Exploring Hue, you should take advantage of the unique Hue cuisine. The local food in Hue is various, from cakes, noodles, rice, and even sweet soup. With its savory taste, some signature dishes such as Beo cake, and Hue beef noodles,… will easily capture your heart. Are you ready to uncover these talented “thieves”?
Bloating Fern-shaped Cake (Banh Beo)
The Vietnamese name of this cake is “Banh Beo”. Bloating fern-shaped cakes are originally made from rice flour. Hue Banh Beo is different from other bloating fern-shaped cakes in other regions. For example, the Beo cakes in Hai Phong are added wood ear, lean meat, and dried onions. Quang Nam Beo cakes are put in a big bowl therefore eaters will quickly fill up their tummy and hard to try other dishes. Meanwhile, Banh Beo in Hue is cooked in small bowls like ping-pong balls. The look is a bit fragile but matches Hue people’s style of eating.
Especially, Hue’s Banh Beo filling is yellow shrimp powder combined with green onion and grilled pork skins. The cake is served with sweet fish sauce with spicy minced chili, but it is that spicy taste that is the catalyst for the dish to be more round and true to Hue.
Before presenting the local food in Hue to the diners, each bowl of Beo cake will be carefully arranged in a flat basket, usually 5 pieces of cake with 1 bowl of sauce in the set. The completed set is like a blooming flower, having both beauty and fragrance.
O Le Cake – 104/17/9 Kim Long, Hue city, Thua Thien Hue
Opening hours: 08:00 – 20:00
Price: 35.000 – 55.000 VND/ per set
Rice Dumpling Cake (Banh bot loc)
Although this local food in Hue is named dumplings, the special dough is the important ingredient that makes this cake interesting. The dough is clear, chewy, and has no taste. The taste is the filling inside the cake, containing a small shrimp, a piece of belly pork, and a little green onion.
This dumpling will be wrapped in banana leaves. When it is raw, the dough is white, then after around 30 minutes of steaming, the dough turns transparent. The qualified Banh bot loc has clear dough, and this dough is not sticky to the left.
Every ingredient is mixed perfectly right after you take a deep dip in the sweet spicy sauce! The sauce is Take a bite and we believe that you won’t hesitate to take more than 1 bite.
Glutinous Rice Cake With Crusty Cake (Banh Ram It)
It seems to be challenging to give this cake the right name, because of its various ingredients. The main flour to make this food is sticky rice. With skillful hands and subtle recipes, Hue people created the perfect combination of the chewy cake, the crusty cake, and the stirred shrimp.
At the bottom, it has the crunchy cake which is fried until it turns yellow. Then, they put the steamed ball of sticky rice. Finally, on top of the cake, they put little shrimp with pepper and chili. Besides, each set has a bowl of sweet and sour dipping sauce. The sauce is made not too salty or too sweet, with the spicy taste of chili, the strong taste of garlic, and the sour taste of lemon. You can also pour fish sauce on the cake before enjoying them.
As a local food in Hue, the food is rustic enough to find in both small and large restaurants.
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Hue Beef Noodles (Bun Bo Hue)
Hue beef noodles can be known as the signature local food in Hue. Unlike the other noodles, Hue Beef noodles have many ingredients. A bowl of Hue beef noodle soup includes noodles, beef, a slide of pork blood, crab ball, and of course, hot broth. The size of the noodles is bigger than the normal size of vermicelli. This is also a special thing in each bowl of noodles.
Moreover, the selected beef is the front calf and light yellow beef fat. Eye-catching yellow-orange crab cakes are made from pureed crab meat with a natural fatty and fleshy taste.
The “soul” of Hue beef noodle soup is the broth. The broth is simmered from beef bones, so it has a rich sweet taste. In addition, people also add a little fish sauce and lemongrass to the broth to create an attractive aroma.
A delicious bowl of Hue beef noodle soup, with the taste of the ancient capital, must have an attractive aroma. The bowl of vermicelli has the orange color of cashew oil, the brown color of beef, the pig’s blood, and the green color of onions, smell, and a little cool bean sprouts. The noodle dish with enough spicy, sweet, and flavors has enchanted diners.
Grilled Pork Noodles (Bun Thit Nuong)
Grilled pork vermicelli is very familiar to the people of Hue. Although this local food is not Hue’s signature food, the recipe is different from the other regions, which makes this food special in Hue. This dish seems simple but it is very sophisticated because the selection of food must be fresh and delicious.
In Hue, the pork is selected carefully then thinly sliced, marinated with spices, and left for a long time. The time is specified so that the meat is absorbed fully and evenly. Then the meat will be baked in charcoal until it turns appealing golden.
