Feast on a fiver: Hue less than 50 cents

By Vo Thanh    November 29, 2019 | 04:06 am PT
For just five dollars, visitors to the central town of Hue, Vietnam’s former imperial capital, can try out many traditional foods, each costing just VND10,000 (43 cents).

Oyster rice

Oyster rice and noodles

Oyster rice or oyster noodles are must-try dishes in Hue. For the traditional Hue taste, add rousong, pork rind, peanuts, and chili and mix them with slices of star fruit, pickled cabbage and fresh herbs.

Con Hen (Hen Dune) in Vy Da Ward, situated in the middle of the Huong (Perfume) River, is where these famous dishes are sold for VND10,000 (43 cents). On Han Mac Tu Street near Dap Da bridge are also a number of places selling oyster rice and noodles. One famous eatery is O Xe, which has been selling them for 25 years.


Hue che

Hue sweet soups 

Hue is well-known for che in various flavors like green beans, fruits and corn or all mixed together. A bowl costs VND8,000-10,000 (34-43 cents).

In the town's center, on Tran Hung Dao and Hung Vuong streets, many roadside stalls offer this unique Hue dessert late at night.


Banh canh Nam Pho

Nam Pho thick noodle soup

There is Nam Pho banh canh (thick noodle soup) originating in Nam Pho Village, 5 kilometers from Hue's center. The thick noodles, made by the village women using their own recipe, are brought to Hue streets to sell at around 1 p.m. daily. It has a rich broth made of fresh crabs and shrimps.

Thuy stall on Pham Hong Thai Street is considered among the best, and there it costs VND10,000 (43 cents) for a bowl.


Banh ram it

Sticky rice dumplings

The traditional dumplings are locally called banh ram it. It is made of glutinous rice with ground shrimp and pork fillings and a crunchy pancake underneath. It is best eaten by dipping in spicy fish sauce

A plate costs VND10,000 (43 cents), and it is available in many streets including Pham Hong Thai in the center of Hue.


Banh bot loc

Tapioca dumplings

Also on Pham Hong Thai Street is another Hue specialty - tapioca dumplings, known as banh bot loc. It has two versions, with a bean filling for vegetarians and shrimp mixed with pork for carnivores.

There are four dumplings to a dish, best eaten with fish sauce and sliced chili, and it costs VND10,000 (43 cents) a plate.

Other famous dumpling varieties in Hue include banh beo or water fern cake, banh nam or flat rice dumpling and banh uot or steamed rice sheets.

Hue, in central Vietnam, is 700 km (435 miles) to the south of Hanoi and 1,100 km (684 miles) to the north of Ho Chi Minh City. It was the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 - 1945), Vietnam's last royal family, and is home to five UNESCO heritages.

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