Top 5 famous specialties in Ha Long Bay
In addition to the magnificent and stunning sceneries of Ha Long, visitors would possibly be surprised by the incredible local dishes of this charming bay. Favored with the gifts of Mother Nature, Ha Long is famous for its variety of fresh and delicious seafood like crab, prawn, squid and snail as well as plenty of Vietnamese traditional foods. If your next culinary destination is Ha Long, then it’s necessary to know ahead what the most special dishes are to try there.
1. Cha Muc (Squid Sausage)
Squid sausage may be the most famous dish in Ha Long, which is praised as delicious dish by squids in special habitat of this amazing bay. This dish is attractive to not only domestic tourists but also foreign tourists by the toughness, brittleness and the smell of squid. The food is a fusion of hashed squid and mysterious spices that only the chefs know, molded into round pieces and then fried in boiling oil. The best cooking way to process the squid sausage might be frying. The fried sausage of squid in Ha Long Bay has the attractively yellow color plus the aromatic and soft tastes. This food is often served with sticky rice, rolled cake, or just enjoy it with solid fish sauce. You can easily find Cha Muc at many food stalls around Ha Long City for around 20.000 VND (1 USD) per portion.
2. Sam (Horseshoe Crab)
Sam, otherwise known as Horseshoe Crab, live primarily in shallow ocean water which means that Ha Long Bay is the perfect habitat for them. This means that there is an abundance of Sam in Ha long Bay. It can be prepared into many different dishes using crab as the primary source of meat. The preparation of the crabs requires three tools; a pointy knife, a cutting knife and a pair of scissors to cut the legs, scoop out the meat and remove the intestines and liver (these parts contain colic pathogens).
The meat of Sam can be processed into a lot of different foods, such as pudding crab, crab salad, sweet and sour crab legs, crab sauté with peppers and lemongrass, fried eggs and crab, steamed crabs, fried crab, fried crab’s cartilage, stir-fried crab and glass noodle. The endless menu of horseshoe crab is always awaiting the visitors in Ha Long, and it is always fresher than you can get anywhere else.
3. Sa Sung (Sipunculus)
Sipunculus is a kind of sand worm, a kind of seafood that only exists in Ha Long. Fresh sipunculus fried with garlic spikes make a delicious dish. In the past, Sa Sung is a valuable tribute to the King or upper-class people, hence, only rich people could afford it. The food can be processed in various ways, like Sa Sung fried with garlic or lemongrass, Sa Sung boiled, deep fried Sa Sung, and so on. You can dry sipunculus into dark brown then grilled or roasted it to use with a cold cup of beer or spices for noodle broth.
The taste, indeed, is much more delicious than its appearance. The common dish is fresh sipunculus nudus fried with garlic. Garlic is just the right spice that stimulates the sweetness of the meat. In addition, they also dried the sipunculus and roast it until the dish has just the yellow brown color. Roasted sipunculus eaten with chilli and lettuce is just the right dish that you should try once in your life despite the price can be a little bit high compared to your planning budget.
4. Gat gu cake (nodding cake)
The name of the cake is derived from the fact that the patrons should give a nod of assent when they enjoy it. Gat gu cake is made of rice powder, visually it looks like rolled rice pancake (banh cuon). Cake makers have to measure an appropriate quantity of grain, then pour the fluids into a flat dish and wrap it with green banana leaves. Gat gu cakes are served in a bowl with rice noodle soup, eating with fresh chili peppers and fresh herbs. A secret to the perfection of this dish is a mixture made from fish sauce steamed with chicken fat, onion and chili to have a cheesy, delicious smell.
5. Ngan (Austriella corrugate)
“Ngan” is the popular seafood in almost every restaurant in Quang Ninh. It is a bivalve mollusk such as clams, can be processed in various ways: grilled, steamed, made soup, fried with noodles or vegetables. Austriella corrugate has rough shell and sweet-tasty, tender, a little chewy meat. This bivalve is one of the most expensive seafood in Ha Long. A special delicacy made from Ngan is Ngan wine which has a unique, indescribable flavor. It is made from a strange mixture of Ngan blood and rice wine. More interestingly, the local also create an appetizing drink from this seafood blood whose taste is fiery and sweet at the tip of the tongue.
Written by: Hieu La