Tuesday, 26 Sep 2017
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TRAVELFOOD

The dishes you have to try in Hanoi

Updated at Tuesday, 23 May 2017, 09:47
The Hanoitimes - Sấu (Dracontomelon), Cốm, Lemon tea, fresh beer… the delicious dishes you have to try when come to Hanoi.
Ripening dracontomelon fruits bring Hanoi to autumn
Dracontomelon fruit.
Dracontomelon fruit.
When the winds of the autumn come is the time dracontomelon fruit is ripening on the streets of Hanoi. Small, round, yellow-ripen fruits are packed with so many memories of those who grew up or lived in the capital.
Seeing ripening dracontomelon fruits, many people immediately think of the fall of Hanoi. The dracontomelon fruits are peeled then sugared or salted are the favorite junk food of many people.
In Hanoi there are many streets with rows of dracontomelon trees, such as Phan Dinh Phung, Tran Phu, Tran Hung Dao... The trees are very high so few people noticed the ripe fruit on the trees. For many poets and musicians, ripen dracontomelon became poetic images.
The ripen dracontomelon season does not last long so women quickly purchase the fruits to process into delicious cuisines for their families. Ms. Ha who sells ripen dracontomelon on Dai La Road, Hanoi, said she sold tens per day.
“Cốm” - Autumn’s special gift
Cốm is a delicacy that is made only in autumn and cherished by all Vietnamese.
Cốm is a delicacy that is made only in autumn and cherished by all Vietnamese.
"Cốm" (green sticky rice) is a delicacy that is made only in autumn and cherished by all Vietnamese. For Hanoians, nothing evokes autumn like the taste of young rice from Vong village, the grain so sweetly scented that they left a lasting impression...
Served with red persimmons or ripe bananas, "Cốm" is truly delicious. Vong village, on the outskirts of Hanoi, is said to produce the best "Cốm" in northern Vietnam. When autumn comes, Hanoians everywhere always remember the special taste of "Cốm" which is a special gift from the soil made by hard-working peasants, holding a simple and fresh fragrance.
Every autumn, when the cool north-westerly wind brings a cold dew, the sticky rice ears bend themselves into arches waiting for ripe grains because these rice grains are at their fullest and the rice-milk is already concentrated in the grains, and the local farmers will know it is time to make “Cốm” – a specialty made from young green sticky rice.
"Cốm" is often eaten by hand, directly from the lotus leaves, a pinch at a time. When eating “Cốm”, you must enjoy slowly and chew very deliberately in order to appreciate all the scents, tastes, and plasticity of the young rice which is sweet, nutty and buttery.
Hanoi's Lemon tea
Hanoi's Lemon tea.
Hanoi's Lemon tea.
In recent years, “Lemon tea” has become one of the most favorite drinks of Hanoi’s youngsters. It is not the traditional dish, but it is more and more attractive to the teenagers, young adults as well as tourists who travel to Hanoi.
Lemon tea shops on Hanoi’s streets like Nho Tho, Ly Quoc Su, Dao Duy Tu, etc. are over crowded on summer evenings. Pavements, roads and small parks become lemon tea shops, where thousands of the youngsters group up to chat.
Lemon tea is a very simple drink: a glass of green tea with jasmine fragrance, adding little sugar, 1 or 2 lemon slices. Sweet, sour, acrid and smell of jasmine became the familiar beverage of the people of Hanoi. The drink is popular only with the material life, but it was so appealing to so strange.
Fresh Beer Ta Hien
Fresh beer in Ta Hien Str..
Fresh beer in Ta Hien Str..
Drinking beer, chatting with friend in the corner street in Hanoi is the most greatest feeling when you out of your work. We can not remember when did we fall into this habit, but we know it is the same nature: hot summer, cold winter and Hanoi’s people flock in Ta Hien street, drink beer at weekend.
Fresh beer is the cheapest drinking in Vietnam. We drink beer with some local snack such as: roasted peanuts¸ many kind of local spring rolls, grilled squid. That’s delicious for hot summer day.
Only fresh beer doesn’t make Hanoi’s culture. You can find fresh beer in every Beer’s restaurant in Vietnam. However, sitting in the corner in Ta Hien street, drinking beer, chatting and feeling the colorfull atmostphere that local people and foreign tourists wall along street. All of these things make Ta Hien’s beer culture in Hanoi.
Spare rib porridge
Spare rib porridge.
Spare rib porridge.
Hardly anyone really knows when the tradition of cooking this dish began. It has just been widely known for its usefulness in Vietnamese people’s daily life. If you are sick, a bowl of spare rib porridge would be the sweetest drug. Or if the cold weather sets in, spare rib porridge, with its warmth and scent, would be a wise choice to save you from the coldness.
Spare rib porridge is made of two main ingredients: white rice and spare ribs. The ribs are first stewed for one hour. The cook then takes them out, put the rice in the broth and cook until it turns into porridge. Next, the ribs are deboned before being put back into the porridge pot. A perfect bowl of spare rib porridge is the combination between the sweetness of the broth, thanks to ribs stewed for hours, and the tenderness of the pork and porridge. Enjoy it, and see if you can feel the same as what I mention above.
Deep Fried Banana Cakes
Deep Fried Banana Cakes.
Deep Fried Banana Cakes.
Banana fritters can be found on street corners throughout Hanoi. The batter that the bananas are coated in is very similar to tempura batter. Crispy on the outside but warm, sweet, and fragrant on the inside–it’s no wonder this is a really common street snack in Vietnam.  Made from a variety of small and short bananas known as chuoi xiem (also chuoi su) in Vietnam, it’s also called  bananito, mazana, or ladyfinger bananas and has a much sweeter taste and more fragrant smell than your common banana. When ripe, the peel actually turns black.  
Ha Phuong
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