Hue City is the old capital of Vietnam. Despite its location – next to Da Nang – the new economic center, Hue is calm and peaceful in a unique way. If you want to have a truly relaxing travel experience, Hue is the city you must visit.
The lifestyle of the people here is different from other places in Vietnam. Are you afraid that you don’t have enough time and language skills to see this difference? Do not worry! Try Hue food, as the Hue people do! The way they make and eat food represents the way Hue people live their lives. In this article, I will introduce a list of Hue dishes which you should enjoy when you come to this old capital and where to find them.
Bun bo Hue
You can find this dish all across Vietnam, but trust me, try it in Hue, it will be a precious experience. Bun Bo made by Hue people in Hue city is spicier, tastier, and people here use vermicelli noodles. Local people usually have Bun Bo Hue for breakfast but you can also find many restaurants serving this dish all day.
Bun means noodle, Bo is Beef, and Hue is the name of the city. The funny thing is- you can also find this noodle dish served with pork. Whether you use beef or pork, people still call it Bun Bo Hue. You can also expect cubes of coagulated pig blood. Although it may sound unappetizing, give it a try!
Dumplings of Hue
Banh Beo, Banh Nam, and Banh Loc are the 3 most typical dumplings of Hue. As you might guess, they are all made from rice flour. To have a perfect dish, the food should be meticulously made by the locals. These are sophisticated dishes, from the selection of raw materials to the processing, you will enjoy the rich flavors. These should be eaten with style, at your discretion, just like the way the sellers prepare and give the food to you.
From 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, a lot of women sell these dumplings on all streets. Hue people like these treats and they often have them for light snacks instead of the main meal.
The shape of the dumpling looks like a water fern, Beo in Vietnamese. Also, another meaning of Beo is “very cheap”. So please just have Banh Beo as much as you want without worrying about your budget.
You can choose between different flavors: shrimp paste, green beans, and pork rind, just to name a few. The fish sauce accompanying Banh Beo is different from the regular one, it is quite sweet and not too salty.
Banh Nam is made with rice flour, shrimp paste, and wrapped in banana leaves. They have to steam the dumpling for about 10 minutes before serving. You should enjoy them with salty fish sauce and hot chili sauce.
Open slowly, savor the fragrance of the cake, shrimp infused with the essence of the banana leaf, and enjoy this delicacy with a spoon.
The shade of Banh Loc is different from the two above-mentioned dumplings, it is translucent. You can use your hands to eat them, just peel the leaf, dip the cake into the fish sauce, and taste the deliciousness in your mouth.
If you want to try it in a very local way, wait until 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM, and wander through the streets of Hue. You will see a lot of women carrying heavy loads with bamboo carrying poles(a symbol of Vietnam), high chance they sell Banh Beo, Banh Nam, and Banh Loc. Squat or sit on the low plastic chair and try the food as they feed the masses.
Com Hen, Bun Hen – Baby Clams with Rice/ Noodle
Com Hen is just a dish of rice or noodles with clams. But with a bow, you can have all pork rind, shrimp paste, raw vegetables, banana flowers, bean sprouts, small white taro, and peanuts. Mix everything up to make a very characteristic and pungent flavor of Hue. Hue locals know that the most delicious clams should be caught in Con Hen – the floating alluvium on the Perfume River in Con village, Vi Da ward. Please be careful if you have a bad digestion system when you try dishes with clams as it can upset your stomach.
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