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15/08/2018 - 20:45

Mixed vermicelli: the more it is mixed, the better it tastes

As a habit, I dropped by the familiar place selling mixed vermicelli in front of An Cuu Market to calm my hunger pang, right at the time they began to sell.

Cheap and delicious

As a habit, I dropped by the familiar place selling mixed vermicelli in front of An Cuu Market to calm my hunger pang, right at the time they began to sell. There are various noodle dishes in Hue, but mixed vermicelli is pretty special since it is a combination of around 10 ingredients and spices such as white vermicelli, yellow vermicelli, fresh herbs, peziza (cat-ear fungi), carrot, tofu, peanut, rice paper, tender jackfruit.

The two indispensable ingredients are white vermicelli and yellow vermicelli. Vermicelli is half boiled so that it still keeps its toughness. In addition, tender banana flower or tender jackfruit is boiled, cut into thin slices and squeezed dry. Shallot and chili are fried in hot oil to create colors for the dish. The ingredients are mixed in a steady way so that they absorb spices well, and more importantly, vermicelli must not stick together.

Other important ingredients are peziza, carrot, and fried tofu which are all sliced into long thin threads, then stir-fried in a frying pan with spices added to one’s taste.

When all the ingredients are ready, put a bit of each in a bowl, add fresh herbs, broken roasted peanut, broken baked rice paper, soy sauce or sweetened fish sauce and some indispensable chili paste to make it hot. A bowl of mixed vermicelli is ready to eat.

When eating, the diner has to mix the ingredients well. She/he would feel at the same time the fatty taste of peanut, the crispness of rice paper, the spicy taste of the fried stuff, the softness and toughness of vermicelli. Fresh herbs help lessen the oily taste.

Made-in-Hue mixed vermicelli is sold every afternoon at the markets such as An Cuu, Ben Ngu, Tran Quang Khai, etc., at the price of VND7.000-10.000 per bowl. For Hue people, mixed vermicelli is one of the dishes for ‘bữa lỡ’ (afternoon snack). It is delicious and suitable for hot summer days as well as cool autumn days. It is these simple, easy-to-made dishes with very special ways of cooking of Hue people that make Hue cuisine unique.

When you have a chance to visit Hue, do not forget to drop in on a certain peddler or the market to enjoy this very ‘Hueish’ dish, which appears that ‘the more it is mixed, the better it tastes’.

Story and photo: Thao Vy

 

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