Summer is the season for beach holidays. To celebrate summertime, we present some of Vietnam’s favorite seafood dishes
Prawns steamed in beer or coconut juice
Salted prawns are set aside for 10 minutes, then washed and steamed. Add lemongrasses to enhance the fragrance. Boiling the prawns in beer or coconut juice adds flavor. This is a wonderful dish to share with friends on a hot summer evening.
Roasted crabs with tamarind
This dish makes a divine afternoon snack on the beach. Beautiful, fragrant steamed red crabs are coated in tamarind sauce. The sauce is thick, and has a mouth-watering sweet and sour flavor.
Squid soup with pineapple
This freshly tangy soup contains boiled squid, tomatoes, pineapple, and dried onions. For flavor, the chef adds tamarind sauce, soy sauce, dried chilies, seasoning, spring onions and laksa leaves. This tasty and healthy soup is served with rice vermicelli or rice.
Easy to prepare, grilled fish is a crowd-pleaser. Choose fresh fish and don’t over-cook it. This dish would not be the same without soy sauce with sliced chili. The fish has a naturally sweet flavor that is offset by the salty and spicy sauce. In addition, you can enjoy another specialty called Cha ca La Vong, such a yummy dish.
Peel, wash and slice some fresh squid. Add pepper, spices, spring onions, fennel and laksa leaves and grind the mix together. When the squid meat is dense and sticky, it’s kneaded into small meatballs. Squid meatballs can be served with chili sauce or with soy sauce with lemon, garlic and fresh chili. The sticky and buttery taste of this dish is addictive.
Grilled clams with fried onions
This simple dish is a favorite. Clams are marinated with spices, sugar and chili powder along with some ground peanuts and spring onions. The clams are grilled until soft and buttery, then served with fried onions and peanuts. This dish tickles your nostrils and awakens all your senses.
There’s nothing better than a hot bowl of soup to ward off the autumn chill in Hanoi. We present some favorite types of noodle soup
My van than (Wonton noodle soup)
My van than is a popular soup featuring white noodles, wontons and vegetables in a delicious broth. Made from flour and eggs, the Rattened noodles are slightly chewy. The wontons are stuffed with fresh ground shrimp, mushrooms and pork wrapped in a thin wheat-flour dough. The soup also contains roast pork, mushrooms, sliced boiled egg, dried pig skin, mustard greens, scallions and fresh shelled prawns. The broth is made using chicken bones, pig bones, dried fish, some traditional Chinese medicinal herbs and prawn shells.
Bun thang (Chicken vermicelli soup)
Bun thang is delicious, nutritious and colorful. The egg noodles are bright yellow, while the sliced chicken breast is white. Lean pork pate adds some pink, and the chicken skin is pale yellow. Dried turnips, field mushrooms, spring onions and small pieces of fragrant knotweed add more flavor and color. The broth is made from chicken bones and shrimps. Additional flavorings include vinegar, chili, garlic, pepper and shrimp paste, along with a drop of belostomatid attar — a liquid secreted by giant water bugs. This special attar gives bun thang its special taste and scent.
Bun rieu cua (Crab vermicelli)
Bun rieu cua boasts a remarkable yellow broth, white vermicelli noodles, red tomatoes and flavorful crab roe. The crab roe is made from fresh field crabs, ground and carefully strained. The chef adds herbs and some shrimp paste. This dish has a lovely fresh flavor and scent.