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What to eat: The rustic cuisine of Hoa Lu ancient capital

Not only attracts tourists by the beauty of the ancient citadel, Phat Diem stone church, Trang An cave or the natural world of Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh is also well-known by many delicious and appealing dishes. If you are heading on Vietnam holidays, don’t forget to try this rustic cuisine at least one time.


Mountain Goats

Ninh Binh’s mountain goat meat tastes better than that of other areas because the goat is grazing on the limestone, fed by a variety of leaves so their meat is flavorful and juicy. The meat can be cook into different dishes, but the best one is rare-roasted goat meat. It takes a long time for preparation: the fresh meat need to be spiced with citronella and pluchea indica leaves and got through many other complex processes. This dish is often served with banana, starfruit, herbs, and a special ginger sauce.


De xao lan


Yen Mac Special Rolls

The secret of this special fermented roll is still a mystery. It requires to be processed with very strict compliance. In addition to the selection and processing of meat, the packaging process is also important. The roll is covered by many layers of leaves. The first layer is often used the guava leave. The other layers are banana leaves, wrapped tightly to help the roll to be fermented. It is often served with guava leaves, common fig leaves, herbs and a special fish sauce with garlic and chili pepper.



Ninh Binh Burned Rice

Burned rice (com chay) is also among Ninh Binh specialties that you cannot leave without tasting. This dish has appeared from the late 19th century and developed over time, until now it has become an indispensable dish in the meal of the local people.


burned rice ninh binh


This dish requires a good choice of rice. To have the rice medium burned and flaked off the pot itself, they need to use an iron pot and spin it around while cooking. After that, the burned rice piece is dried and wrapped in a nilon bag. When it comes to eat, people fried those pieces in heated oil.


Curved fish salad

Curved fish often appears in July when the rainfall level is high. This kind of fish is related to eels, it lives in brackish water. Perhaps because curved fish is slippery, fierce and not easy to catch, it becomes a specialty.

This can be cooked into various dishes such as fried fish, sour fish soup… But fish salad is the most popular. Fresh sliced fish has beautiful pink color. Roasted rice is made of roasted and crushed glutinous rice, with a special taste. Then it is mixed with the curved fish, the skin of the fish is fried crispy to make a salad roll.


Kim Son Wines

Kim Son wine is made from fermented glutinous rice. Wine makers also put in some other secret herbal which is anti-bacteria and good for health. To produce the fine wine, the wine makers need to have long years of experience, especially in the field of brewing wine in different weather conditions and environments.


Gia Vien Shrimp Sauce

The famous Gia Vien shrimp sauce is often a best choice for many visitors coming to this beautiful land. It is made from fresh, small and blue shrimp. The shrimp is strictly selected, then washed clean and dried. The next step, people mix the preliminary processed shrimp with roasted rice and salt in appropriate portion, then put the mixture in a sealed jar for over a month. 

The shrimp sauce is very attractive with bright red color and sweet smell. It is often served with tasty bacon and vegetable side dish. Today Gia Vien shrimp sauce has become the specialty in every party of the local people.

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