Hoi An ancient town is a must tourist destination in Central Vietnam with lots of things to do: see old houses and beautiful architecture, peaceful rivers and boats, delicious specialty dishes, twinkle and colorful lanterns at night. No trip to Hoi An is complete without tasting local dishes. In ancient town, there are enormous eating places including beautiful restaurants in old houses, food stalls within Hoi An Central Market.
5. Bloating fern-shaped cake or Banh beo
Bloating fern-shaped cake or Banh beo – a small cake from rice flour, usually steamed in small bowls, topped with pork, shrimp, deep-fried onion is very popular in Hoi An, Hue, Da Nan, and South Vietnam. However, each region has its own way to cook and enjoy this kind of traditional cake. In Hoi An, to make bloating fern-shaped cake, the cook must use high-quality rice, ground the rice using rice flour mill, mix the rice flour with water and a little of sugar so that the cake is tender, smelling and light sweet after being steamed after a few minutes. Fresh shrimp and pork is steamed, then ground and toasted with some herbs grown in Tra Que village on a pan on a low heat until the mix turn dried. Topped with toasted shrimp and pork, deep-fried onion, bloating fern-shaped cakes looks like small flowers. Hoi An people also top Banh Beo with crispy Cao Lau – a specialty of Hoi An and tough Vietnamese beef pie. Different from other regions where people use spoons to tuck in the cake, Hoi An people eat Banh beo with a bamboo knife. Dinners can add fish sauce and chili at their wishes. The sweet taste of the cake, smell of the topping from Tra Que herbs, special Cao Lau and bamboo knife make a Hoi An style bloating fern-shaped cake which is worth trying on your trip to this ancient town.
Best places to eat Bloating fern-shaped cake in Hoi An:
Banh Beo Ba Bay, 2 Hoang Van Thu Street, , Minh An Ward, Hoi An City; Opening hours: 6:30 – 14:00; Price: 10,000 – 15,000 VND/1 portion.
Banh Beo Ba My, at the crossroad of Tran Phu and Phan Chu Trinh Streets, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City; Opening hours: 6:30 – 14:00; Price: 3,000 VND/1 small bowl.
6. Hue beef noodle
Originated in Hue, Hue beef noodle soup has become more and more popular in Central Vietnam as well as the country. If anyone misses this tasty food in Hue, you can try it in Hoi An (Hoi An Food) where Hue beef noodle soup will not make you disappointed. The most special part of the noodle soup is the fragrant and flavorful broth cooked from pork bone, pig leg, lemongrass, fermented shrimp paste, ginger, onions, and shallots. The noodles are cylindrical, thick, tender but tough is covered by the broth and topped with blood pudding, pig leg, beef, and crab pie… Herbs, bean sprouts, shredded banana blossom, and morning glory couldn’t be missed to add freshness and taste to the authentic dish.
Best places to eat Hue beef noodle soup in Hoi An:
Bun Thuy Hoi An, 75 Ngoc Thanh Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City.
Bun Bo Chua Cau, near Japanese Bridge, at the beginning of Tran Phu Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An City; Opening hours: 6:00 – 9:00; Price: 15,000 – 35,000 VND.
7. Banh Mi Phuong
Banh Mi has been famous among Vietnamese people and foreigners as one of the most delicious street foods in the world. It’s always the first in any list of foods to eat in Vietnam. Tourists can find this food easily in any region in Vietnam and other countries. If you visit Hoi An, it’s a chance to taste Banh Mi Phuong (at 2B Phan Chau Trinh Street, Hoi An food ) recommended by Anthony Chef – the famous American chef, the host of “No Reservations” travel show. Banh Mi Phuong is said as a symphony in a sandwich by Anthony. What makes banh mi here so special and different from others? That’s the plain bread which is crispy outside, airy and soft inside. All of the fillings (greasy pork liver pate, mayonnaise, fluffy pork floss, chewy Vietnamese pork roll, smelling pork patty, crunchy pickles) are handmade from the best ingredients. Cucumber, tomato, cilantro, and mints add freshness make this food less greasy. The last thing should not be missed is the amazing sauce made with the secret recipe of Madam Phuong. The sauce plays off fillings and bread to create a perfect mix forever.
8. Deep-fried cake
On Hoi An streets and in the ancient town, tourists can see many rolling carts and food stalls which are full of cheap yellow-brown deep-fried cakes and donuts. There are some kinds of crispy deep-fried wheat flour cakes with different shapes (half-round, round, square) and fillings (shredded coconut meat, mung bean paste, ground pork). The cake could be topped with toasted sesame to make them tastier. Donuts at these food stalls are very simple, they are topped with a little sugar. You can also try a special food which could be called Deep-fried bread with pork. The cook cover ground pork on a quarter of plain Vietnamese bread, then fry the piece with pork in oil until it becomes pleasant and crispy. Lastly, just add some chili paste onto Deep-fried bread with pork and serve it to customers.
9. Dried foods
Dried shredded jellyfish/triggerfish/baby ocean crab in sweet, salty and hot sauce are addicting snacks – Hoi An specialty foods – or Hoi An Food. Dry foods must be coated by the thick sauce, sweet, salty and hot tastes should be balanced. Dried shredded jellyfish/triggerfish/baby ocean crab could be eaten as snacks or eaten with steamed rice, porridge. It’s also a good idea to drink some beer while eating these foods.
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