4. Nem Cua Be – Sea Crab Spring Roll:
Sea crab spring roll, or Hai Phong crab spring roll is a characteristic dish in Haiphong food with the main raw materials are seafood, such as shrimp and crab. This dish also has several other names in Vietnamese, such as “cha nem” (Southerners often call it “cha gio”), seafood spring roll... Due to the unique method of wrapping rolls in square of Hai Phong people, this dish is also called “square crab spring roll”, or more complete, “square seafood spring roll”.
Similar to the crab red noodle soup I mentioned above (often use field crab, sometimes sea crab used when processing), crab spring roll is considered one of the most obvious representatives for the food processing style of Hai Phong. Over the years, crab spring rolls (wrapped in square shape) and crab red noodle soup have been beyond the border of Haiphong city to come to other locals, such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and they are preferred by many diners throughout the country. However, not any diner or restaurant which sell crab red noodle soup and crab spring roll can ensure the exact processing method and the original flavor as in Haiphong. Therefore, people who want to fully enjoy the unique flavor of this dish should go to the famous diners or restaurants, usually established by original Hai Phong people.
Hai Phong crab spring roll is different from traditional long spring roll because it is wrapped in square shape and big size. After being fried in cooking oil, the spring roll will be cut into 4 pieces. This kind of spring roll is made from crab flesh, pig’s shoulder lean meat, shrimp, wood ear, bean sprouts. All of the ingredients will be mixed together, added some spices, and wrapped in rice paper, and then deeply fried in cooking oil.
Crab spring roll is served with vermicelli and raw vegetables, and sweet, sour, and spicy dipping sauce. This dish contains the freshness of the crab flesh, the crispiness of fried rice paper, and the morish taste of the dipping sauce.
- Pig’s shoulder lean meat
- Sea crab
- Chicken egg
- Salted duck egg
- Rice paper
- Fresh bean sprout
- Cassava vermicelli
- Wood ear
- Finely chopped garlic
- Finely chopped dried purple onion
- Fish sauce
5. Sui Din – Hai Phong Floating Cake:
This is a rustic street snack in Hai Phong which is derived from the Chinese living in Ho Chi Minh City. Sui Din is similar yet smaller than Chinese floating cake. The shell of the cake is made from sticky glutinous dough, stuffed with milled steamed green bean. In addition, this dish is served with black sesame, roasted peanut, and julienned coconut copra sprinkled on the top of the dish. Similar to Chinese floating cake, the sweet soup served with this dish is made from yellow molasses with the spicy aroma of fresh ginger. Sui Din is suitable most to be served in cold winter days. Therefore, this Hai Phong food dish has been a favorite snack of the people living in Hai Phong in the cold season for a long time.
+ Black sesame
+ Roasted peanuts
+ Julienned coconut copra
+ Sticky glutinous rice
- Sweet soup:
+ Brown rock sugar
+ Fresh ginger
6. Bun Ca – Fish Vermicelli:
When mentioning grilled meat vermicelli and tofu vermicelli served with shrimp paste, people usually think of Hanoi; talking to beef vermicelli, it is often evoked Hue, then when it comes to fish vermicelli, we cannot forget to think of Hai Phong.
Although fish vermicelli not just exists in Hai Phong, this dish expresses the unique feature and the characteristic of Hai Phong. The characteristic of Hai Phong is expressed in the picky process of making fish vermicelli, the way to choose raw materials (including marine fish and freshwater fish), the way to prepare the broth ... We can opt for a bowl of Hai Phong fish vermicelli in the mobile shops on the streets, small café, or in big and luxurious restaurants.
Hai Phong fish vermicelli has the characteristic taste of the sea and also the simple elegance of the countryside because it can be harmoniously made from both types of fish, including sea fish (mackerel) and freshwater fish (mud carp, grass carp) together.
- Fish (you can also use tilapia or anabas)
- Pig’s bone broth
- Water dropwort, fennel, scallion, tomato
- Ginger, dried purple onion, pepper, fish sauce, wine vinegar, while alcohol, cooking oil
- Crispy flour to fry with the fish (cover the fish)