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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Tasting special rice noodles in the martial land

By Viet An

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Although rice noodle is available everywhere in Vietnam, it tastes somewhat different in the central province of Binh Dinh, and is called rope-like rice noodles by the locals.

Rope-like rice noodles is a rustic dish of the martial land, and its unique flavor makes many reminisce about their hometown.

Bun day is originally from Bong Son Town, Hoai Nhon District, Binh Dinh Province. The main ingredient for the dish is rice harvested several months ago to create toughness for the noodles. A special feature in the processing stage is that after being washed, the rice is mixed with ash water to create a natural yellow color for the noodles.

Ash water is obtained from coconut firewood. The cleaner the ash water, the more naturally colored and delicious the noodle will be. After it is soaked for some 6-8 hours, rice is ground into flour. The bowl of flour is kept on a stove with low heat and a large chopstick is used to stir the flour until it gets heavy and turns yellowish. That is when the dough is cooked. This step requires a lot of strength because the dough must be stirred constantly for it to cook evenly.

The cooked dough is kneaded into small parts of an appropriate size to fit the mold of the noodles. The dough is put into the mold and pressed to flow down into small bamboo grids. The dough can be pressed twice to create tough string noodles and can be stored for a long time.

These bamboo grids are placed atop each other in the pot and steamed for some 10 minutes. When the noodles are shiny and have a golden, smooth appearance, they are ready to be served.

The rope-like rice noodles is placed on a plate. Some chives and oil are spread evenly and crushed peanuts are sprinkled atop the noodle. The toughness of the rope-like rice noodles, coupled with the aroma of the chili garlic fish sauce creates a unique flavor. Diners can enjoy the dish with fresh vegetables.

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