Have you ever tried local food of several hundred years old?
You can find it here in Hoi An.
'Banh Mi' is the Vietnamese word for 'Bread' 'Bread' or specifically the 'Baguette' was introduced by the French during the colonial period in Vietnam.
However, unlike the traditional French baguette, the Vietnamese baguette is made with rice flour along with wheat flour.
The ingredients normally include steamed or roasted pork belly, Vietnamese sausage, grilled pork, pork liver, fried egg, vegetables like carrots or cucumbers, and tomato sauce.
My Vietnamese friends told me that Hoi An has one of the best Banh Mi in Vietnam.
It’s fabulous! The combination of meat like pork, liver, vegetables, and bread are really good.
This place is 150 years old. And now, the owner of this restaurant is the 4th generation.
So, you have to come to eat this! It's called 'White Rose Dumpling’ - the shape of the cake.
It looks exactly like a rose with white colour.
It's shrimp with a little bit of pork fat (Laugh). Another important thing is the peanut oil.
Over there, bean sprouts. So, Very healthy.
After that, they are going to steam them in a steamer about 7 minutes.
And, this is the only place in Hoi An where they mix this. If you eat all white rose dumplings out there, they all come from here.
So, every day, they are making about 8,000 to 10,000 of this!!
What do they have here? Fish sauce from anchovy, and chilli, and some Kumquat...do you know kumquat? Also...dried garlic, dried onion.
It's really good. Normally, in some countries, they use sour soya bean sauce, but this is different.
Now, another local menu in Hoi An.
What is it called? 'Banh Dap' in Vietnamese. In English, it means 'Smash Pancake'.
It's made from rice, you know. In the middle, it's wet rice paper. Outside are two rice crackers.
As the name, when you eat, you have to smash it.
There is cooked from sweat corns, palm sugar.
Before you eat, you have to smash it.
And, the other one is special fish sauce. You pick a little bit...like pizza. You dip it into the fish sauce, and then bite.
You can eat sweet corns like dessert or you can eat as a sauce like this.
It tastes good. Anchovy taste. Salty. And The sweet corn soup is also good.
In Vietnam, they produce your own food. Vegetables. Everything.
Basically, everything is produced by the people. They don't like to eat out. It's healthier and it is cheaper. They can save a little money.
And, what's so special about 'Cao Lao' in Hoi An?
Because this is a mixture of many culinary cultures.
For example, you can see, like noodles, they are very similar to Japanese noodles - Udon.
They mix sticky rice with ash burned from herbs. That's why when you eat that, you can taste smoke.
And the second thing is the water to produce the broth, the soup. The water is taken from the water well in Hoi An.
It means just in Hoi An, people can make these noodles.
In other places, they cannot make that because they don't have better water.
And the meat they use is pork. Pork with lemongrass, and soy sauce, and salad - lettuce, lemon-basil, and mint tea.
The last thing is rice crackers. When you eat, you mix everything together.
First, you squeeze lime in there. If you like it hot, you can put some hot chilis.
Then you mix everything together.
It's really fantastic. I can smell the herbs, the vegetables. All together, I love it!
Here in Hoi An, there are a lot of local restaurants which offer you this special menu, Chicken Rice.
You may think that it's 'Chicken Rice' like anywhere else. But, No!
It's a special ingredients, special recipe found here, just in Hoi An.
The ingredients are quite unique. First, they use the vegetables only found here. In Vietnamese language, it's called 'Rao Rum'.
And then, they use papaya also to put into the chicken rice, some onions, and chicken, of course.
And instead of just plain rice, they use fried rice.
It is like noodles that you have to squeeze lime on. Then, I think I need some chili oil because I love spicy food.
And maybe soy bean sauce... just a bit, so not too salty.
It's really good. It is different from other chicken rice I've tried.
You feel the herbs. You feel the vegetables. And also, the fried rice smells very good.
Apart from delicious 'Banh Beo' and 'Banh Xeo', today we have a chance to try this Must-Eat Vietnamese food.
If you're here in Hoi An, this is one of the Must-Eats. It's called 'Quang Noodles'. 'Quang' is from 'Quangnam'. So, it is the traditional noodles here.
It's made of rice flour. They put some meats in, like some shrimps and some pork, and some rice crackers.
They have soup here, but the soup is special because it's underneath.
And, a local friend told me to squeeze some lime on to it before I eat.
And then, they also prepare some chilies for you if you need to add some spice....and also some pickle.
Before we try maybe, we mix everything together a bit.
It's not that spicy! I can feel the smell and taste of vegetables and spices.
Another menu you must try in Hoi An is this 'Cau Mong Barbecue Veal' 'Cau Mong' is actually the name of a small village in Quangnam Province where Hoi An is located.
This village is very famous for this kind of menu. I'll show you the ingredients.
First, it's veal which is the meat of young beef of less than one year old. The local people say that it tastes very nice.
Second is rice flour, but the rice flour is different a bit because they use red rice. So the colour is a little bit brown.
And for vegetables, of course, they have a lot of vegetables like banana, mango, cucumber, lettuce, and some of other vegetables, and a special sauce. They use fish sauce, ginger, and sesame.
Alright. And the way we eat, you have to take one piece of red rice flour, and then put one piece of meat on...one or two as you like it.
Then, some vegetables. Then, you roll it. Then, you can dip into the sauce.
A little salty. It is a good mix though.
It’s a wonderful food journey.
Stay tuned for the next adventure to other Vietnam city.