Hai Phong is an important city and also one of the economic, cultural, and culinary centers in Vietnam. Hai Phong food is really plentiful with several specialities which are famous throughout the country. Food to eat in Hai Phong is not cheap and there are many kinds of seafood used to make dishes.
Hai Phong cuisine is one of the cuisines which follow the processing style of using seafood as the material platform. That is because the seafood sources of Hai Phong seas, similar to the Gulf of Tonkin, are relative abundant. Hai Phong is also famous for unique local specialities, such as Cat Hai fish sauce, red rice noodle, chili sauce… which are used to make many characteristic dishes of Haiphong. The origin of many typical dishes of Hai Phong cuisine do not have a clear historical root or unique anecdote compared to some dishes like Pho, Ninh Binh elderberry, or Nam Dinh sour meat pie with roasted milled rice…
Some dishes originated in Haiphong like field crab red noodle soup, crab spring rolls, field crab hot pot, sautéed snail, Hai Phong spicy sandwich (also called sandwich stick) have been introduced to other areas such as Hanoi , Ho Chi Minh City, and become very popular in these places that sometimes people do not need to use the local appellation of origin (Hai Phong) to mention after (due to Vietnamese structure) the concrete name of the dish, such as “bun ca Hai Phong”, “banh da cua Hai Phong”…
Nem cua be (crab spring rolls)
Based on the recipe of spring rolls in the north region, Nem cua be (crab spring rolls) is mainly made from seafood such as shrimp and crab and bean sprouts and vermicelli. The spring rolls are wrapped into square pieces, very eye-catching. Some layers of rice paper are covered outside the spring rolls in order to ensure that they will not be broken.
Because Hai Phong is near the sea so the seafood used for this dish is fresh seafood. Therefore, the spring rolls bring the strong flavor of fresh shrimp, crab and mantis shrimp…
Gia be xao
Gia be xao – a stranger name – makes people curious and want to try it once. Actually, Gia be xao is not a luxury dish but you should ty if ou have the opportunity of coming to Hai Phong. This dish is quite popular and often sells in culinary area in markets.
Gia be looks like the small oyter. When splitted, the inside looks like the bean sprout so maybe thanks to it, this is called Gia be (“Gia” means bean sprout and “be” means sea). Gia be xao which is crispy with the flavor of sauce and the aroma of basil is surely an unforgettable experience.
Being different from Beo cake in the central region, Beo cake in Hai Phong is made from finely chopped pork then stirred with fungus bean roots and chopper onion…finally added the flour and steamed in banana leaves.
Beo cake is served with fish sauce and some other spicies. Especially, you can order a sausage to eat with this dish in order to make it have a strong flavor.
Thach gang (jelly)
To people in Hai Phong, Thach gang is the dish attached to childhoods. The pieces of jelly are soft and have an eye-catching green color. They are served with sweet sugar water bringing us the melting feeling at the tip of the tongue.
After enjoying many dishes, surely you need a cup of Thach gang to slake. When ordering, you can choose any pearl jelly or topping you want.
Bi bo (Cow skin)
Coming to the cuisine area in Cat Bi market and asking anyone what to eat in here, surely you are advised to enjoy Bi bo (cow skin).
Bi bo is a both familiar and stranger dish. The making process is also very simple: the beef and cow skin is sliced thinly, mixed with lemongrass and roasted rice flour and then rolled with rice paper and fresh vegetable, dipped into shrimp sauce and soy sauce depending on the taste of each person.
Besides, the markets sell many other snacks such as Xeo cake, clear dumpling (banh bot loc) and many types of grilled meat…
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