“Visit Khanh Hoa once and wherever you go, you’ll always miss the breezes of Nha Trang and nem of Ninh Hoa.” This is a saying often heard of in Khanh Hoa. In fact, Nem Ninh Hoa (Ninh Hoa-style fermented pork rolls) has two types, fermented pork rolls and grilled meatballs which are totally handmade. The specialties were founded hundreds years ago.
According to Ninh Hoa people, the main ingredients of fermented pork rolls are pork and pork skin. Pork will be ground up and cured in special spices which have not been revealed. Then, the pork and pork skin will be wrapped in chum ruot (Phyllanthus acidus) leaves and banana leaves. After two to three days of fermentation, the dish is ready to be used.
About the second kind of nem Ninh Hoa, meatballs are skewered and grilled over a charcoal oven after being marinated in spices. These Ninh Hoa-style grilled meatballs are served with lettuce, chives, young banana and mango, cucumber, and pickled carrot. Diners wrap all in rice paper, dip the roll in a special sauce and enjoy. The dipping sauce is made from fermented soybeans and minced meat which create its thick texture as well as unique flavor.
Enjoying Ninh Hoa-style fermented pork rolls and grilled meatballs should be the first thing travelers should do when visiting the central coastal province.
Ton Ngoc Hiep, who already opened 10 Vietnamese “pho” (noodle soup) restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is planning to bring the brand to the UK and the US.