Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Secrets to Hanoi Flavours, Vietnam

Hanoi is one of very few capital cities in the world to have reached 1000 years of age. Within Hanoi itself, you can try lots of local specialities which i'm gonna try to list them for my readers out there:-

Countless Pho stalls around the city are where you can find the true flavour of Hanoi. Bunches of fresh spring onions, baskets of white banh pho rice noodles and slabs of beef are ready to hand, the quintessential Hanoi dish. Enjoy this during the mornings or afternoons, it's a light meal and won't fill you up. A good pho stall will offer bowls of fresh lemons, chilli, fish sauce and vinegar with garlic and chilli.

No trip can be complete without experiencing bia hoi (fresh beer). A big glass will cost you around 15 cents and after a long day sightseeing, a couple of glasses of this cold, slightly fizzy yellow rice beer will go down a treat. Men of Hanoi will pile down to these stalls after work to drink beer with friends, eat snacks and put the world to rights. Enjoy beer with roasted peanuts, grilled pork kebabs, dried squid, dried beef, fermented pork rolls and bowls of chilli paste.

Minced pork rissoles, grilled over glowing charcoal, served with cold white bun (thin rice noodles), a fistful of basil, mint and other herbs, and a dipping sauce containing fish sauce, sugar, minced garlic, vinegar and pepper.

People compare banh cuon (rolled rice pancake), the speciality of Thanh Tri district, to the women of Hanoi, because it is refined, elegant adn full of flavour. A delicious dish, with its elastic layers flavoured with onion, sour, sweet, hot and salty sauce, fresh coriander and mint and a few drops of fish sauce. Banh cuon can be eaten plain, but it is even more delicious if it is accompanied by cinnamon-flavoured minced roast beef or beef dumplings, together with ca cuong fish sauce in the dipping sauce, which lends a particularly fragrant taste.

A favourite Hanoi dish made of sliced ca lang fish which is cooked at the table in a charcoal burner. Served with white bun noodles, roast peanuts, dill, coriander, basil and finely sliced spring onion. The dipping sauce is shrimp paste frothed up with lot of lemon juice, to which a few drops of rice wine and fine sauce are added.

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