The Fabulous Culinary Heritage of the Imperial City of Hue
- on Oct 17, 2019       By: BN
If Hue, former royal capital which saw its height during the Nguyen dynasty, is reputed by its exceptional historical and cultural inheritance recognized by UNESCO, the city is also famous throughout all Vietnam for its divine gastronomy. The cuisine of Hue is characterized by basic but sophisticated dishes. A refinement that is a legacy of imperial cuisine that was lavishly served to emperors and royal families.
As a tradition, Hue city is also distinguished by its vegetarian cuisine. In Hue, more than any city in Vietnam, cooking is elevated to the rank of art form. Even folk cooking is no exception to this tradition. The people of Hue have long been sensitive to poetry and a certain lifestyle. For them, cooking is considered both an art and the culture of the pleasure of living. So the best way to explore Hue's culture is to sit down and savour its unique cuisine of many local dishes that we present to you.
Bun bo hue
This delicious beef noodle soup is an essential specialty in Hue that can be found everywhere in the country. But right here is the best since this is its hometown. This soup that is famous for Vietnamese cuisine consists of several ingredients such as noodle based on rice paste, mung bean sprouts, banana blossoms, chives, slices of beef, a shank of port hock, all seasoned with mam ruoc (a paste of fermented small shrimp in brine).
This is a very popular specialty and is highly appreciated by the people of central Vietnam for its fragrant flavours of rice and onion, as well as subtle flavors like sweet, buttery, salty, sour and peppery. A simple but also complex dish that combines a variety of flavors: clams, clam broth, fried pork fat, roasted peanuts, crispy rice crackers, chilli, banana blossom, carambola, mint, fermented shrimp sauce and rice. It is often forgotten but the sea is only a few kilometers from the city.
This Vietnamese crepe is made from rice flour, water and turmeric powder. Pork chunks, shrimp, bean sprouts, and egg are added and cooked in the pan. It is then wrapped in a leaf of mustard, lettuce leaves or rice paper. Finally, it’s garnished with various herbs such as mint leaves, basil and served with a sweet and sour mixed sauce.
Everyone is happy with this grilled pork skewer wrapped around a lemongrass stick. But the fun doesn’t end here! This dish is accompanied by fresh vegetables, Vietnamese herbs and rice paper that you prepare like a spring roll. And then, you soak it in a special sauce of Hue and enjoy a wonderful flavor burst.
Banh beo is a steamed meal that you must htry in Hue. It is a dish made of steamed rice cake in very small dishes and topped with dried shrimp paste, fried pork skin, shallots and fish sauce. It's a cute, little dish that melts in your mouth! Such a culinary symbol of Hue where simplicity becomes an art.
Bun thit nuong
This is a great alternative for those who aren’t excited by soups. Bun thit nuong is another popular dish from Hue consisting of cold rice noodles topped with grilled pork, lettuce, bean sprouts, fresh herbs such as basil and mint, pickled green papaya, carrots and roasted peanuts. A light dish that’s packed full of flavors!
Banh bot loc
This is tapioca ravioli stuffed with shrimp and pork, garnished with fried shallots and fermented fish sauce. It’s a small delight that can be eaten at any time of the day and is also perfect for small appetites.
Cha tom is shrimp hash with steamed egg. It is eaten hot alone as a starter or with rice. Faithful to their tradition of always presenting the dishes in order to please the guests, the Hue peoples have on the plate the pieces of cha tom cut into lozenges so that they form beautiful petals of flowers.