When preparing your own check list to Hanoi, you may hear about Pho and Bun Cha as the top recommended dish in the capital city of Vietnam. However, Hanoi is more than that. If you make a litter further efforts to dig in a bit deeper, you’ll find some dishes that never, or less appear in food reviews of Hanoi but still a big surprise to taste, Bun Oc nguoi, or Vietnam rice vermicelli served with steamed snails and cool broth.
It can be said that Bun Oc nguoi is not a popular name in restaurants’ menus, even local people are not sure if they are aware of its existance. Most Bun Oc nguoi selling points are only vendors on streets. But no matter how few people know about the dish, Bun Oc nguoi still has its position in the mind of gourmets.
Behind a bowl of Bun Oc nguoi is a complicated recipe from how to soak snails so they release dirts, how to cook broth that has perfect sweetness from pig bones and sourness from fermented rice to create the eye-catching color for the broth from tomatoes. Such a complicated process but a bowl of Bun oc nguoi is only up to 2USD, what a great deal for an oil-free meal.
The best season of the year to enjoy bun oc nguoi is the summer. Stop by a vendor on some street, under the cool foliage, the seller brings eaters a large tray with a bowl of broth, a dish of fresh vermicelli, and a dish of snails and local herbs. Grasp the chopsticks, pick a piece of vermicelli, a snail and some herbs, dip into the broth enjoy the dish, feel the way its flavor spread in your mouth and find the heat of summer run way gradually, it’s an interesting leisure that you will remember forever.
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