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  • Writer's pictureVietnam Food Safari

Hue City - is one of the culinary hot spots of Vietnam.

Hue City - is one of the culinary hot spots in Vietnam.

A must-do destination for lovers of Vietnamese cuisine. Originally the imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue City is famed for both its imperial cuisine, and the contemporary creativity of its street food. Hue is home to some of the best dishes in Vietnam, unavailable in other parts of this wonderful country.

Bánh bèo

Bánh bèo is one of the most famous rice cake dishes in Hue, well-loved for its soft, slightly chewy texture and its flavourful topping of shredded shrimp and pork crackling. Cooked and served in small bowls to be eaten with sweet fish sauce.

Bánh bột loc

Bánh bột lọc is a small, clear-looking, chewy tapioca dumpling. Found in street vendors throughout central Vietnam, they can be eaten as appetizers or small snacks. They are usually filled with shrimp and pork belly. The shrimp and pork belly portions that go in to this dumpling are stir-fried in caramelized sugar for color and taste. The dumplings are then wrapped in banana leaves and boiled. Removed from the banana leaf, and topped with fried shallots and served with sweet chili fish sauce.

Bánh nậm

Bánh nậm is a flat rice flour dumpling from Hue stuffed with minced pork and mushroom, and seasoned with pepper and spices; wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed. It is served with sweet fish sauce. They can also be served vegetarian filled with green beans and wood ear mushrooms.

Bún bò Huế

Bún bò Huế (Hue beef noodle soup) is a specialty of Huế, the former Imperial capital of Vietnam.

This popular Vietnamese soup contains rice vermicelli (bún) and beef (bò), and a broth made from a base of beef and pork bones.

Although the major components are rice noodles and beef, what makes the dish distinctive is the perfect balance of its spicy, sweet, sour, salty and umami flavors, with the predominant flavors coming from two indispensable ingredients, lemon grass, and shrimp paste.

Compared to phở or bún the noodles are thicker and more cylindrical. This distinguishes this dish being bún bò Huế.

Bún bò usually also includes thin slices of marinated and boiled beef shank, chunks of oxtail, and pig's knuckles, cubes of congealed pigs blood and pork balls.

Bún bò Huế. is commonly served with lime wedges, coriander sprigs, diced chives, raw sliced onions, chili sauce, mint, basil, Vietnamese coriander and mung bean sprouts.

Although not as famous or as well-known outside Vietnam as Pho, however if you love Pho, and you love a bit of spice the definitely give Bún bò Huế a try.

Bánh ram ít

This special dumpling was once a favorite in the royal court of Hue a long time ago, but it has remained popular since. A steamed sticky rice dumpling filled with pork belly, mung bean, and shrimp sits atop a disc of fried sticky rice cracker at the bottom. You will find this combination of stickiness and crunchiness both novel and delicious, and a must when traveling to Hue city.

Bánh canh Nam Phổ

For many generations this noodle soup has been the pride of the people of Hue. A bowl of thick red sweet soup with shrimp and crab flavor is impressive. Crab, pork and shrimp meat are combined into bite size balls which float in the rich broth, all atop of rice and tapioca noodles. Garnished with green spring onions, this soup is a must eat when visiting Hue city.

Bánh khoái

Bánh Khoái is a very famous Hue specialty food, and is only found in this city in Central Vietnam. Bánh Khoái is smaller and thicker compare to Bánh xèo. The batter of Bánh Khoái includes rice flour, water and tumeric but in Bánh xèo people add egg and spring onion. Bánh Khoái is deep fried and served with Hue peanut dipping sauce that has pork liver in it. Bánh Khoái has shrimp, egg, pork meat or pork sausage, carrot, bean sprout, spring onion. So it might looks similar to Bánh xèo.

Banh Khoai-Hue pancake is crispy and a bit greasy therefore it is served with a selection of salads, green mango, star fruit, lettuce, cucumber and pickle papaya-carrot. A must for foodies who are traveling to Hue

Tôm chua Huế

Sour shrimp, is one of the specialties of Hue city. Shrimp are preserved in a mixture of garlic, fish sauce, sugar, galangal, chili, and bamboo shoots for two weeks. Sour shrimp are usually served with thinly sliced pork rolled with rice paper. You put the rice paper on your hand, then put the lettuce, sliced cucumbers, basil, then a slice of pork, and finally the sour shrimp, then roll it up and dab it in sweet lime and fish dipping sauce.

Bún Hến

Bun hến is a unique dish from the Central Vietnamese city of Hue. Bun Hen contains rice noodles, boiled mussel, star fruit, fish sauce, cabbage, onion, pepper, peanut, chili, fried pork rind and a variety of herbs. The specialty is that all of these elements are cold.

When people eat Bun Hen, they add all the ingredients to a bowl, and slowly add boiled mussel broth with chili sauce into the bowl.

Chao Tom

Chao tom is a specialty of Hue in central Vietnam. It consists of prawns that are seasoned and mashed into a paste before being wrapped around a stick of sugar cane. The chao tom is then steamed to set its shape before being grilled or deep-fried.

To eat, you cut the meat off the sugar cane and wrap it in lettuce with fresh herbs and dip into some sweet fish sauce.

Bún thịt nướng

This is love in a bowl.

You have your sweet bits, sour bits, caramelization, some crunch, and aromatic herbs in a single, colorful arrangement. Depending in which restaurant you order your grilled pork with noodles (bún thịt nướng), you’ll find that it’s presented in different ways.For the most part, ingredients are the same, and they’re both eaten with prepared fish sauce (nước chấm). Bún thịt nướng chả giò.is the other version usually served. The difference between bun thit nuong, and bun thit nuong cha gio, is that the latter version includes a deep fried spring roll on top, in addition to the grilled pork. Not only does the cha gio (spring roll) add an extra flavor to the already delicious dish, but it also gives some crunchy texture to the soft noodles and other ingredients.

It’s one of many incredible Vietnamese dishes, something that I think is so good due to its contrast of flavors and textures, all combined into a single delicious bowl. Available throughout Vietnam - however it’s the signature dish of the Central and South Vietnam, with the best hailing from Hue city.

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