Annually, in late October, Hanoians begin to look forward to "rươi" - one kind of ragworm which can please the pickiest tongues.
In fact, the ragworm has two seasons, which is around April and May, and September and October. The second ragworm season is considered to be the most popular season, because a ragworm at this time is usually fat and tasty.
Among the long list of ragworm dishes, the most popular are ragworm sausages and spring rolls.
Ragworm sausages are a mix of ragworm with finely chopped meats, eggs, tangerine peel and added spices. The mixture is fried over a low heat.
It must be dipped with sweet and sour sauce, some green papaya and green vegetables.
Another preferred one is ragworm spring rolls
Ragworm rolls are somewhat more complex than sausages. Ragworm is mixed with meat, eggs, carrots, onions, mushrooms and tangerine peel ..., all should be cut into small pieces as in normal spring rolls. Mixed ingredients will be wrapped in rice paper rolls and fried in a hot pan with oil.
Because the sandworm is delicious but rare, today people try to keep the ragworm to be eaten all year round. In the past, grandparents made roasted ragworm, using a pot of lined banana leaf, roasting and putting it in a sealed container and later served with fresh vegetables. However, this method is now rarely used.
Now, the simplest way is to keep in the freezer. People also make ragworm sauce and eat with boiled meat.
In Hanoi, if one cannot afford to buy sandworm for home-made processing, customers can visit restaurants in Hang Chieu, Gia Ngu or Lo Duc streets.
Some popular addresses for sandworm dishes in Hanoi
1. No. 1 Hang Chieu Street
2. 25 Gia Ngu Street
3. 244 Lo Duc Street
Materials to make cha ruoi (ragworm fritters)
Dishes made from sandworms.
Chả rươi is made from, you've guessed it... WORMS!