Hoi An is one of the gems of Vietnam. It’s an old fishing village that is reknowned for it’s quaintness and Charm. However, Hoi An is not only famous for unique architecture and culture, but also for it’s amazing cuisine. Hoi An has a fantastic food culture with a huge number of traditional foods, many that you can only buy in or around Hoi An. This article will introduce you to 5 of the most popular and best tasting foods in Hoi An:
Rice is the main ingredient here. It’s mixed and then boiled with chicken broth and pandan leaves over an open fire using charcoal. The chicken must be a young and soft, a juvenile. The Chicken is boiled, then torn into small pieces and red onion is added and fried finally the spices are added: salt, black pepper and Vietnamese coriander. The way this dish is presented is very important. You must take the diced chicken pieces are put on top of the rice dish. The pieces are ordered in such a way as to make an attractive and desirable plate. It is served with onion, papaya pickle, Tra Que herbs, pepper sauce and soy sauce. Especially, chicken rice is featured with a soup made from the internal organs of the chicken. Using special herbs and spices and a meticulous cooking method the people in Hoi An have created a very unique chicken rice, which is enjoyed by tourists visiting the village.
Cao Lau is the most popular and well known of the traditional foods in Hoi An. Visitors to Hoi An always remember Cao Lau, which was considered by the Quang Nam people as a special symbol representing Hoi An. Cao Lau does not taste like any other Vietnamese dish, and doesn’t taste like Chinese or Japanese cuisine either, though it contains pork sliced the traditional Chinese way and Udon noodles popular in Japanese cooking.Until now, the origin of Cao Lau has remained a mystery. The local legend is that it derives it’s unique taste from the water used in a special Cham well located just outside of town. Cao Lau is found only in Hoi An and is made from noodles, pork, and local greens. It is sometimes topped with fried pork rind, peanuts, rice crackers, and/or scallions; and sometimes served with lime or chili jam. It’s a favorite dish for most people traveling to Hoi An.
Banh Bao – Banh Vac (WHITE ROSE CAKE)
Bánh bao (dumpling) and Bánh vạc are cakes that are very similar in look and taste. The main material is white, sticky rice. The difference is that Banh vạc is filled in with grinded shrimp, mixed with black pepper, garlic, onion and citronella and some other secret ingredients, whereas Bánh bao has pork, jelly ears and sliced onion and secret ingredients inside. The secret ingredients are what makes these cakes so popular and gives them their unique flavors.
Mi Quang (QUANG NOODLE)
Along with Cao Lau the other most widely recognized food in Hoi An is Quang noodle. The main ingredients of the dish are noodles, meat and vegetables. Vegetables are placed atop a bed of rice noodles in a bowl, then topped with pork, shrimp and finally luke warm broth and meat are added. Mì Quảng is also served with toasted Vietnamese sesame rice crackers, fried shallot and various herbs commonly found in Vietnamese cuisine such as mint, “rau ram”, perilla, lettuce … Shrimp and Pork are usually the proteins of choice because of their abundance. Mi Quang looks like Pho in that it’s a soup, but it has it’s own unique flavors. It’s not to be missed when you visit Hoi An.
Hoanh Thanh (WONTON)
Wonton is a Chinese food that has been popular in Hoi An for a very long time, and, in fact, has become the traditional dish of Hoi An. Wonton is made with rice flour and filled with ingredients such as shrimp, pork, egg, and spices. There are many kinds of wonton dishes, such as fried wonton, wonton soup or wonton and noodle soup. Sometimes it’s also called dim sum. It’s a favorite of many people and the Wonton in Hoi An is especially good.
Next time you come to Hoi An make sure you try these delicious foods as they will make your stay in Hoi An so much more memorable. Hoi An is a place that should be on every persons bucket list and these foods should also be on that list too.