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Top 10 Famous And Attractive Thanh Hoa Specialties

Nem chua Thanh Hoa

Thanh Hoa province is not only renowned for its historical sites and breathtaking landscapes but also captivates visitors with its rich and diverse culinary scene. Each dish from this region carries a unique flavor, infused with the love for the homeland and the craftsmanship of the local people. Below are 10 Thanh Hoa specialties that promise to bring you unforgettable culinary experiences.

Nem chua Thanh Hoa

Nem chua Thanh Hoa is a famous dish, beloved by many and often chosen as a souvenir when visiting this land. Unlike nem chua in other regions, Thanh Hoa’s nem chua is smaller and wrapped in green banana leaves. The main ingredients to make nem chua include minced pork, thinly sliced pork skin, rice grits, spices, and especially guava leaves and fresh chili peppers. This unique combination creates the characteristic sour tasteinterwoven with the subtle aroma of guava leaves and the spicy kick of chili peppers.

When enjoying nem chua Thanh Hoa, it is recommended to pair it with fresh vegetables such as basil, perilla, mint, sour star fruit, and pho noodles, along with a special dipping sauce. The dipping sauce is made from fish sauce, sugar, chili peppers, garlic, and tamarind, creating a thick mixture with a harmonious sweet and sour flavor, helping to reduce the greasiness of nem chua and stimulate the taste buds.

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Grilled Pork Skewers in Thanh Hoa (Nem Nuong Thanh Hoa)

Grilled pork skewers (Nem Nướng Thanh Hóa) are the close cousin of fermented pork rolls (nem chua) also made from ground pork mixed with pork skin, rice grits, and seasonings. However, instead of being fermented, they are grilled over charcoal. To create delicious skewers, the grilling process plays a crucial role. The skewers are grilled evenly until golden brown, the fat sizzles and releases a complex aroma, tantalizing the taste buds.

Grilled pork skewers are often served with fresh vegetables such as lettuce, coriander, mint, sour star fruit, rice noodles, and a special dipping sauce. The dipping sauce is made from fish sauce, sugar, chili peppers, garlic, and tamarind, creating a thick and flavorful mixture with a sweet-sour balance that cuts through the richness of the grilled pork and further stimulates the palate.

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Che Lam Phu Quang

Che Lam Phu Quang is one of the most famous specialties of Thanh Hoa province, Vietnam. This delectable treat is crafted from simple, readily available ingredients: black sesame seeds, peanuts, ginger, sugar, and grated coconut. Black sesame seeds are roasted and ground into a fine powder, then carefully combined with roasted and crushed peanuts, freshly grated ginger, sugar, and grated coconut. The resulting mixture is shaped into small, round balls, arranged on a tray, and sun-dried until the che lam hardens.

Che Lam Phu Quang boasts a harmonious blend of sweetness from the sugar, savory notes from the black sesame seeds and peanuts, and a touch of spiciness from the ginger. As you savor each bite, the sweet flavors dance across your palate, leaving you feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Beyond its exquisite taste, Che Lam Phu Quang also serves as a thoughtful gift for loved ones and friends. This delectable treat can be found in many specialty stores throughout Thanh Hoa province at an affordable price.

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Bitter Leaf Soup

Bitter Leaf Soup is a humble yet familiar dish that graces the tables of Thanh Hoa households. This culinary creation is crafted from a harmonious blend of bitter leaves, pork bones, pork shoulder, tomatoes, fermented rice paste, salt and pepper. The bitter leaves are meticulously washed and briefly parboiled to temper their bitterness, then drained and set aside. The pork bones are roasted to a golden hue while the pork shoulder is thinly sliced. The tomatoes are cut into wedges and the fermented rice paste is strained to extract its essence.

To create the savory broth, the pork bones, pork shoulder, tomatoes, fermented rice paste, salt and pepper are combined in a pot and brought to a simmer. Once the broth reaches a rolling boil, the bitter leaves are gently introduced and cooked until tender. The flavors are then harmonized to perfection, and the stove is extinguished. The delectable soup is ladled into individual bowls, ready to be savored.

Bitter Leaf Soup boasts a refreshingly bitter taste and is brimming with nutritional goodness. It aids in cleansing the body, detoxifies the liver, and promotes a healthy digestive system. This wholesome soup is typically enjoyed piping hot alongside a steaming bowl of rice, offering a refreshing and comforting sensation.

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Tu Tru Banh Gai (Gai Cake from Tu Tru Village)

Tu Tru Banh Gai is a specialty cake of Thanh Hoa, made from glutinous rice, gai leaves, mung beans, coconut, and sugar. Glutinous rice is washed, soaked overnight, and then milled into fine flour. Gai leaves are washed, boiled, and the juice is extracted. Mung beans are shelled and steamed. Coconut is grated.

Glutinous rice flour is mixed with gai leaf juice and rolled into small balls. The cake filling is made from mung beans, coconut, and sugar and rolled into small balls. The cakes are made by placing the filling in the center of the dough and sealing the edges.

