Barb salad helps put Bac Giang on the map as a culinary destination

The province of Bac Giang is not only well known for its litchi but also barb salad, a rural dish that is often made for guests because it has a very special flavour.

Nguyen Tuong Hai, who works in Hanoi, invited his friends to his native village of Ly Vien Hamlet in Bac Giang’s Hiep Hoa District, the birthplace of barb salad.

Hai said to the dish is not difficult to make but it takes skill to avoid an overly fishy odour.

Barb salad helps put Bac Giang on the map as a culinary destination
Bac Giang's barb salad was chosen as one of the best dishes of the Culinary Guinness in 2012. Photo bachhoaxanh.com

When his friends arrived, Hai went to his family pond to catch several barbs, saying fish weighing 0.7-0.8kg are ideal.

“Our fish are good for the dish because we raise them in water without any substances," he said, adding that the fish should be carefully cleaned.

Hai said he has learned how to cook the dish from his grandfather. The secret is that after skinning the fish, it is cut into thin pieces and dried with blotting paper.

Ingredients to marinate the fish include ground roasted rice, minced galangal root, broth, fish sauce and pepper.

Barb salad helps put Bac Giang on the map as a culinary destination
Ingredients for barb salad include ground roasted rice, minced galangal and some others. Photo bachhoaxanh.com

The fish’s head should be used to make the dipping sauce. It is a special sauce to dip the barb salad in, Hai explained. “Without the sauce, the salad isn't as tasty.”

The fish head is sliced and mixed with galangal juice, fermented rice, minced garlic, chili and salt over a light fire for 15 minutes and stirred regularly. “This special sauce helps to put Bac Giang on the map as the barb salad centre,” Hai said.

Barb salad helps put Bac Giang on the map as a culinary destination
The special salad is great for groups. Photo travelmag.vn

He said his grandfather told him that the salad should include herbs such as ming aralia, fig leaf, Indian oak, lettuce, guava leaf and several others.

“My grandfather said he picks almost 15 sorts of herbs in his own garden. These herbs are good for your health,” Hai said. 

 

The herbs should not be cleaned with water but wet tissue papers or a towel. This is a secret handed down from his grandfather to ensure the salad keeps its unique taste, he said.

The salad is an ideal dish to share among a group, Hai said.

When Hai brought the salad tray to the dining room, his friends were so happy, saying that their mouths were watering from the aromatic smell of the dish.

Hai told his guests to wrap the ingredients in rice paper and dip it in the sauce.

Barb salad helps put Bac Giang on the map as a culinary destination
A tray with barb salad and special dipping sauce. Photo travelmag.vn

One of his friends, Hoang Manh Thang, said: “I taste the savoury and buttery flavour of the fresh fish, nutty flavour of roasted peanut, smell of herbs, the sourness of star fruit and green banana.”

“I enjoy it so much,” Thang said, noting that all of his friends agreed with him. They said they would never forget this speciality.

Hai told his guests that the dish is more enjoyable when using a fig leaf to wrap up the fish and its accompanying ingredients. “It will give you a special taste that will make you want to eat more and more.” 

Nong Van Bang from Bac Giang Tourism Department says the barb salad’s birthplace of Ly Vien Hamlet in Hiep Hoa District is always on the list of tour destinations of the province.

As a result, Bac Giang’s barb salad and Luc Ngan litchi were chosen among the 10 best dishes and fruits recognised by the Vietnam Culinary Guinness in 2012.

Source: Vietnam News 

Harvesting weaver ant eggs in Bac Giang province

Harvesting weaver ant eggs in Bac Giang province

Visitors to the mountainous districts of Bac Giang province, such as Luc Ngan, Son Dong and Luc Nam, from the third to the fifth lunar month every year can have a chance to taste indigenous dishes made from weaver ant eggs.

Bac Giang’s early litchi sold at good price

Bac Giang’s early litchi sold at good price

The northern province of Bac Giang is well-known for its litchi. This early litchi season, farmers in the in Phuc Hoa commune, Tan Yen district are happy as their litchis are selling at a good price.  

 
 

Other News

.
Hanoi launches bike tours
Hanoi launches bike tours
TRAVELicon  25/11/2021 

Joining the “VGreen’s Bike Tours”, travelers will have the chance to visit famous tourist sites and learn about the daily lives of artisans in the capital’s craft streets.

Binh Lieu in the ripe rice season
Binh Lieu in the ripe rice season
TRAVELicon  24/11/2021 

In the ripe rice season, people from hamlets in Binh Lieu District, Quang Ninh flock to the fields to harvest crops.

Tho Ha Village famed for rice paper and crackers
Tho Ha Village famed for rice paper and crackers
TRAVELicon  25/11/2021 

Located close to the peaceful Cau River, Tho Ha Village in the northern province of Bac Giang has developed a name for itself thanks to its original ancient architecture and specialty products – rice paper and crackers.

