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Cultural feature in Hanoi rice noodles

Mon, 27 Apr 2015 . Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 09:05

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Hanoi is famous for its 36 guilds and Hanoians are proud of their cuisine. Among their dishes, “bun” (Hanoi rice noodles) has a distinctive flavor which is as elegant as Hanoi people’s way of life.

“Bun” has always been a popular dish among Hanoi people. There are different “bun” recipes with different flavors to be served all year round like “bun ca ro dong” (rice noodle soup with anabas), “bun thang” (rice noodle soup with chicken and pork), “bun oc” (rice noodle soup with snails), “bun doc mung” (rice noodle soup with giant taros), “bun cha kep que tre” (rice noodle soup with kebabs), etc. Although “bun” isn’t as popular as steamed rice or “pho”, it is a popular dish for Hanoi diners. The recipe has changed over the time to offer fantastic varieties to connoisseurs. 

Making good batches of “bun” (rice noodle) isn’t easy at all. All steps like picking, soaking and grinding the rice, etc require much attention and care. Different recipes of “bun” can be found everywhere in Vietnam, at a peddler’s stall, on the sidewalk, at the street corner or even in luxurious hotels.

“Bun thang” is the most popular recipe of “bun” in Hanoi and a specialty of this land. This dish is considered a sophisticated kind of food and is offered at the highest price. The whole process of making “bun thang” is really complicated. Main ingredients include boiled chicken, julienned fried egg and pork pie, especially hot mint and lethocerus indicus extract which make the dish an unforgettable one.

Phat Loc lane is a famous site where “bun dau mam tom” (rice noodles with fried tofu and shrimp sauce), an ordinary dish of Hanoi, is offered. We have no idea whether this dish used to be sold in any certain area or not but today, Phat Loc lane has become the top destination for those who love to taste white rice noodles with shrimp sauce well-mixed with lemon juice. Although “bun dau mam tom” was introduced a long time ago without eye-catching look or sophisticated ingredients, this dish attracts Hanoi diners with its own specialty and stays forever in their mind.

Rice noodles with grilled pork pies in bamboo flatten sticks can fully express Hanoians’ sophisticated style of dining. This is a nice dish for all diners in all seasons. People clamp pork pies between bamboos flatten sticks and cook them on charcoal grill. It’s required to use young bamboo to make the sticks so that when they’re grilled, they will leave a fancy smell all over the pork pies. A dish of rice noodles, grilled pork pies, sour and sweet dipping sauce and herbal vegetables. All of these blend together excellently and make an enchanting dish for Hanoi gourmets.

Despite the simplicity of “bun ca” (rice noodle soup with fish), it is said to be an indispensable dish in Hanoi cuisine. Here is how to make a delicious bowl of “bun ca”. First, cut the fillets into big pieces, add seasonings and then fry them until their edges turn golden yellow. The broth consists of tomatoes, soft giant taros and aromatic minced onions and dill. Just add some pepper and your bowl of rice noodles will be ready to serve.

In the recipe of “bun doc mung”, apart from rice noodles, other ingredients of this dish can be ground pork pies, lean pork, ribs and especially pork legs. Yellow pork legs with the nice smell of turmeric and giant taros with crunchy texture taste really nice. Many other dishes with “bun” brought here from other localities have been changed to suit the taste of Hanoians with such varieties as “bun oc” (rice noodle soup with snails) served hot or cold, “bun mang ga” (rice noodle soup with bamboo shoots and chicken) or “bun thit luoc” (rice noodle soup with boiled pork) served with shrimp sauce. Each dish has a distinctive flavor. All of them create a nice feature of Hanoi cuisine.

 “Bun rieu cua” (rice noodle soup with crabs) is a simple but delicious dish. Its sweet crab meat, sour tomatoes and tamarind and aromatic herbal vegetables bring diners an entirely pleasant sensation.

 “Bun oc” (rice noodles with snails) is available everywhere in Hanoi and has become a specialty of this capital. It’s necessary for a cook to perform all steps well like selecting and boiling snails, making rice vinegar, mixing crushes red chilies and fresh chilies, simmering pork bones, browning snails, picking the suitable kind of rice noodles and herbal vegetables such as perrila, Vietnamese mint, julienned banana stem and split Vietnamese water spinach. All of these ingredients bring us a rue specialty of Vietnamese cuisine.


Source: VTC10 - NETVIET

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