many people in all three regions of the country. Among these, Hue is the place that has the most preferred beef vermicelli dish. Grilled meat vermicelli everywhere keeps its own distinctive taste depending on the 3 regions: the North, the Central, and the South. This noodle dish can be suitably used for breakfast, daily meals, or between meals. It is very tasty and attractive dish which many people in the country and also the foreigners love. The requirements of grilled meat vermicelli contain: - The grilled meat need to be brown with the charming scent of lemongrass and sesame - The sauce must be harmoniously sweet and sour served with many kinds of fresh vegetables and raw herbals. In fact, this is also one of the best Hue food dishes which are famous and popular in Vietnam. Ingredients: - Pig’s shoulder lean meat (with a little fat) - Honey - Finely chopped lemongrass - White sesame - Fish sauce, lemon, garlic, fresh chili, rice vinegar) - Lettuce, carrot, scallion (cut into small pieces - Peanut - Oblique (to make skewers) - Vermicelli (small size vermicelli)

5. Banh Uot Thit Nuong – Wet Cake Served With Grilled Meat

Banh uot thit nuong – wet cake served with grilled meat Actually, wet cake does not just belong to Hue, but Hue’s wet cake carries many characteristic features, representing the personal branch of the ancient capital land. This is also one of the best Hue food that tourists cannot miss when coming to visit Hue. The main ingredient of the wet cake’s shell is rice flour mixed with chestnut starch or cassava starch in proper proportion. These 3 kinds of flour will be dissolved in clean water so that when being processed, the shell of the wet cake will be very thin yet tough and could not be torn (the shell of the wet cake is also not too tough). People consider that the shell of the wet cake is thinner; the maker must be more skillful, and the thinnest wet cake will be the best. Ingredients: - Salt - Soft beef - Semsae - Finely chopped lemongrass - Soy sauce - Sugar - Cooking oil - Milled pepper - Wet cake shell (thin) - Raw herbals, lettuce - Sticky glutinous rice - Pig’s liver - Shelled shrimp

6. Banh Beo - Bloating Duckweed -Shaped Cake

Banh beo - bloating duckweed -shaped cake Bloating fern-shaped cake is a simple, rustic Hue food that is very famous in all 3 regions in Vietnam. The tiny, limber cake with the attractive fragrant of rice flour, the sweetness of fried dried shrimp, and the spiciness of the dipping sauce, making people are really attracted when enjoying this dish. The name “Banh Beo” was born due to the shape of the cake which is thin, rounded like the duckweed, or according to the folk comparison, this dish is very cheap (“beo” in Vietnamese). Bloating duckweed-shaped cake is rustic yet very famous speciality which everyone who comes to visit Hue wants to taste. Ingredients: - Rice flour - Chestnut starch - Cool water, boiling water - Field shrimp - Dried purple onion, fresh garlic, scallion - Fish sauce, salt, pepper, sugar - Small plates (to pour the flour and take away to steam) - Crispy fried bread or pig’s skin

7. Banh Bot Loc – Chestnut Starch Cake

Banh bot loc – Hue chestnut starch cake is very picky and meticulous in choosing ingredients, cooking process, and also the shape of the cakes. In the Hue ancient palace in the past, this cake was shaped in the form of bullion, wrapped in fresh banana leaves. Chestnut starch cake is small yet has unique taste. Hue chestnut starch is tough with the fragrance of chestnut starch, fleshy stuffing made from shrimp and milled pork meat, sweet and salty shrimp rousing, fatty and aromatic cooking oil with scallion, and Hue’s style sweet and sour dipping sauce. Ingredients: - Chestnut starch - Fresh shrimp - Chopped or milled pork meat - Spices: salt, sugar, MSG, pepper, cashew oil, fish sauce, rice vinegar - Fresh banana leaves, scallion, fresh chilli - Cooking oil, clean water.

8. Banh Khoai Thuong tu – Khoai Cake

Banh khoai – khoai cake Sitting huddly in a teahouse on the sidewalk, enjoying the cold of Hue, and looking at a plate of hot and golden fried Khoai cake, you will feel really hungry and want to eat this dish right away. In fact, “khoai cake” is a wonderful food to eat in Hue that tourists should never miss when they have chance to come and visit this place. Khoai cake can easily make people confused because it has many similarities with the sizzling pancake in the South. However, “khoai cake” is smaller, thicker, and crispier than sizzling pancake. This difference is due to the stage of powder mixing with an "exclusive" recipe, the level of fire when frying the cake bread, and the way to make dipping sauce of each restaurant. Hue people are famous throughout the country for their meticulousness and fussiness in processing and eating style. This dish is actually one of Hue food dishes which express clearly the “soul” and the pickiness of Hue people. Ingredients: - Rice flour - Clean boiled water - Beer - Salt - Fresh scallion, turmeric powder (or yellow coloring powder) - Cinnamon meat pie - Fresh shrimp - Quail egg - Chicken egg - Fresh bean sprouts - Julienned green papaya - Cooking oil Broth: - Soy sauce - Clean boiled water - Thick soy sauce - Sugar - MSG - Roasted sesame - Roasted and bruised peanuts - Corn starch

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