Four must-try dishes in Halong Bay27 September 2018
Quang Ninh is not only famous for its natural heritage Halong Bay but also for its amazing food.
Travelling to a place does not simply mean sight-seeing, it is also a chance to discover its distinctive cuisine. And here are some of the dishes that you should not miss if you come to the sea city, Halong.
Seafood vermicelli and red rice noodles
“A bowl of red rice noodles with seafood.”
Seafood vermicelli has recently become famous in Hanoi. However, when having a bowl of seafood vermicelli or seafood red rice noodles, you will have a completely different experience. For just only 40,000VND (less than $2), you could have a whole bowl full of seafood (prawns, fish, fish ball, mantis shrimps), and a lot of vegetables. And to compliment the sweet and sour flavour of the stock, you can have it with a fresh bunch of various herbs.
“Halong porridge is made with rice powder.”
Clam porridge is a really famous dish when it comes to comfort food, especially in Halong city, the porridge is cooked with sea clams whereas in other cities they only serve river clams. Clam porridge is normally served with spring onions, chopped culantro, fried shallots and “quẩy” (youtiao or Chinese fried churros).
“A stir-fried plate of snails is something you can always share with your friends…or just by yourself.”
One thing for sure when coming to Halong city is that you should not ignore is trying snails. Stir-fried snails are the most popular snack in Halong that everyone loves. The locals love eating snails because of its unusual textures and also for its sumptuous flavour when being cooked in various ways: soy sauce, lemongrass, tamarind, coconut… If cooked properly, these snail dishes could be very addictive. Snails are strictly street food, the best place to enjoy snails would definitely be food stalls on the side of the streets. Street food and price, but restaurant quality.
“Bánh cuốn chả mực” (squid balls)
“Bánh cuốn” is made from a thin, wide sheet of steamed fermented rice batter filled with a mixture of cooked seasoned ground pork, minced moon mushroom, and minced shallots. You could find “Bánh cuốn” anywhere in Vietnam, however, you could only find this dish being served with fried squid balls in Halong. Squid balls are made of minced fresh squid and also diced squid with dills, and spices which would be formed into balls and flatten out then fried till golden brown. The key to this dish is the squid balls need to be fresh and crunchy when you bite into it. In addition to it, the dipping sauce is a must and it plays a really important role in balancing everything out with the sourness from lime juice and vinegar, a bit of saltiness from fish sauce, some sweetness from sugar and some heat from the fresh cut-up chilies. “Bánh cuốn chả mực” is best served when it is just freshly made, smoking hot and garnished with some fried shallots.