Delicious Delicacies That You Must Try In Quang Ninh
The home to Ha Long Bay, one of the first Vietnamese heritages claimed by UNESSCO, Quang Ninh is famous for attracting tourists for a long time. But apart from the elegant stones of Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh also has Tuan Chau Island with a road from the town straight to the island, a white sand beach with plenty of entertainment services for visitors. And should guests want something more adventurous and wilder, they are supposed to have a trip to Co To island with natural beauty and very few traces of man-made objects found here.
Quang Ninh not only conquers tourists with its beautiful natural landscape, natural world wonders, historical temples and pagodas but also with unique cuisine bearing its own identity.
1. Cha Muc - Squid Patties
Throughout the long coastline of Vietnam, cuttlefishes are everywhere. Each region has their special type of cuttlefishin different shapes or sizes. As a coastal province, Ha Long is no exception. However, unlike the ones in other provinces such as NhaTrang, where cuttlefish is well-known for its big size, Ha Long’s cuttlefish gain people’s love because of its unforgettable flavor.
As a matter of fact, Quang Ninh’s sea possesses many kinds of cuttlefish: kislip cuttlefish, broadclub cuttlefish, pharaoh cuttlefish, and golden cuttlefish, etc. They can be used to cook a lot of dishes such as dried, grilled or fried cuttlefish, but cuttlefish cake is still the best of all.
The recipe used to make cuttlefish cake requires skills and experience. From the first steps such as choosing the right cuttlefish and cutting its organs, to the last steps such as seasoning or frying, the cook must pay great attention to details. After being fried, the cakes have a delicious, yellow color and an irresistible fragrance. Their spicy and salty taste can be most noticeable when we eat them with sticky rice or Vietnamese pancake.
In Ha Long City, there is even a street near Bach Dang Theater where all inhabitants specialize in making and selling cuttlefish cake. Because of its increasing popularity, people name it the "Cuttlefish Cake Street".
2. Sa Sung (sea worm)
|Photo: Hai san ong Ba|
Sa Sung is a rare seafood species, often found in the waters of Quan Lan of Quang Ninh. Sa Sung can be processed into many dishes with different flavors, and also has the use of curing a number of diseases and nourishing the body.
Sa Sung lives on the seashore where the tide goes up and down every day. When it ebbs, people have to look for Sa Sung really quickly, often by digging the sand.
Sa sung can be fried with fresh garlic to create a tasty and buttery dish. This fried food is also regarded as Moi Xao, a distinctive and popular food of Ha Long.
Another way to serve Sa Sung is to dry them before roasting. When the dish is done, it has a tempting yellow color and great flavor of sea salt. Sa sung can be served with chili sauce. Not everyone has the chance to taste this special food, but anyone who has agrees that the combination of fried Sa Sung, fresh lettuces and beer is something beyond their imagination.
Sa sung is a very pricey product. Th price for 1kg of dried sa sung is from VND4 to VND4.5 million (over $200).
3. Gat Gu Cake
|Photo: Scooter Saigon tour|
The coastal province of Quang Ninh is known for specialties like cha muc Ha Long (fried squid paste), tu hai (snail) in Van Don and sa sung (sea worm) in Quan Lan and ruou mo (apricot wine) in Yen Tu. A visit to the locality helped me find banh gat gu (cake) in Tien Yen District.
The name of the cake in Vietnamese means satisfaction. According to locals, the cake which is shaped in a long roll and made from rice powder (similar to the materials used to make pho) is served with fish sauce and is a popular treat for young and old. It was created by residents selling pho (Vietnamese noodles) in the locality.
To create it you have to soak rice with water overnight and grind it into liquid. Then mix the liquid with cooked rice to have the sticky and soft cake. Next you pour the liquid onto a mould and cover with a lid. After that you use a bamboo stick to roll the cake into long shapes. 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.
Nowadays, people in Tien Yen still enjoy the cake at major events like weddings or guests’ visits and they usually add mince meat or steamed meat into the sauce.
Those who have a chance to visit Quang Ninh should pass by Tien Yen to savor the unique gat gu cake.