The autumnal Y Ty in the Northwest
The autumnal Y Ty in the Northwest
TRAVELicon  23/11/2021 

Y Ty is the name of a highland commune in Bat Xat District of Lao Cai, a province in the northwest of Vietnam. Autumn comes giving Y Ty a gentle and passionate beauty distinctive of this region.

Danang rice vermicelli with fish paste
Danang rice vermicelli with fish paste
TRAVELicon  26/11/2021 

What characterizes bún mắm nêm Da Nang (Danang rice vermicelli with fish paste) is its stronger flavor as well as the addition of pork, slices of boiled pig’s ears and beef bologna.

A green island amidst the azure sea
A green island amidst the azure sea
TRAVELicon  24/11/2021 

Ly Son Island off the coast of Quang Ngai Province in Central Vietnam is said to be the “azure island” as the seawater is so azure and pure that it gives visitors a feeling of seeing through the seabed.

Visitors to Hanoi don't miss seasonal treats
Visitors to Hanoi don't miss seasonal treats
TRAVELicon  23/11/2021 

Hanoi is full of particular dishes from the capital of the North, with special cakes being counted among them.

HCM City proposes welcoming international tourists with vaccine passports next month
HCM City proposes welcoming international tourists with vaccine passports next month
TRAVELicon  22/11/2021 

HCM City has proposed welcoming international tourists with vaccine passports beginning in December. 

Mexican sun flowers bloom in Da Lat
Mexican sun flowers bloom in Da Lat
TRAVELicon  22/11/2021 

In early November, the weather in Da Lat is gradually warmer, taking place in the rainy season in October. This is the time when Da Lat is dyed golden by Mexican sun flowers.

Catching field mice in Gia Lai
Catching field mice in Gia Lai
TRAVELicon  21/11/2021 

The practice of capturing field mice during the rice harvest season (May-June or October-November) in Dak Doa in Gia Lai Province draws a great many people here for firsthand experience of it.

Railway through Central of Vietnam listed among six amazing Asia train journeys
Railway through Central of Vietnam listed among six amazing Asia train journeys
TRAVELicon  21/11/2021 

The train passes through marvelous Vietnam's central scenery of water buffaloes graze in wide-open fields, humble villages flit by, and impossibly green fields.

Quang Nam welcomes first foreign visitors with the "vaccine passport"
Quang Nam welcomes first foreign visitors with the "vaccine passport"
TRAVELicon  21/11/2021 

On November 17 and 18, Quang Nam welcomed 159 international tourists after nearly two years of suspending international commercial flights due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ba Ria - Vung Tau promotes eco-tourism at national park
Ba Ria - Vung Tau promotes eco-tourism at national park
TRAVELicon  21/11/2021 

The southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has planned to establish 17 eco-tourism areas under a tourism development project at its Con Dao National Park until 2030.

International tourists to Phu Quoc must use IGOVN and PC-Covid apps
International tourists to Phu Quoc must use IGOVN and PC-Covid apps
TRAVELicon  21/11/2021 

Foreign visitors to Phu Quoc Island are required to install and use the IGOVN immigration application and the PC-Covid epidemic prevention application during their time in Vietnam.

Da Nang expects to welcome over 10,000 foreign visitors
Da Nang expects to welcome over 10,000 foreign visitors
TRAVELicon  20/11/2021 

The central city of Da Nang anticipates that it will welcome more than 10,000 foreign visitors over the coming months when it enters a new normal.

Mang Den, an attractive eco-tourism destination in Kon Tum
Mang Den, an attractive eco-tourism destination in Kon Tum
TRAVELicon  22/11/2021 

Mang Den is a small town surrounded by mountains and rich forest flora. It has a cool and mild mountainous climate all year round and is home to the Mang Den national eco-tourism area in Kon Tum Province.

Traveloka and Kien Giang join hands to promote Phu Quoc and welcome foreign tourists
Traveloka and Kien Giang join hands to promote Phu Quoc and welcome foreign tourists
TRAVELicon  19/11/2021 

Traveloka and the southern province of Kien Giang have cooperated to promote local tourism through the “Live Fully” program, which aims at popularizing the images of Phu Quoc Island as a safe and friendly destination for foreign visitors.

HCM City proposes three-phase pilot plan to welcome international tourists
HCM City proposes three-phase pilot plan to welcome international tourists
TRAVELicon  19/11/2021 

HCM City has just proposed a pilot plan to welcome back foreign tourists from December after a long closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The magnificent beauty of Toc Tien Waterfall, Dong Chau Forest in Quang Binh
The magnificent beauty of Toc Tien Waterfall, Dong Chau Forest in Quang Binh
TRAVELicon  23/11/2021 

Located in the south of Quang Binh Province, adjacent to Quang Tri Province, Dong Chau - Khe Nuoc Trong Nature Reserve in Le Thuy District has a tropical forest ecosystem at an altitude of nearly 700m above sea level.

The beauty of bamboo waterwheels in Dien Bien Province
The beauty of bamboo waterwheels in Dien Bien Province
TRAVELicon  20/11/2021 

The waterwheels have become an iconic image which is commonly seen in villages of the Thai ethnic group in the mountainous areas.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN