Battle The Summer Heat of Hanoi With These Dishes22 May 2018
Speaking of Vietnamese cuisine, many are familiar with Pho and a plethora of broth-based noodle dishes, perfect for a chilly winter day to warm up your creaking bones. However, when the summer hits, the idea of slurping a hot bowl of Pho suddenly isn’t so appealing anymore with the sun glaring down on your head. Worry not, for these dishes are delicious, nutritious and most important of all, fresh and cooling.
Pho Cuon (Rolled Pho)
If you’re craving the flavors of Pho but not courageous enough to battle the hot broth in the heat, Pho Cuon is the perfect choice for you. Similar to a summer roll, Pho Cuon is made out of stir-fried beef, carrot, cucumber and cilantro, wrapped in a giant sheet of Pho noodle. The dipping sauce is the star of the dish, combining the umami salty flavor of fish sauce, the sourness of vinegar and the crunchiness of the green papaya. Low in calories, healthy, refreshing and delicious, summer roll doesn’t get better than this!
You can get Pho Cuon at 33 Ngu Xa, 26 Nguyen Khac Hieu or 25 Ngu Xa for the price of 50k - 65k per plate.
Bun Dau - Tofu Vermicelli
Bun Dau is served with a tray full of fried tofu, boiled pork leg, blood sausage, Vietnamese meatloaf etc. to your liking. The vermicelli is often lightly compressed into the form of a small sheet, so that you can easily dip it into the sauce accompanied. The sauce is the focus of the dish, and it’s not for the faint of heart: made out of shrimp paste, sugar, lime juice and chili, the smell and taste is pungent and off putting for those who aren’t quite familiar with shrimp paste, and it is very much an acquired taste. However, once you can get past the initial impression, you’ll find yourself strangely addicted to shrimp paste. Along with the vermicelli and protein, you’ll also be given a heaping serve of fresh herbs and vegetable. In the heat of the summer, Bun Dau is a popular choice among Hanoians for a fulfilling, satisfying meal. You can find this popular dish at nearly every street corner, it is just that popular.
Mien Luon Tron - Eel Noodle Salad
If the brothy Mien Luon (Eel Glass Noodle) is best enjoyed in the winter, its sister Mien Luon Tron is the more appropriate choice for the summer. Just like Mien Luon, Mien Luon Tron’s main ingredients comprised of glass noodles, cooked strips of eel, fresh herbs and vegetables, French-fried onions and peanut crumbles. The dish is accompanied with a little bowl of broth should you feel like slurping on something. The mixture of all the different textures, the bursting flavors coming from the eel, the herbs and the dressing will leave you wanting more.
You can get Mien Luon Tron at Minh Lan, 1 Chan Cam and Tan Tan, 16 Tue Tinh.
Sua Do - Red Jellyfish
This dish is making a comeback recently, thanks to the vibrant red color of the jellyfish. The jellyfish has ben cut into bite-sized pieces and soaked in kumquat juice to get rid of the pungent fishy smell. The jellyfish is served with grilled tofu, fresh herbs, coconut meat and shrimp paste. To enjoy this dish, assemble the jellyfish, coconut meat and tofu on top of the herbs, dip the mixture into the shrimp paste mix and eat it all in one bite.
You can get red jellyfish at 16B Duong Thanh, 70 Hang Chieu, Thanh Ha Alley etc.