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How meat roll different in three Vietnamese regions?

April 09, 2021 | 11:29

Though both eaten with rice noodles, in Saigon, meat rolls pair "bún", while in Hanoi, the rolls are served with "phở"

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How meat roll different in three Vietnamese regions?
A meat roll serving in Hanoi. (Photo: VN Express)

From regions to regions, meat roll does not differ much but it often comes with different kinds of side dishes to match each local's taste. In Hanoi, meat rolls are sold at a lower price (VND 35,000, equivalent to USD 1,5) compared to Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh city (VND 50,000, equivalent to USD 2,2).

How meat roll different in three Vietnamese regions?
Meat rolls in Nha Trang are not served with any kind of noodles. (Photo: VN Express)

Nha Trang: How meat rolls served in their birthplace?

Meat roll is originally a Nha Trang must-try dish. Born in Ninh Hoa - a district that lies 30 km from Nha Trang's city center. A few years ago, the dish made its debut in Saigon and Hanoi. From then, it quickly gains popularity.

A meat roll serving includes fermented pork rolls, crispy rolls, rice paper, fresh vegetables, fermented vegetables, and dipping sauce. In Nha Trang, meat rolls go with no noodles.

According to the restaurant owner in Nha Trang, the sauce includes fish sauce, sticky rice, tomato, pineapple, pork, finely minced shrimp, and some traditional ingredients. The dipping sauce should have a sweet taste.

How meat roll different in three Vietnamese regions?
Meat rolls in Nha Trang. (Photo: PasGo)
How meat roll different in three Vietnamese regions?
Saigon's meat rolls are served with "bún". (Photo: VN Express)

HCMC: Meat rolls served with "bún"

In Saigon, meat rolls are usually made from lean pork mixed with pig fat. After being well minced, the meat is wrapped around a stick and grilled on charcoal. When served, each roll is cut in half.

Diners in Saigon often prefer more salty sauce. Restaurant owners often leave a fish sauce jar on the table so that diners could re-season the sauce to their taste.

Meat rolls' side dishes are also different in each city. In Saigon, the rolls are served with a variety of vegetables, such as fish lettuce, chives, basil, perilla. Meat rolls in Saigon also go with a plate of "bún" (a kind of noodle that has a round string shape), cucumber, mango, pickles, and carrots.

How meat roll different in three Vietnamese regions?
In Saigon, meat rolls are usually made from lean pork mixed with pig fat. (Photo: Toplist)
How meat roll different in three Vietnamese regions?
Hanoi people place meat rolls on a round and colorful plate. (Photo: Toplist)

Hanoi: Meat grilled in large arrays

In Hanoi, the fermented pork rolls are made from finely minced and well-marinated pork. After marinated, the pork is grilled on charcoal in large arrays. When well-cooked, the arrays of pork are cut into long pieces. Each big array can be used for about 9 - 10 servings.

The dipping sauce is considered the most important factor in deciding whether a spring roll is delicious or not. Le Na, the owner of a grilled meat roll restaurant in Hanoi, makes her dipping sauce from ground pork, tomatoes, cashew oil, salt, garlic, and chili. "Initially, I used more shrimp and fish sauce so that the sauce has its original Nha Trang taste, but later I stopped using that much fish sauce because my guests did not like the taste", she shared. Together with the dipping sauce, meat rolls are served with Vietnamese boiled chili.

In Hanoi, the side vegetables are lettuce and basil. Hanoians replace "bún" with "phở" (a kind of noodle that has a flat shape). Meat rolls are eaten with very thinly sliced carrots, pickled, and mango.

How meat roll different in three Vietnamese regions?
Each meat roll is a combination of meat, herbs, vegetables, pickles, and noodles. (Photo: Toplist)
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