Top 6 must-try dishes in Ninh Binh province
The beautiful Ninh Binh is famous for its long history values and famous landscapes which have been recognized as a world cultural heritage, and has always been the prior choice for both domestic and foreign tourists. Along with the beautiful natural scenery, Ninh Binh is well-known for special dishes that can be found nowhere else. Whatsup Vietnam team is delighted to share with you some interesting Ninh Binh specialties for visitors to try whenever you have the opportunity to visit this wonderful land.
1. Crispy burnt rice
The first dish to be mentioned is the crispy burnt rice, which is also the most popular dish of Ninh Binh. Made from 100% pure rice, Ninh Binh burnt rice brings the typical flavor of the ancient capital without being confused with any other provinces. Steamed rice has a light yellow of fried rice, then topped with cha bong (pork floss) or tom kho (dried shrimp), mo hanh (chopped scallions cooked by pouring boiling oil over them to release their aroma), and chili paste to produce a popular dish called pork floss burnt rice or shrimp burnt rice. Burnt rice may be made from the crust of rice left over from cooking rice in an iron pot, or, more commonly since the advent of electric rice cookers in the late 20th century, from leftover rice that is fried in oil over high heat to acquire a crispy texture. If you have never eaten this dish, this will be a special occasion for you to enjoy and tell the differences.
2. Kim Son Swarm Eel Spring Roll
In Ninh Binh, there is a village called Kim Son which is famous for a really special spring roll dish made of swarm eel. It may sound creepy because of the swarm eel which is quite like a kind of snake but to make a delicious swarm eel spring roll dish, it takes extremely adept practice and the comprehensive knowledge of the chief for eel, which not all the chief except for Kim Son can do. The first bite will bring you the attractive aroma of roasted sticky rice, light sour of vinegar interjected to the spicy of ginger, garlic, pepper, chili and lemon grass, which are just right to add up with the perfect sauce. All parts of the eel are thoroughly processed: the skin is deep-roasted to create the crispiness as an ingredient to eat with the roll, the bones are carefully smashed to mix with vinegar and the most important ingredient, the meat is very sophisticatedly cooked and mix with roasted rice to perfect the dish.
3. Raw goat meat with lemon
Grazed on rock mountains, goat meat in Ninh Binh is very firm and chewy. Therefore, visitors to Ninh Binh definitely have to try this dish once. Furthermore, Ninh Binh local people have their own secret in processing goat meat into many special dishes. Especially, goat meat is prepared in many attractive ways such as rare goat meat mixed with lemon, stir-fried goat meat, lemongrass and coconut goat. This dish is such a nutritious and fasscinating dish as it is served with many fresh herbs which are very good for the balance of people’s health.
4. Mountain Snails
Mountainous snail is another speciality in Ninh Binh with the natural sweetness. It is said that because these snails eat leaves, grass and some valuable medicinal herbs. Therefore, mountainous snail is used to cook various types of food such as grilled mountainous snails or stir-fried mountainous snails with tamarind or stir-fried mountainous snail with garlic. After being cleaned, mountainous snail is boiled with citronella. It attracts a huge number of people even though it is cooked in very basic way. Table companions may eat snails only to enjoy its natural sweet taste or eat with mixture of fish sauce, lemon, ginger and chilli.
5. Nem chua Yen Mac (Yen Mac Fermented Pork Roll)
Nem Chua Yen Mac is one of food or gifts which you should try and bring to your home. Nem Chua has a light pink color and a sour, sweet, salty and spicy taste. Nem chua Yen Mac used to be a favorite food of Vietnamese King. It is made from rustic ingredients, namely ground pork thigh, minced pork skin, chili, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, salt, all of which are mixed, pressed and then naturally fermented by tender fig or guava leaves, Nem Chua has a very typical sourness, sweetness, garlicky and salty taste with a nice crunch of pork rinds. While the fig leaf cover can be eaten with Nem Chua, creating a special acrid taste, the banana leaf cover makes its flavor more subtle and attractive.
6. Nho Quan tube wine
This is a specialty of the Muong ethnic minority. Alcohol yeast are made from the peel of trees mixed with chili powder, ginger powder, rice powder and water, this combination is cut into smaller pieces and dried in 10-15 days, then crushed and mixed with the dried mixture of cooked rice and rice hulls, which is kept in the vase in 1-2 days, then dried banana tree’s leaves are covered on the surface of the mixture in 1 month before the wine is ready to drink. The longer the wine is kept, the better taste it has; each material has its own taste. This drink is sweet, spicy and fragrant. The sweet aroma of the liquor can satisfy any triers.
Written by: Hieu La