4. Ruoc lo (baby octopus)
|Photo: Bazan Travel|
Coming to Ha Long, Quang Ninh province - one of the seven wonders of the natural world, you can not only see the beautiful scenery, overwhelmed by the stunning beauty of thousands of islands with different shapes but also enjoy many delicious dishes, specialties of Ha Long cuisine.
Tourists in Ha Long can name many typical dishes such as: Fried rice noodles, Tien Yen hill chicken, nodding cake,and Ha Long hole with many kinds of seafood such as crab, clam, oyster and so on.
Perhaps not everyone knows this dish, even hearing the name is strange. Octopus Dollfusi is a species of octopus family but they are only as small as the big toe of the child. They call them chicks. These pups are digging holes in the mud, where parrots, shoals, and shy living next to the mouth of the hole should also be called a hole.
These pits can be processed into many delicious dishes. How to process pits is quite simple. Pick up a handful of chamomile daisies (usually available in Hon Gai streets) to wash and clean the bottom of the pot, then remove the hole and have washed it in, cover the area until it boils, then stir them up several times. . The pock holes when ripe will turn pink, the senses cling back to form small circles, which look like a winged flower, so beautiful and unique.
Mix shrimp paste with lemon sugar and chili garlic, it is good to beat the foam to bring the same flavor. If you like, you can also buy more bananas to eat together, there is a lot of alcohol, so it is really wonderful.
In the season, there are eggs, people still call sticky rice. The sticky rice dish looks really good and attractive: There is a cool green color of the star fruit, the white color of the banana, the green color of the leaves, the purple color of the apricot leaves, the pink color of the pear and special, the white color of the "sticky rice seeds" in me is cut off ... All were mixed with garlic and chilli shrimp paste to taste. Crunchy biscuits, broken and eaten together, sometimes even a few sips of alcohol will find these new puffs good and new!
Octopus, or baby octopus that people call off to be a hopper, that thing is more available, boil to eat tough, slightly viscous meat. While Octopus Dollfusi is not much, even scarce. Therefore, it has become a specialty. If you have the opportunity, do not ignore the dish with the unique flavor of Octopus Dollfusi is - a dish with a strong seafood flavor of Ha Long and Quang Ninh.
5. Tien Yen hill chicken
This is a famous specialty in Tien Yen district of Quang Ninh province.
The hill chickens got their name from the fact that local people always raise the chickens without any cages. As a result, every day the chickens are free to roam and wander on the slopes of the hills. At night, the chickens come back and sleep on the tree’s branches. No one quite knows how they can do that, but that must be one of the fundamental reasons why the meat of the Tien Yen hill chickens is unconventionally delicious, firm rather than tough, buttery rather than greasy.
Tien Yen’s hill chickens can be used to cook many dishes but the most remarkable one is the simplest dish: boiled chicken. Gazing at a plate of boiled hill chicken, you can hardly believe your eyes. Even though the chicken is boiled in a normal way, its skin has an incredibly tempting yellow color as if there were saffron and oil on it. The skin is also thick so it seems to be greasy. However, after just one bite, you will soon experience the firmness and sweetness of the chicken.
Tien Yen hill chicken is priced VND200,000 - VND300,000 per kilo.
6. Bun be be (seafood noodle)
This is a popular dish in Quang Ninh.
A bowl of seafood noodles has many kinds of seafood such as fried fish, shrimp, squid, crab meat, parsley, and combines harmoniously with the sweetness of bone’s broth.
The price of a bowl of seafood noodle is about VND40,000 ($2).
Directly caught from the sea, the main ingredient, stomatopoda will surely give you a positive impression as one of the best foods that ever exist on Earth. Sweet cabbage, shrimp, catawissa, fried onion, tomato and chilli are also added as sub-ingredients. The dish offers a wonderful taste of stomatopoda boiled with the irresistible taste of chilli. But of course, what makes the dish different is still the fantastic stomatopoda meat with the most wonderful bouillon of all tastes from sweet, spicy to sour.
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