|Lunch in Hanoi: Bun Cha.|
My Vietnamese food trail has now reached the Northern capital: Hanoi. I really liked it up there, despite the weather reminding me a little too much of England. The small streets and old town made it a great place to explore and 'progress' seems ten years behind the southern capital Saigon, in a good way.
Here's the first of a few posts I'm going to do on what I ate in the city. I only had two days there, which was just enough time to tick off the classic Hanoi dishes (and probably not all of them). The first being Bun Cha...
There are no surprises here, this dish is made up of the classic Vietnamese elements:grilled meat, basket of herbs, plate of rice noodles and broth. Plus nouc cham dipping sauce, of course.
The meat is pork: minced pork patties seasoned with fish sauce sugar and garlic, and also strips of pork belly, marinated similarly. These are sandwiched inside one of those wire racks the Vietnamese love (which i now consider essential BBQ kit) and then grilled over charcoal, often with the aid of a nearby electric fan. The result is as you'd hope: charred, caramelised smokey pork, moist on the inside.
These go in to a clear broth, sometimes with a few veggies in.
If you go to Hanoi don't miss Bun Cha. It's not hard to spot: just look for those grills, fans and wire racks.
That's about it really. Oh and the herbs: in the basket above I had perilla (red & green), some lettuce type stuff, sweet (or 'Thai') basil, and mint. All spanking fresh.
More Hanoi posts shortly.