Tu Tru Banh Gai has a natural green color from the gai leaves, a sweet and slightly nutty flavor from the mung beans and coconut, and a fragrant aroma. Tu Tru Banh Gai is often enjoyed with hot tea and is a popular snack among locals.

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Banh Rang Bua (Sesame and Mung Bean Cake)

Banh Rang Bua is a specialty cake of Thanh Hoa, made from glutinous rice flour, mung bean filling, coconut, sugar, and black sesame seeds. Glutinous rice flour is washed, soaked overnight, and then milled into fine flour. The cake filling is made from mung beans, coconut, and sugar and rolled into small balls. Black sesame seeds are roasted and ground into a fine powder.

Glutinous rice flour is mixed with water and rolled into small balls. The dough balls are dipped in the black sesame seed mixture and then rolled in the cake filling. The cakes are made by placing the filling in the center of the dough and sealing the edges.

Banh Rang Bua has a dark brown color from the black sesame seeds, a sweet and slightly nutty flavor from the mung beans and coconut, and a nutty aroma from the black sesame seeds. Banh Rang Bua is often enjoyed with hot tea and is a popular snack among locals.

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Shrimp Paste from Thanh Hoa

Shrimp paste is an indispensable traditional condiment in Thanh Hoa cuisine. It is made from fresh, tiny shrimp caught along the Thanh Hoa coast. After being caught, the shrimp are cleaned and then dried in the sun until completely dry. The dried shrimp are then finely ground and mixed evenly with coarse salt in a specific ratio.

The shrimp-salt mixture is fermented in sealed earthenware jars or pots for about 6 months to 1 year to ripen the shrimp paste. During the fermentation process, the shrimp paste releases water and emits a savory aroma that stimulates the taste buds. The finished shrimp paste has a shimmering reddish-brown color, a smooth texture, and a distinctive aroma.

Thanh Hoa shrimp paste is used to dip rice crackers, boiled vegetables, boiled meat, and seafood, adding flavor to these dishes. Shrimp paste is also used to prepare other dishes such as fish noodle soup and sour fish soup, creating a unique flavor for Thanh Hoa cuisine.

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Mam Cay Thanh Hoa : Thanh Hoa specialties

Mam Cay Thanh Hoa is an extremely famous specialty of Thanh Hoa, but not everyone can enjoy it. Mam Cay Thanh Hoa is made from freshwater crabs (also known as field crabs) using traditional methods. After being caught, the crabs are cleaned and the shells and abdomens are removed. The crab meat is then seasoned and mixed thoroughly with rice bran and ground galangal.

This mixture is fermented in sealed earthenware jars or pots for about 3-4 months to ripen the crab paste. During the fermentation process, the crab paste ferments and emits a characteristic strong odor. The finished crab paste has a grayish-brown color, a thick consistency, a salty and fatty flavor, and a distinctive strong odor.

Mam Cay Thanh Hoa is often used to dip grilled rice crackers, salted sour plum, and smoked buffalo meat. This dish has a unique and stimulating flavor, but not everyone can enjoy it due to its strong odor.

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Red Pomelo

Red Pomelo is a famous specialty of Thanh Hoa Province, originating from Ham Tram, Nga Son District. Red Pomelo have a beautiful round shape, thin peel, golden yellow segments, juicy flesh, sweet and refreshing taste, and a mild fragrance. Red Pomelo are loved by many people for their sweet and refreshing taste, easy-to-eat nature, and lack of the bitter aftertaste of other mandarin varieties.

In addition, Red Pomelo are also known for their wonderful health benefits. They are rich in vitamin C and fiber, which help boost immunity, aid digestion, and promote beautiful skin.

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Chi Ne Wine

Chi Ne Wine a renowned specialty of Thanh Hoa Province, traces its roots to the Tho Xuan region. This exceptional beverage is crafted using the finest round and plump “golden flower glutinous rice” grains, meticulously fermented alongside wild leaf yeast following time-honored traditions. The cooked glutinous rice is meticulously fermented for 3-4 months alongside the wild leaf yeast.

Once the fermentation process reaches completion, the Chi Ne Wine undergoes a distillation process. The resulting spirit boasts a light golden hue, a crystal-clear appearance, an intoxicating aroma, and the distinctive fragrance of wild leaves. Upon tasting, Chi Nê Wine presents a smooth and pleasant sensation, followed by a lingering sweetness. This traditional beverage holds a special place in Thanh Hoa culture, gracing festive occasions, weddings, and ancestral rites.

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With the 10 Thanh Hoa specialties introduced above, hopefully you have gained more useful information about the rich and diverse cuisine of Thanh Hoa. Each dish carries its own unique flavor, contributing to the distinctive characteristics of Thanh Hoa’s cuisine. If you have the opportunity to visit Thanh Hoa, don’t forget to savor these dishes to fully experience the flavors and cultural beauty of this land of great men and women.

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