Five must-try dishes in Hue City

Published:  01:47 Thursday - June 29, 2017

Hue is one of the economic, cultural, and culinary centers in Vietnam. Hue food is really plentiful with several specialties which are famous throughout the country.

Com Hen (Rice with Mussels)

Com Hen is a unique cuisine of Hue. Com Hen contains rice, boiled mussel, star fruit, fish sauce, cabbage, onion, pepper, peanut, chili, and a variety of herbs. The specialty is that all of these elements are cold. When people eat Com Hen, they add all the ingredients to a bowl, and slowly add boiled mussel broth with chili sauce into the bowl. Com Hen has an extremely spicy flavor as such, so gastronomes remember it just after one time.

Bun Bo Hue (Hue-style beef vermicelli)


Bun Bo Hue or Bun Bo gio heo (beef and pig's knuckle vermicelli) is a popular Vietnamese vermicelli dish, and one of the most typical foods of Hue. A fine combination of ingredients make the food famous; the broth is prepared by simmering beef and bones for a long period of time, and after that, a large range of different spices containing lemongrass and chili are added.

Shrimp paste holds no less importance. Hue people usually add thin slices of beef shank, chunks of boiled oxtail, and pig's knuckles or pork into the bowl. It can also contain cubes of congealed pig blood, which are good for those suffering from high blood pressure. The specialty is commonly served with a plenty of herbs like sprouts, lime wedges, cilantro sprigs, onions, and sliced banana blossoms. Thinly sliced purple cabbage and iceberg lettuce are used as a substitute for banana blossom. 

Banh Beo (Water fern cake)


Banh Beo is a kind of small steamed rice pancake. The name refers to the shape of the cake (like a water fern - be in Vietnamese). It is white in color, sometimes nearly transparent and usually has a dimple in the center, which is covered with savory recipes including chopped dried or fresh shrimp, scallions, mung bean paste, crispy fried shallots, fish sauce, rice vinegar, and oil.

Banh khoai (pancake)


Banh khoai is like Banh xeo (sizzling pancake) since they both are made from rice flour, water, turmeric powder, slivers of fatty pork, shrimp, bean sprouts and then pan fried. Banh khoai and Banh xeo also are wrapped in a mustard leaf, lettuce leaves or rice paper, and stuffed with a variety of herbs like mint and basil and served with a sweet and sour mixed sauce. In Hue, Banh khoai is placed open-face instead of being folded in half like Banh xeo. Moreover, Banh khoai always goes with a fermented soy bean sauce, and people consider it a winter food owing to its greasiness and spicy taste of the sauce. Therefore, most Hue citizens only make them during winter.

Mam tom chua (Sour shrimp sauce)


The central region of Vietnam is reputable for its Mam tom chua (sour shrimp sauce) and Hue is the best place for this unique sauce. Unlike normal shrimp sauce (brown color and smooth surface), Sour shrimp sauce has orange color while shrimp keeps its original shape. It is quite simple to make this sauce. First, shrimp are cleaned with salt water and “cook” with strong rice wine. The shrimp will turn red. After that, carefully mix the shrimp with sticky rice, sliced galangal, garlic, and chili. Slowly put all the mixture into a jar covered by guava leaves. Just need to wait for 5-7 days for the mouthwatering sour shrimp sauce of our own making. This is the best sauce for boiled pork with vermicelli.

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