Bún ốc, escargot vermicelli soup, is a homespun dish in Hanoi. To some, nothing is better than enjoying a bowl of spicy escargot vermicelli soup in cold weather in the capital city.
Fresh escargot is the ingredient deciding how delicious the soup becomes. Escargots must be soaked in water overnight to remove all their mucus and other substances. They then will be boiled to easily take out flesh from their shells. However, be careful with this seemingly simply stage as overboil them and the escargots will become too chewy. The broth from boiled escargots can be combined with the broth by boiled pork bones to enhance the sweet taste for the dish.
Aside from escargot and vermicelli, tofu, green onions and tomatoes are indispensable. Especially, wine vinegar is one of the ingredients which makes the dish tastier. The combination of the sweetness of broth and the light sour taste of wine vinegar delivers an interesting cuisine delight to diners.
An ideal bowl of escargot vermicelli soup should be served with some shrimp paste, stir-fried minced chilies and herbs including banana flower and water spinach.
When enjoying the dish, diners can feel the crunchy escargots, the taste of fresh herbs, the sweetness of the broth and the sour taste of wine vinegar all together.
Food lovers can take delight of Hanoi’s specialty in some eateries in Saigon.
By Lam Nhu