Quang Nam is a popular tourist destination of Vietnam with many famous and notable landmarks such as Hoi An, My Son Sanctuary, Cham Islands, or the Tam Thanh Mural Village. In addition to those areas, the land of Quang is also known for its diverse cuisine which has captured the hearts of even the pickiest diners.
Quang noodle is arguably the most popular dish of Quang Nam. Not only that, but Quang noodle has also travelled throughout the country and has been favoured by a lot of people. This gold-coloured noodle is made from sliced rice paper which produces very soft and chewy strands. The broth is rich in flavour. The ingredients to prepare Quang noodle are varied: it can be served with chicken, pork, or maybe shrimp, crab, fish, etc. Quang noodle is always accompanied by crispy grilled rice crackers along with a bowl of pure fish sauce and a plate of raw vegetables with all sorts of accompaniments.
Hoi An’s Cao Lau
Cao lau is a popular mixed noodle dish of Hoi An and is only present in this area aside from Da Nang and Hue. Cao lau bears some similarities to Quang noodle but is more complicated to prepare. A bowl of Cao lau consists of fresh noodles, a few strands of crispy fried noodles, slices of meat, pork cracklings, and a small amount of broth. The essence of this dish lies in its noodles because they must be made from rice soaked in ashes from Cham Islands and water from Ba Le well, which is known to be cool and alum-free. Cao lau’s broth is made with pork marinated in spices and then boiled therefore has a rich flavour. The vegetables served with Cao lau are somewhat simpler, with only two types which are baby mustard greens and bitter greens.
Tam Ky’s Chicken Rice
Tam Ky chicken, one of Quang Nam’s specialties, is so particularly tender, savoury, and rich that it sticks in the mind of whoever tastes it for the first time. Chicken rice by nature is relatively easy to prepare and common, however only in Tam Ky is this dish exceptionally flavorful and delicious. The rice is usually fried and accompanied by a seasoned piece of chicken, along with spicy slices of ginger and some shallots.
Quang Nam’s Cassava Pho
Cassava by nature is an essential crop that contributes to feeding people as well as raising livestock and poultry in the land of Quang. For this reason, Quang Nam’s folks have invented this unique cassava pho dish. This is a specialty of the Que Son region. Cassavas after being harvested, peeled, thinly sliced, and dried can be saved to use for a whole year. Due to being made from cassava, the pho noodles also become more chewy, crunchy, and have a peculiarly nutty taste. From cassava noodles, the Que Son people can prepare a lot of delicious dishes, two of which must be mentioned are mixed pho and soup-based pho. The mixed pho has a lot of variants. Sometimes it only requires noodles to be soaked until soft, bathed in lemon-chili fish sauce and added some banana blossoms to enjoy; sometimes it’s more complicated with added slices of meat, fresh shrimps, roasted peanuts and basil leaves. In addition, Quang Nam also has cassava pho mixed with pupae and the bucolic cassava pho with snakeheads.
Hong Dao Wine
“Quang Nam soil is wet without rain
Hong Dao wine makes you drunk without a sip.”
There is a type of wine in Quang Nam that is listed as “my tuu” (fine wine) of Vietnam, which is the Hong Dao wine. The name comes from its distinctively pink colour. It is rumoured to make you “drunk without a sip” due to its intense aroma. You can feel the wine’s irresistible and distinctive aroma just by bringing a cup of it to your lips. Hong Dao wine carries with it the goodwill of Quang’s people. It is the reminder of patriotism and the vows of loyalty in love. Therefore, the wine is often used in wedding wine ceremonies.
Quang Nam’s mixed mountain bamboo shoots
Throughout the woods of Dong Giang district, there are many bamboo species such as bambusa balcooa, schizostachyum aciculare, and common bamboo. After picking, bamboo shoots will have its old skin peeled off to harvest the younger parts. Depending on the manner of preparation,people will shred them into long pieces or circles. Mountain shoots are very aromatic, chewy, and bitter-free and therefore are very popular with tourists from anywhere. The shoots only need to be mixed with a spicy bowl of garlic-chili fish sauce and crushed chives fried in a little peanut oil to enjoy.
Hoi An’s Xi Ma
In Hoi An there is a dish with a peculiar name that anyone who comes here has to at least try once. That dish is xi ma (or also called black sesame sweet gruel) This thick gruel with a subtle scent of black sesame mixed in with medicinal herbs is a very good natural remedy for the digestive system. Just walk around the ancient town and you will find vendors selling xi ma in small pretty bowls for only 6 thousand Vietnamese dongs per bowl.
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