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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Find Hue’s distinctive flavor in this dish

By Lam Nhu

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Food lovers will find it hard to resist the baby clam vermicelli —a signature dish from Hue City, a combination of soft baby clams, roasted peanuts and local herbs

Baby clam is the main ingredient of many specialties in Hue City. The best baby clams can be found near Hen (Baby clam) islet in the Perfume River in Hue City. According to local residents, baby clams from the islet used to be the food of the kings.

Baby clam vermicelli is similar to baby clam rice that is also popular in Hue. However, for this version, rice is replaced by vermicelli.

Fresh baby clams are soaked in cold water with some slices of chili or drops of vinegar to remove the sand and mud. Then, the cook boils them to easily take their flesh out of the shells. The flesh is cleared with salt and vinegar once more to erase the stink.

Herbs are an indispensable part of the specialty and include fresh mint, parsley, banana flower and water spinach, to name but a few.

A bowl of baby clam vermicelli is topped with herbs, crispy pork rinds, some special local chili sauce, and the star of the dish: fried baby clams. The dish is served with a small bowl of broth made by boiling baby clams and a small bowl of shrimp paste or fish sauce.

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