Sau (Dracontomelon) is a common fruit in Hanoi. Giving a special sour taste, it is an indispensable ingredient of many Hanoi’s specialties like rice vermicelli soup with baby back pork ribs and sau fruit.
The ingredients of this Hanoian specialty include baby back pork ribs, broth, sau fruits and herbs, among others. Like many other dishes, the quality of the ingredients will make or break this Hanoian specialty. And among them, the local fruit plays the most important role.
Making the dish is not difficult, Hanoians say so. Well, they say it takes about an hour to finish the cooking. First, baby back pork ribs will be cleaned and seasoned with some spices. Then, the ribs are stir-fried together with some minced shallots and tomatoes. Next, the three ingredients are stewed to obtain the broth.
In the final step, it is the turn of sau fruits. The fruits are added to and boiled in the broth for 15 or 20 minutes. If you are not sure, keep boiling them until they become soft. To hasten this phase, make some incisions into the fruits before putting them into the broth.
A bowl of rice vermicelli soup should contain baby back pork ribs, sau fruits and tomatoes. Minced green onions and chilies enhance the overall flavor. It is also served with fresh herbs and fish sauce.