Differing from spring rolls in the north, cuốn đập Đà Nẵng (boiled pork and other ingredients wrapped in rice paper) is well-known nationwide for its unique taste and aroma, said culinary expert Le Kim Chi.
|MIX OF FLAVOURS: Cuốn đập Đà Nẵng (boiled pork and other ingredients wrapped in rice paper) is a special treat at Ngon Garden in Hanoi.|
Chi, from Da Nang, said making the dish is simple because it is a cold dish but to ensure its great taste one needs to select the best ingredients.
Rice paper should be made from fragrant rice which is dried before being ground into rice powder. It should not break when wrapped, while the pork should be chosen from heo cỏ, because this kind of pig has a thinner skin and less fat.
“You should boil the pork and let it soak in the boiling water for 10 minutes so the fat looks white and soft. Pork cooked over a fire would dry out,” Chi said.
Apart from pork, there are more than 10 different fresh ingredients used in this dish. They include cucumber, fresh banana, green beans, lettuce, mint and several others.
“These ingredients give the dish its distinctive flavour,” she said.
Equally important is a bowl of dipping sauce locally known as mắm nêm. It is also a specialty of Da Nang. The sauce is made from fermented cá cơm (anchovies) in salt and ground roasted rice (locally known as thính), Chi told Việt Nam News.
|TRADITION: Tré Bà Đệ (specialty of Da Nang made by Mrs Đệ more than 60 years ago), is also a tasty ingredient in Hanoi's cuốn đập Đà Nẵng.|
After being fermented for three months, the mắm can be eaten with popular dishes in Vietnam’s three regions, such as gỏi cuốn tôm thịt (pork and shrimp, noodle and herbs wrapped in thin rice paper) and cakes made from rice and glutinous rice powder, she said.
Mắm nêm is mixed with pineapple, garlic, lemon and chili dipped in cuốn đập, make the dish an unforgettable part of visiting Da Nang, Chi said, noting that there are many shops that sell the dish, but each has its own secret to create mắm nêm.
The dish is a must-try at Quán Ăn Ngon chain’s Ngon Garden Restaurant in Hanoi.
Restaurant owner Pham Bich Hanh told Việt Nam News that before introducing the dish, she visited Da Nang to learn how to cook it from Chi, and invited her to work as a culinary expert in Hanoi.
Hanh said she has added more ingredients in her cuốn đập Da Nang in Hanoi. They are pork leg, shrimp, nem Phùng, and tré Bà Đệ.
|CRISPY: Nem Phùng (specialty of Phùng Village in Hanoi ) is made of pork and pork skin cut into thin threads. Photos Truong Vi|
Nem Phùng is made of pork and pork skin cut into thin strips and mixed with thính while tré Bà Đệ is also a specialty of Da Nang made by Mrs Đệ more than 60 years ago. Its ingredients are lean pork, bacon, and boiled pork skin cut into thin slices then mixed with minced galangal root and garlic, salt and also thinh and fermented in Đệ’s own way.
“I ordered the original tré Bà Đệ from her only daughter to serve to our customers. Many of them said they love the combination,” Hanh said.
Hoang Thu Thuy from Hai Ba Trung District said she likes the dish at Ngon Garden.
“The dish is a very good combination between the tastes of Da Nang and Hanoi cuisine. The boiled pig leg is crispy while the fresh shrimp is sweet. Together with a number of fresh herbs wrapped in special rice paper and dipped in mắm nêm, it is so enjoyable that I couldn’t stop eating it,” she said.
Ngon Garden’s dish is not only a street snack, but has becomes a specialty for not only locals but also foreigners visiting Hanoi, said Hanh.
Meanwhile, Thuy says if a diner doesn’t have the chance to go to Da Nang to try cuốn đập, Ngon Garden is a perfect alternative.
By Ha Nguyen & Hoang Ho