Five and below: Hue snacks edition

By Thi Quan    August 30, 2020 | 03:40 pm GMT+7

Bot loc cakes, rice porridge and sweet soups costing VND5,000 ($0.22) and below are some must-try street food delicacies when visiting the former imperial town of Hue.

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Made of tapioca flour, pork, and herbs, ep cake is a popular treat among tourists visiting Hue in central Vietnam. Typically, vendors prepare balls of flour containing meat fillings and fry on order using an oiled cast-iron press. For even more flavor, add quail eggs to your cake. Depending on whether you want a crispy or soft texture, the vendor will adjust the clamp pressure accordingly.

The price starts at VND2,000 to VND3,000 for a regular-sized cake and VND5,000 for a larger one. You can find the snack at 20 Nguyen Du Street, 1 Van Cao Street, 101 Ba Trieu Street, 116 Le Ngo Cat Street, and 73 Tung Thien Vuong Street.

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Bot loc is a clear-looking, chewy dumpling made of tapioca or rice flour. Bare bot loc cake (left) is a renowned Hue specialty with a shrimp and mung bean filling. Hue locals specifically named it bare bot loc to distinguish it from bot loc wrapped and cooked in banana and dong leaves. The inside bursts with flavor while the outside is chewy, making bare bot oc an irresistible snack when sprinkled with freshly chopped scallions on top and dipped in fish sauce.

With its unique and fresh taste duc cake (right) is another long-time favorite. The dish comes in different sizes and prices, for a happy medium settle for the VND5,000 "size". Many stalls along Nguyen Lo Trach Street, Cong Market and Kim Long Market serve this cake.

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If you prefer a crunchy texture, look for the fried bot loc cake vendor on Thach Han Street. A plate of ten crispy bot loc cakes is a bargain at VND5,000. The kiosk is usually packed in the afternoon so come earlier in the day for good seating.

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The 23-year-old eatery that sells an assortment of fried breads in front of Tran Quoc Toan Elementary School on Lam Mong Quang Street is a famous spot amongst locals for its affordability, delectable treats, and variety.

Fried buns and pate chaud pastries cost VND5,000 each, sesame hollow donuts VND3,000, and sesame breads with mung bean VND3,000. You can either order out or directly eat the treats on small red chairs nearby while observing the bustling scene.

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Visitors can additionally stroll around local markets to bump into mobile vendors selling fried doughy breads and sweet goods priced around VND3,000 to VND5,000.

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Red sticky rice made with gac, a perennial melons, is an irresistible treat when served with coconut shavings and sesame oil.

Start with the universal size VND5,000 and buy more portions if you’re still hungry. Go on an adventurous search for small eateries and mobile vendors around Kim Long, Mai, No, Cong markets and along Nguyen Lo Trach Street.

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Rice porridge is a staple breakfast for Hue locals. The traditional dish has a light, refreshing taste but is packed with nutrients. Ingredients include brown rice, goby or stewed pufferfish for protein. The porridge is cooked on a charcoal stovetop for many hours and is constantly monitored by the cook to ensure the optimal flavor and texture. The fish stew is rich but not burnt and tastes the best when eaten with a bit of chili.

With VND5,000, you can enjoy a hearty bowl of porridge at the following locations: the park behind the provincial library on Le Quy Don Street, end of Ben Ngu Bridge, Ho Dac Di Railway, Nhat Le Street, or 4 Phan Dinh Phung Street.

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A black it cake and coconut mung bean cake each cost VND2,000. However, there is a deal of three for VND5,000. Tourists can find these sweet treats at Cong, Ben Ngu, or An Cuu markets.

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Another romantic activity enjoyed by tourists and locals alike is sitting next to Thien Mu Pagoda and relishing in bean curd while contemplating the scenic view of Huong (Perfume) River and Vong Canh Hill. A bowl of this delicious dessert costs VND5,000.

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Hue is considered the capital of sweet soups and jelly desserts, with mung bean, soaked pineapple chunks, and coconut milk for merely VND5,000 per cup. Look for the dessert in small markets, Cong Market, along Nguyen Lo Trach Street, and visit Lieu’s eatery on Thach Han Street.

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Caramel flans (left) are widely sold at Dong Ba and Cong markets for VND4,000. Some vendors run a promotion where you get a discounted price of VND35,000 ($1.5) if you buy ten. To-go mung bean and corn sweet soups conveniently pre-packed are also sold at these markets for VND3,000 per bag.

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Juice and flavored milk are also sold at VND5,000 in small alleys, markets, and random nooks and crannies across the town. From left to right: salted lemonade, passion fruit juice, glutinous rice wine, and pumpkin milk.

Another Hue staple is chewy and stretchy giay cake made of tapioca and rice flour with a mung bean filling and drizzled with fried onion and oil. The treat tastes best when dipped in sesame salt. Giay cake is sold for VND2,500 at Alley 29 on Hung Vuong Street.

Another Hue staple is chewy and stretchy giay cake made of tapioca and rice flour with a mung bean filling and drizzled with fried onion and oil. The treat tastes best when dipped in sesame salt. Giay cakes are sold for VND2,500 at Alley 29 on Hung Vuong Street.

Hue was home to the Nguyen Dynasty, Vietnam's last royal family (1802-1945). The town owns many UNESCO-recognized heritage sites.

Photos by Tran Oi, Thi Quan

 
 
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