Food & Drinks
Binh Dinh was probably one of the places where the Cham first arrived in what is now Vietnam. Its favorable geography led to the rise of the Cham Port of Thị Nại where Quy Nhon is now located. The city-state of Vijaya was located around this port and the main city, which was further inland. Its center was in the southern lowland of Binh Dinh.
Coming to the land of martial tradition, of majestic view, of heroes, you will hear the echo of hundred years of history whispering. Binh Dinh, not only the land of Cham culture, the land of heroes, but also is the land of culinary. The amazing land of Binh Dinh will astonish you from time to time.
Tay Son cow small intestine – Gié bò Tây Sơn
Cow small intestine is a very peculiar dish come from the An Khe and Vinh Thanh regions of the Ba Na ethic group. The main ingredient of the dish is cow small intestine.
Enjoying the hot dish, with so many flavors combined, you will remember it. Adding in some noodle, herbs, sesame paper rice, chili, ginger, lemongrass, coconut milk and the cuisine is irresistible.
King crab – Cua Huỳnh Đế
The sea of Binh Dinh has an extensive list of seafood: shrimp, crab, squid, fish, lobster, and tuna. One special species is the King crab with the many features. The crab has a very special shell, thick and hard like armor, yellow like gold, with spikes from the back to the legs unlike many other types of crabs.
There are many cook the crab such as steamed, grilled, but the locals prefer to cook the crab with rice, or make a pot of porridge with the red of the crab brick, and the white of the crab’s meat. The meat is sweet, fresh and very nutritious.
Lamprey – Cá chình
Lamprey is in the same family with the eels, but it is much bigger in size, and lives in the lagoons, estuaries. However, the best lamprey is in the Tra O swamp, or so called the Chau Truc swamp of Phu My District. In Vietnamese, the fish is called “chình mun” which “chình” is lamprey and “mun” means black. The meat is fresh and sweet, and more nutritious than beef, pork or chicken. There are many ways to cook the lamprey: roasted, curry, or cooked with medical herbs…
Lamprey with bamboo shoots or lamprey cooked with herbs are good for the health and could help solve the hangover problems. When cooked, use little water, stew the fish to extract the sweet water from the fish.
Sugar cane bird – Chim mía
Coming to Binh Dinh, tourists will have a chance to try the peculiar sugar cane bird which can only be found in the Tay Son region, which growth a lot of sugar cane. The bird is fresh, tasty no matter what method you choose to cook it.
The bird is small like sparrows but has longer legs and peak. After remove the feathers using hands and fire, the fat bird is revealed. After gutting, it is the time to spice it. The best are roasted and grilled. In order to grill it, have to cut it open, put in some spices, stick two bamboo sticks into the meat and grill it on the fire. To roasted, drop the bird into the frying peanut pan for ten minutes to have the meat turns to yellow and crunchy. Dipping the meat into the pepper-n-salt lemon mix, drinking some Binh Dinh wine are sensational experiences.
Coconut Rice Paper– Bánh tráng nước dừa
Coconut trees are gifts from nature to Binh Dinh. The best of the coconut is the oil in the meat of the coconut. Not only extracting the oil, the people of Binh Dinh also know how to use the rest of the coconut to create food. The meat and the milk of the coconut are also used to make the coconut rice paper which is simple yet tasty.
A bucolic, simple dish mesmerizes the heart of many tourists who come to the friendly land of Tam Quan, Binh Dinh. The rice paper is made from a mixture of rice flour, coconut milk, sesame, and salt. All are mixed, and boiled on a steamer. After that, the paper is dried for many days under the heavy sunny day until the paper is totally dried. The paper is round, and very slim.
The special thing about the coconut rice paper is that even though it is slim, it is still too thick to make a roll. The coconut rice paper is best to eat like snack. The best part is the coconut smell tenders when it is heated.
Glutinous Rice Flour Cake– Bánh ít lá gai
The flour cake is a bucolic symbol of the people in Binh Dinh. Nothing special in ingredients, yet explosive in flavors are what you will get when first tried this peculiar cake. From the outside, the crust is made of sticky rice flour with prickly leaves and sugar. The inside is made of smashed pea or coconut meat. The outside is slushy, fat and sweet while the inside is spicy and bold.
All are mixed to give you an unforgettable experience of Binh Dinh.
Vietnamese bologna, Huyen Market style– Nem chợ Huyện
The bologna is not only loved by the people in Binh Dinh but also the favorite of many tourists. Tasting the bologna dipped in the soybean sauce, a bit of garlic and chili, and you will feel the bold flavor.
Biting a piece of the bologna, you can feel its toughness, sour and sweet combine at the same time. The bologna is perfect if it is grilled on the fire, eaten along with some coriander, shiso, cilantro, banana, star fruit, cucumber, soy sauce garlic, and chilies. The bologna can also be eaten with rice paper and coriander. The locals call it “the rolls cake.” Dipping the rolls in to a bowl of sauce, tasting it, and you will want more.
Tre (Binh Dinh bologna)– Tré
Tré of Binh Dinh is remembered by everyone who came to this land by its sour, sweetness, and most importantly, its shape like a column of straw. The ingredients to make Tré are simple and home-grown: pork ears, bacon, sesame, galangal, chili, young guava leaves, and garlic.
Tré is fermented naturally, after 2 to 3 days it will be automatically cooked, and the spices will be absorbed into Tré to create unique flavor of dishes. When being eaten, Tré is opened, and the meat will be separated to present on the dish. The dish can be eaten along with rice paper, herbs, cucumber banana, pickles, sliced carrot, scallion garlic, and last but not least, the fish sauce.
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