To eat this local food in Hue is an art! Each bowl of Grilled pork vermicelli is served with chopped raw vegetables, sprinkled with little crispy peanuts, and mixed with broth. The sauce is a familiar and indispensable ingredient to the Hue people. But if you’re not used to broth, you can replace it with sweet and sour dipping sauce. The dish still retains its rich and delicious taste.
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Baby Clams With Rice Crackers (Hen Xuc Banh Trang)
Among the popular dishes in Hue city, hen – Baby clams with rice crackers is still a must-try food. The food is also called mussel with rice pancake. If you’re familiar with normal white rice, you should try this food for the experience of rice crackers.
The main ingredient of the food is baby clams (mussels). To cook this local food, the chief will stir-fry the clams with oil and spices. Besides, there is also a blend of mussel juice, fish sauce, banana peel, pennywort, herbs, and bean sprouts.
Then, let’s enjoy the food right when it’s hot. You will crack a piece of rice cracker, with the size as same as a usual spoon. Next, use this special spoon to dig into the dish, and you have a full spoon of baby clams. We suggest you take a bite mouthful, to taste this local food in Hue vividly.
Hue sweet soup
You cannot mention local food in Hue without thinking about the diversity of sweet soup. Different from sweet soup in Hanoi, this food in Hue also has a combination of sweetness and saltiness. In the limitation of the blog, we will suggest you 2 signature dishes in Hue.
The first kind of Hue sweet soup is grilled pork wrapped in cassava flour. Not only being wrapped in the same flour as Loc cakes but each grilled pork is also salted with fungus. Therefore, the meatball is chewy and sweet outside, and salty inside. Especially, the sticky leaves mixed with the smell of a few small slices of ginger can create a light sweetness for the overall soup.
The second kind of Hue sweet soup is lotus seed sweet soup. Although other regions also have lotus seeds, the taste is not as rich and delicious as the lotus of Hue. Delicious lotus seeds are created by the typical climate and soil conditions of Hue as well as the people’s care. That’s why this kind of sweet soup is special in Hue. Especially, the lotus seeds cooked with rock sugar will make the soup sweet lightly.
Khoai cake (Banh Khoai)
Banh Khoai is a specialty of Central Vietnam, it originated from Hue. Moreover, each region will have a different way of making dipping sauces, therefore this local food in Hue can be distinguished from the other kind of cake in Thanh Hoa, Quang Nam, or Quang Ngai.
Banh Khoai is made from rice flour, specifically, Banh Khoai consists of 2 parts: the crust and the filling. For the crust, people use rice flour mixed with water, then add a little turmeric powder to make the crust more yellow with a little salt. Meanwhile, the filling is mainly made from a mixture of shrimp, egg yolks, raw pork rolls, bean sprouts…
Besides, the dipping sauce is also special because it is cooked with more than 10 kinds of ingredients, such as pork liver, minced lean pork, peanuts, broth, and soy sauce,… to create a light yellow color and a very strange light fatty taste.
To eat Khoai cake, you can roll the cake with thin rice paper, then dip it in the dipping sauce for a tasty bite. Let’s enjoy!
Grilled Pork Rolls (Nem Lui)
If you are a fan of rolls, Nem Lui is perfect for you. Nem, the grilled pork roll, is made mainly from pork and pork skin and marinated with ingredients such as salt, pepper, and some types of Hue spices. Then, to roll the mixture above, local people use a long, skewered lemongrass or bamboo stick. After that, they cook each stick on a charcoal stove, which gives the dish the rustic aroma of meat and spices.
To enjoy this delicious local food in Hue, you must eat it when it is hot. Take a piece of the rolls, and roll it in the rice paper with raw vegetables, and green banana. You will be rewarded with the crunchiness of spring rolls, the spicy taste of chili, and the fatty flavor of the dipping sauce. It all blends to create an incredible flavor!
Sesame Candy (Keo Me Xung)
If you’re a sweet tooth, Hue’s candies can be a paradise for you. As the most popular local food in Hue, you can easily find sesame candies in Hue markets. With the main ingredient of sesame, rice flour, sugar, peanuts, malt, and vanilla, sesame candy can make you fall in love with its subtle sweetness. Nowadays, there are several kinds of this candy. For example, you can also find sesame candy with a crunchy crust of fried rice flour.
Moreover, enjoying sesame candies in Hue is an elegant feature of Hue’s eating style. Hue people usually eat candy with tea, which not only balances the sweetness but is also good for health.
To spread the sweetness of Hue, you can buy some boxes of candies as a souvenir! Take it home with your family, we’re sure that your family members will like it from all of the ages.
>> Explore our suggestion for 3 days in Hue: 3 Days In Hue – A Time Machine To The Past
The Ancient Capital of Hue can hold your heart with its unique local foods, do you agree with us? We hope that with the detailed information above, you can feel the diversity of Hue’s cuisine and understand more about the Hue culture.
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