Explore ancient traditional food in Vietnam disappeared with the flow of time
Vietnam cuisine features with diversified and tasty dishes. It has a famous food like Pho, Bun Cha, Quang noodle, Banh Mi, etc. But ever you wonder about ancient traditional food in Vietnam? They may be the food that even Vietnamese people do not know and have been oblivious. Moreover, these delicacies are not just simple food but they also express the cultural and exquisite beauty in the cooking of Vietnamese people.
Nem Cong Cha Phuong – top imperial traditional food in Vietnam
Nem Cong Cha Phuong is considered as the top imperial traditional food in Vietnam which is indispensable in ancient royal banquets. People believe that the dish originated from Chinese cuisine and reformed to suit the taste of Vietnamese under the Nguyen Dynasty.
Nem Cong is a fermented food made from the skin and flesh of the peacock. They use the thigh meat of the mature peacock and pounding the meat until it’s minced. Then they mix it with galangal, pepper, garlic, etc and pack it with banana leaves for incubation. It takes about 3 days and the food is ready to serve. Because the peacock meat is very healthy that can make the body release hazardous matter, the Kings extremely love this dish.
Cha Phuong is a kind of sausage made from phoenix meat. However, Phoenix is an imaginary bird that only appeared in ancient legendary. Therefore, people use the flesh of pheasant instead to make this rare dish. After processing the meat, they mix it with spices and wrap it in banana leaves. Then, they steam or fry the dish in chicken fat until it has a spectacular golden brown color.
Today, with the rarity of the ingredients especially peacock and pheasant, people usually use the pork or chicken to make this delicacy. Afterward, they elaborately decorate this dish so beautiful in the shape of a gorgeous phoenix to offer on altars. Nonetheless, it never has the original flavor as it used to be.
Moc Van Am – a meaningful delicacy
Among traditional food in Vietnam, Moc Van Am is the most refined and sophisticated dish. Therefore, it’s so hard to make this dish that it seems to disappear at present.
Moc Van Am is a colorful delicacy with 5 colors including the red of Gac fruit, yellow of Gardenia seeds, green of Bim Bip leaves (scientific name: Clinacanthus nutans), black of minced fungus and mushroom and white. These colors symbolize for Five Elements consisting of metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.
They make some meatballs made of pork then dye them by the above colors. After that, they place these balls alternatively in a bowl. Next, people watering the stock made from pork bones and skin all over the bowl. It takes time to wait for the mixture frozen naturally. When it’s ready to serve, the dish looks like a jelly block with a transparent appearance showing colorful ingredients inside.
When eating, you can feel soft and fragrant ingredients combine with a bit spicy flavor of pepper. This is an ancient dish of Ha Noi people to express the desire for a happy and sufficient life.
Thang – cuon tom thit (Thang – pork and shrimp rolls)
This used to be a famous dish on the banquets to see off the ancestors after they have come back with descendants to celebrate Tet holiday. This is probably the only ancient traditional food in Vietnam still circulated to this day. However, the flavor is not as delicate as in the past. What makes this dish superb is thanks to the careful and exquisite details in the processing of ancient people.
You can enjoy this food in some restaurants in Ha Noi. The special feature of this delicacy is the combination of glutinous rice wine and sugarcane molasses as a dipping sauce, the fresh lettuce leaves rolled with aromatic herbs, noodles, a piece of boiled pork and stir-fried crayfish.
With simple ingredients but sophistication in cooking, Thang – cuon tom thit was the favorite dish of royal classes, especially in the banquets served for Kings.
Don Dot Ham Ga Ac (Sea cucumber stewed with black chicken)
Don Dot is sea cucumber in the Vietnamese language. It is a very rare seafood. In the past, every time fishermen caught this precious ingredient, they had to offer it to the Kings. But today, you can enjoy this dish in luxury restaurants.
To cook this ancient traditional food in Vietnam, people stuff the whole sea cucumber into a black chicken and stew it until the meat is so tender that falling apart. At the present time, this dish is no longer suitable for the eating needs of people due to the too high nutrients. Hence, it’s fewer and fewer people cook it.
Sea cucumber cooked with freshwater shrimp and vegetables
Since old times, this cuisine has been a precious and exquisite dish in terms of ingredients as well as cooking way. About ingredients, sea cucumber must be original from Phu Quoc that is nutritious and delicious at the same time. On the other hand, they make freshwater shrimp into tiny balls. In addition, there must be peanut worms from Quang Ninh, the flesh of scallops from Khanh Hoa, etc. Especially, what makes this delicacy so unique is its naturally sweet taste without adding any spices.
Besides high-class ingredients and fresh vegetables, the broth is also cooked sophisticated. People have to stew the peanut worms, scallops, etc in a day, overnight to have the most quintessential flavor. The dish has a spectacular and colorful presentation. Besides, people usually served this cuisine in the royal banquets. This is one of the most unique imperial traditional food in Vietnam has been oblivious.