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The gifts of Autumn in Hanoi cuisine

11:52 | 13/09/2020

Ripe dracontomelon, green rice flake, moon cake or fried nereididae omelette are the dishes that can only find on the streets of Hanoi when autumn comes.

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When autumn comes, the leaves are gradually changing color, Hanoi streets are filled with traditional snacks, which are the unique flavors of Vietnam's capital fall.

the gifts of autumn in hanoi cuisine
Ripe dracontomelon is often sold by street vendors. (Photo: VN Express)

Ripe dracontomelon (Sấu chín)

From June to September, if you go along Phan Dinh Phung Street, you will see a lot of dracontomelon sellers on both sides of the road. However, when autumn comes in the middle of September, the dracontomelon gets ripe, that is when the pickled dracontomelon dish becomes the most popular snack in the capital. The light aroma, sweet and sour taste harmonizes with the crunchy crust and the soft dracontomelon meat blending together to create a dish that can only be found in Hanoi.

Ripe dracontomelon is sold along Phan Dinh Phung street for about 40,000 VND/kg (1,7 USD) or pickled dracontomelon in street vendors in the old quarters for about 100,000 VND/kg. (4,3 USD).

the gifts of autumn in hanoi cuisine
Unlike other types of sticky rice available all year round, diners can only enjoy green sticky rice in a short period of autumn. (Photo: Vietgiaitri)

Green sticky rice (Xôi cốm)

Unlike other types of sticky rice available all year round, diners can only enjoy green sticky rice in a short period of autumn. Therefore, this is also one of the special gifts of Hanoi autumn. Green sticky rice is usually made of rice, lotus seeds, and young coconut.

Diners can buy this dish at Me Tri village, Vong village or Phu Thuong village for about 25,000 - 30,000 VND/tael (2-2,5 USD)

the gifts of autumn in hanoi cuisine
Mooncake is a traditional cake of the full moon festival in Lunar August. (Photo: VN Express)

Mooncake

Mooncake is a traditional cake of the full moon festival in Lunar August. This is normally considered as the cake of family and children gathering events. Carp-shaped and pork-shaped ones are loved by the kids, while adults would love to taste the traditional baked mooncake with hot lotus tea.

Only in early autumn are bakeries all over Hanoi that have prepared batches of moon cakes. The traditional moon cakes in the traditional confectionery village of Xuan Dinh, the Bao Phuong moon cake shop or the shops on Hang Duong street are favored by many diners.

The moon cake market is diverse. Customers can easily find cakes from affordable to high-end price and quality. Each one costs 30,000-300,000 VND (2,3-23 USD) depending on ingredients, and brand name.

the gifts of autumn in hanoi cuisine
Fried nereididae omelette is one of the most famous autumn dishes in Hanoi. (Photo: VnEconomy)

Fried nereididae omelette

Every year, Mrs. Huyen at the foot of Hoe Nhai slope chooses the quintessential specialties of the season to make famous delicious dishes in Hanoi. At the end of the "jellyfish season", she switched to selling grilled sausage. Her shop only has a wallboard, mini gas stove, and a set of plastic tables and chairs for guests to sit on, but it gets crowded every season.

Nereididae is also known as "earth dragon", which can be processed into many delicious and attractive dishes such as steamed or fried nereididae but the most popular is still grilled omelette. Savory nereididae are made from chopped pork, mixed with chicken eggs, cumin, spring onion, and tangerine peel, and a little spicy.

Nereididae omelette is usually sold in sidewalk shops or markets in Hoe Nhai, Lo Duc ... with the price of 15,000 VND/piece (0,6 USD). Foodies in Hanoi usually recommend omelette from Ms. Huyen at 19 Hoa Nhai or Hung Thinh Restaurant at 1 Hang Chieu.

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Valerie Mai