8 dishes that make Hoi An a promising destination of 2019
1. Hoi An's chicken rice
Hoi An used to be a busy commercial port, in the 16th-17th century there were many Chinese and Japanese merchants came here to settle down. Chances are, Hoi An chicken rice is based on the Hainanese chicken rice dish of the Chinese people, but it has a distinct flavour of this land.
The similarity in Hoi An and Hainanese chicken rice is that the rice part is cooked in chicken broth and when eaten, rice and chicken is served on the same plate, but the difference lies in the turmeric that infused in the rice. For more attractiveness, herbs (laksa leaves, sweet basil), as well as pickled carrots and papayas, are served together with chicken and rice.
Hoi An chicken rice dish is also characterized by being served with a special chilli sauce made in Hoi An, made by Chinese people here. Furthermore, Hoi An chicken is well-known thanks to the local free-range chicken breed. When being boiled, the chicken has a chewy and crispy texture, unlike the tender chicken in Hainanese chicken rice.
Famous chicken rice addresses in Hoi An that tourists often visit include Ba Buoi restaurant on Phan Chau Trinh Street, Ba Huong on Le Loi Street, Xi chicken rice on Tran Hung Dao Street, Ba Lam, Ba Ho, etc.
2. Cao Lau
Cao Lau dish is called "special noodle" of Hoi An. Although they look quite like Japanese udon noodles, they are actually made from rice flour. Cao Lau noodles are very elaborately processed; the rice must be soaked in burnt wood water from Cu Lao Tram, then it must be ground with water taken from Ba Le well made by Cham people nearly thousand years ago. A bowl of Cao Lau consists of minced meat with five spices and Tra Que herbs, soy sauce, crispy fat, crispy pig skin. Even if people buy the Cao Lau noodles to make their own at home, the final products cannot be as delicious as those in Hoi An.
The places where you can enjoy the best Cao Lau dishes in Hoi An include Thanh Cao Lau in Thai Phien Street, Ba Be Cao Lau at Hoi An market, Di Hat on Phan Chau Trinh Street, etc.
3. Quang noodles
Quang noodles are now available in many places, only in Hoi An you can get the authentic flavour. This is because Quang chicken noodles are cooked from Hoi An ‘s chicken breed with delicious flavour, Quang shrimp noodles are cooked from Thu Bon river shrimps or wild-caught shrimps, Quang char-siu noodles are made from the pigs that raised in Hoi An.
The delicious Quang noodles restaurant includes Di Hat noodles on Phan Chau Trinh Street, Ong Hai on Truong Minh Luong Street, Ba Minh on Hung Vuong Street, etc.
4. Hoi An's Banh mi
Thanks to the world-famous chef Anthony Bourdain, the Banh mi store on Phan Chau Trinh Street has stepped out of Hoi An and become famous globally. He described the Banh mi here as "a symphony in a sandwich" (That's a symphony in a sandwich!). The Banh mi here is very diverse, with more than 20 different kinds of fillings such as meat, sausages, pâté, chicken with butter and salad, cheese and onions, beef rolls with cheese, bacon, the mix of everything, etc. The secret of a delicious Banh mi also lies in the kind of sauce that goes into the loaf of bread.
It is also impossible to ignore Madam Khanh Banh mi located on Tran Cao Van Street, equally famous as Phuong Banh mi. With more than 10 different types of fillings being marinated by the owner in her own way and her hospitality, the place has brought joy to the owners and guests over the past 30 years.
In addition, there are also unique Banh mi of Bich store with special pate and sausage, Ba Bua, Co Lanh, and Than Banh mi stores.
5. Tam Huu rolls
In order to eat Tam Huu rolls, you should go to Tra Que vegetable village, there are some restaurants in vegetable gardens that sell this dish to domestic and foreign tourists.
This very simple looking dish is delicious in how to choose the ingredients, not how to make it. First, they must choose the very fresh shrimps that are still alive, then bacon and shrimps are stir-fried together quickly to avoid overcooking. Shrimp - meat - vegetables (basil vegetables and scallions) are rolled together after that and we get three charming ingredients on the plates (Tam means three). The basil vegetables in Tra Que village are very fragrant and beautiful, being grown naturally without chemical fertilizers makes the fragrance extremely unique.
7. White rose “cake”
The most famous place for tourists that sell rose cake is the White Rose restaurant on Hai Ba Trung Street. The cake is made from rice flour, filtered several times to be chewy and crystal clear. The fillings include pork, wood ear mushrooms, onions that are rolled in a piece of flour shaped like white rose petals and then steamed, sprinkled with fried onion, dipped into sour, spicy, sweet fish sauce. The delicious taste is indescribable.
7. Hoi An's soybean curd
In the cold evening when you’re taking a stroll, you would possibly can’t help yourself and stop at a vendor in the sidewalk to try the soybean curd with warm broth cooked with sugar and ginger. Tourists can find this humble dish on Nguyen Thai Hoc, Le Loi, or Tran Phu Street.
8. Hoi An ‘s black sesame soup (dessert)
The most famous place selling black sesame soup is the sidewalk of Nguyen Truong To Street. This vendor was originally owned by Mr Thieu until he was nearly 100 years old, now passed on to his daughter. Mr Thieu learned to cook this dish from a Chinese family but later developed his own recipe, with the ingredients consist of black sesame, sticky rice, pureed coconut, green beans, sugar and herbs.
By: Kelly Martin