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Monday, June 24, 2024

The rustic charm of bean porridge

By Viet An

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In the treasured memories of Hanoi locals is a dish that brings back the coziness of childhood and serves as a delicious escape from the city’s scorching days – bean porridge with tofu and pickled garden eggs.

This dish comes alive with the magic of mung beans or black beans mingling with fragrant, top-notch rice. Now, black beans might be the tough guys, taking their sweet time to cook up just perfect. Both beans get pampered, keeping their true textures intact, and they join hands with velvety rice, crafting a steamy, thick pot of pure comfort. Each porridge type boasts its own personality: mung bean with a gentle sunshine-yellow, and black bean rocking a deep reddish-brown, like a cozy earth tone.

The best part? This porridge doesn’t play the seasoning game. It’s like a blank canvas ready to be jazzed up with toppings bursting with flavor.

Tofu takes the lead here, the maestro behind the rich flavors. Cut into hearty chunks, it takes a dip in the sizzling oil until it gets that crisp high-five texture. Then, it’s on to a fish sauce and green onion soak – a marinade that’s a flavor fiesta. And the starlet alongside? Pickled garden eggs, a little tangy, a little salty, and a lot irresistible. If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s a support squad too: salted eggs and pickled radish step up to the plate.

Now picture this: the toppings doing a happy dance on a piping hot bowl of porridge. The result? A tantalizing medley of flavors, a symphony of taste that puts this dish on Hanoi’s culinary hall of fame.

With just a handful of humble ingredients, a sprinkle of chef’s love, and a dash of culinary artistry, bean porridge with tofu and pickled garden eggs charms diners from the very first bite.

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