The delicious food in Thai Nguyen you must definitely try!
Thai Nguyen is not only a place famous for Thai Nguyen Green Tea or many scenic spots and historical sites, but also a place with extremely unique culinary culture which has a wide range of specialties bearing the essence of the mountains. If you have the opportunity to travel to Thai Nguyen, a province 70 km from Hanoi to the North, do not forget to enjoy its itsdelicious dishes. Tat would definitely be one of the most special culinary culture that you should discover and make your trip more interesting. Whatsup Vietnam is eager to introduce some as follows.
1. Bamboo-tube rice
This dish is quite popular among highland people. Working on the upland fields or in the forest, people usuusally cook lam rice to bring along with them, whiwch is really convenient. The upland sticky rice is soaked carefully, poured into fresh bamboo tubes and then made a knot of fresh dong strings, then baked in the fire. When the scorched bamboo tube shell has a fragrant glutinous aroma, it means the rice has been finely cooked. When enjoy, Thai Nguyen people would often wait for the rice tube to be less hot, using a sharp knife, gradually sharpen the outer layer of the bamboo tube so that it still retains the young bamboo membranes. The fragrant and bamboo-tube rice is eaten with crashed peanut & salt. This dish can guarentee to making you will forget it.
2. Five-coloured sticky rice
Five-coloured sticky rice is a traditional and cultural dish of this region. This is a typical rustic dish of the Dao and the Tay ethnic minorities, which frequently appear on important occasions of the people here.
Five-coloured sticky rice of the Tay includes a philosophy of human life: 5 colors of sticky rice represent the five basic elements: Yellow is the color of Earth, blue is the color of Wood, red is the color of Fire, white is the color of Metal and dark purple is the color of Water. All the matters in the universe are created by the base of these 5 element, which exist and develop in harmony with one another.
For those who have the opportunity to enjoy the northwestern five-color sticky rice, you will never forget the sweet aroma of the plants, the nature which has been imbued in each rice grain. Eating a little greasy and glutinous sticky rice will create a totally different taste compared to homemade sticky rice. In particular, a big plus point for this dish is that it looks extremely eye-catching and appealing, making this delicious food now even better.
Nham is another special cuilinary highlight of the countryside of Ha Chau village, Phu Binh district, Thai Nguyen province.
As a famous culinary specialty of Ha Chau and Phu Binh villages, it is usually made during the ripe canarium fruit season (around the end of July and early August in the lunar calendar). Nham is made from 14 kinds of wild foods and spices such as: Black carp or burnt fish, young banana, sesame, peanuts, bacon, star fruit, ginger leaves, fig leaves, basil leaves, clove leaves, coconut copra, soy sauce, vinegar, etc. Nham can be served with banh da or banh trang (rice paper sheet). A folk dish, but it is quite strange to the mouth with nicely delicious taste, driving visitors to the land of Ha Chau want to try.
4. Bitter bamboo shoot Ngan Me
Thai Nguyen people often call this Bamboo shoot Ngan Me because the bamboo shoot are often taken from Ngan Me forest. This bitter bamboo shoots are sold quite a lot at Chua Hang and Dong Hy markets and along Highway 1B across Gia Bay bridge.
Unlike other bamboo shoots, bamboo shoot Ngan Me is only about the size of an adult finger. The simplest way to process this ingredient is to boil bamboo shoots and eat with salt or mam tom (shrimp paste). Or you can have a way much better option, which is to enjoye the delicious bamboo shoots with stream snails, the combination of bamboo shoots and snails is finely indescribable and it seems to you that you could eat it forever without getting bored. Besides, there can be bamboo shoots stuffed with pork which is certainly scrumptious án not less amazing.
The bitter taste and aroma of bamboo shoots will make you remember forever!
5. Banh tro
Ash cake is a unique kind of cake of Tay people in Thai Nguyen. This is also a famous cake in many localities, but Thai Nguyen ash cake has a really distinct taste. The major ingredient of this cake is a kind of high quality glutinous rice, and the wrapping layer is made from chit leaves, which must be long enough to wrap and flexible enough not to be torn out. The ash-based water in which the sticky rice is immersed must be finely filtered in a sufficient amount of time. The sticky grains after cooked will be slightly yellow, transparent and flexible. Thai Nguyen ash cake when eaten with molasses is perfectly delicious!
In the past, ash cakes were often made in Insect removal ceremony. Nowadays, when visiting Thai Nguyen, you can have ash cake at any time of the year.
6. Banh Chung Bo Dau (Bo Dau sticky rice cake)
Bo Dau Village in Co Lung Commune of Phu Luong District is one of the places specializing in making banh chung (sticky rice cake) to all regions of the country. This area is located only about 8km from Thai Nguyen city center. Therefore, tourists who come here to visit find it convenient to visit this village to buy banh chung. Along the road leading to this Banh Chung village, there are many spots sell it.
Banh Chung Bo Dau is different from other regional Banh Chung and is not packaged with the help of a mold, instead, only with skillful hands, Thai Nguyen people have been able to create exactly square-shaped cakes.
7. Nem chua Dai Tu (Dai tu fermented pork roll)
Referring to nem chua, many people will immediately think of Thanh Hoa or nem chua in Ve village (Hanoi), Vinh Yen (Vinh Phuc), Dong Ba (Hue), but few people know that in Thai Nguyen, there is also a delicious fermented pork rolls making place, which is Dai Tu. Unlike other types of fermented pork rolls that can be peeled off for instant consumption, nem chua Dai Tu requires an additional step, which is grilling in charcoal or rolling over a pan before eaten. With ingredients including lean meat, garlic, wine, pepper and guava leaves, each spring roll is carefully wrapped in banana leaves and can be kept in about 2-3 days.
8. Tuong nep Uc Ky (Uc Ky sticky rice sauce)
No one know when Tuong nep Uc Ky exactly originated because it has only been known for a long time, but here, every family knows how to make soy sauce and they all preserve at least one big jar to eat during the year or to give to the coming guests as a gift. Over time, making this iskind of sauce has become a traditional occupation for local people and a specialty food is gradually reaching out to markets beyond its hometown.
Jars of soy sauce made according to exact formula will have deep dark yellow colour, like soy sauce or honey, with the aroma of glutinous rice and soybean. Hence, when eaten, it leaves an impressive sweet aftertaste. This soy sauce can be used as a spice or dipping sauce for many different dishes. For a long time, soy sauce has been a familiar spice in the daily meals of Uc Ky people in particular and many families in the Northern provinces in general. Coming to Uc Ky commune in the fall, the atmosphere of making sticky rice sauce will be more bustling then any other time of the year because this is the most suitable time to make soy sauce in the sunshine and fresh air of the autumn days.
9. Banh Ngai (wormwood cake)
When refering to Thai Nguyen, if you forget wormwood cake, it will be a big omission. Wormwood cake is present in many countryside, but when coming to Thai Nguyen, wormwood cake has a very unique flavor. Wormwood cake made from carefully selected aromatic sticky grains. Cake flour is meticulously crushed with wormwood to achieve toughness and beautiful color. Wormwood has no filling inside but it is really cool and just slightly sweet, not making you get fed up with.
Thai Nguyen wormwood cake is often served with a small amount of sugar mixed with roasted millet seeds. The taste of this cake is one of the unforgettable charms of Thai Nguyen cuisine.
by Quynh Nhi