7 famous specialties of Ninh Binh you should try

by Lam Pham

Ninh Binh specialties have never disappointed visitors! This place not only possesses magnificent landscapes, but the rich culinary culture of the ancient capital is also extremely impressive. Let’s explore what Ninh Binh specialties have with Karst Plateau.

1. Overview of Ninh Binh

This place not only possesses majestic natural landscapes but also extremely rich food culture

Ninh Binh is a northern province of Vietnam with great potential in the tourism industry.  Ninh Binh is blessed with majestic natural landscapes and historical relics such as Tam Coc, Bich Dong, Trang An Bai Dinh, Tam Chuc Pagoda, the historic ancient capital of Hoa Lu, etc. In addition, Ninh Binh is also famous for its attractive and diverse cuisine prepared by the skillful hands of indigenous residents.

When you come to Ninh Binh, don’t forget to enjoy the delicious dishes here. Ninh Binh’s food is very diverse, from restaurant dishes to street food dishes that are not only delicious and of high quality but also very affordable.

2. Ninh Binh Mountain Goat Meat

This is a very popular dish among tourists and locals

The rock mountains of Ninh Binh are an advantage for goats to be raised and give delicious meat to goats raised on hills in other provinces. Furthermore, Ninh Binh’s local people have their secret in processing goat meat into many special dishes. Especially, goat meat is prepared in many attractive ways such as rare goat meat mixed with lemon, stir-fried goat meat, lemongrass, and coconut goat.

This dish is nutritious and attractive because it comes with many fresh herbs that are very good for balancing human health.

3. Grilled Banana Fish

This is a specialty dish not to be missed when coming to Ninh Binh

This particular banana fish lives in flooded caves, famous as a specialty that fascinates many visitors here. With a slim body and delicious sweet meat, banana fish after grilling on a charcoal stove will sprinkle with a layer of fragrant onion and onion fat. It is common to lay this dish on a small plate, accompanied by a bit of vermicelli and herbs, along with roasted peanuts and a rich dipping sauce that must be said to be wonderfully delicious.

4. Eel Vermicelli

The famous eel vermicelli specialty is often enjoyed by Ninh Binh people in the early morning

The next Ninh Binh specialty you should try is eel vermicelli, featuring a broth made from eel bones and ribs that creates a sweet, naturally fatty, and rich taste. The eels used in this dish are nuggets with a pink-brown back and dark yellow belly. You will savor fragrant and fatty eel meat, which, although small, is quite firm and delicious. Eating this dish with shredded banana flowers enhances its flavor, making it a famous specialty of this region.

5. Mountain Snail

You have to come at the right time to have the opportunity to enjoy this special dish

You must have tried quite a few types of sea snails and rivers, etc, but with Ninh Binh mountain snails, surely few people have tried it. Mountain snails are often located in the limestone caves of Tam Diep. Enjoying this dish is not easy because mountain snails only come out from April to August. And the rest of the time they lie deep in the rocks.

To eat this unique delicacy, you must come at the right time to have the opportunity to enjoy it. With its crispy chewy snail taste natural sweetness, and occasional medicinal taste, you will be attracted to just eating a simple steamed snail. You can also process snails into salads, steamed ginger, stir-fried tamarind, etc.

6. Nhech Fish Salad

This is a delicious and famous dish for the indigenous people of Kim Son – Ninh Binh

Nhech Fish salad is a delicious and famous dish for the indigenous people of Kim Son, Ninh Binh. The salad is prepared delicately and meticulously, going through many stages to remove the fishy smell of the fish and give the fish a sweet taste mixed with the aroma of sticky rice.

Nhech Fish salad can be eaten with leaves such as star fruit leaves, apricot leaves, guava leaves, polyscias leaves, fig leaves, etc. Add a little fish, some herbs, and a little chili sauce, and wrap it up to dip in the Cheo sauce or sweet and sour fish sauce, you can fully enjoy the delicious, sweet, fatty taste combined with an unforgettable richness. The Cheo sauce is made from crispy fried fish bones, crushed and cooked together with pickles, pork belly, eggs, and other spices.

7. Ant egg sticky rice

This is a famous specialty in Ninh Binh that you should experience

Another breakfast dish not to be missed when you have the opportunity to visit Ninh Binh is the unique ant egg sticky rice that is rare anywhere. Young ant eggs, after being retrieved in the limestone mountains of Nho Quan and Ninh Binh, will be washed preliminarily, then seasoned and stir-fried to put on sticky rice. Just taste a tablespoon of ant egg sticky rice and you will fall in love with this dish with the aromatic fatty taste of onion fat, ant eggs are strange, and sticky rice is smooth.

8. Yen Mac Fermented Pork Roll

The origin of Yen Mac spring rolls comes from the Hue royal spring rolls of the Nguyen Dynasty

Yen Mac, a mountainous town to the south of Ninh Binh is the famous place for this fascinating fermented pork roll. It has a light pink color and a sour, sweet, salty, and spicy taste. This used to be a favorite high-class food of the Vietnamese King. It is made from rustic ingredients such as pork thigh, minced pork skin, chili, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, and salt naturally fermented by tender fig or guava leaves. This special dish has a very characteristic sour, acquired sweet, garlicky, and salty taste with a nice crunch of pork rinds, particularly acrid but at the same time subtle and attractive.

9. Ninh Binh specialties you should buy as gifts

9.1 Crispy Burned Rice

It is an attractive dish that many people enjoy and buy as gifts

Burnt rice is the most delicious and popular snack in Ninh Binh. In Ninh Binh, scorched rice is made from a mixture of dry and sticky rice, unlike other scorched rice dishes. It goes through many stages of drying, and deep-frying to produce crispy, fragrant batches of elderberry. Elderberry is usually eaten with shrimp paste or stir-fried green onions, or strangely enough, with goat meat and rich dipping sauces, etc.

9.2  Kim Son Wine

When you come to Ninh Binh, you must definitely try this wine

Once you’ve savored the unique flavor of Ninh Binh’s mountain goat dishes, it’s impossible to overlook Kim Son wine. The locals of Kim Son district, Ninh Binh craft this traditional elixir. What sets Kim Son Wine apart is its use of fragrant rice and well water, resulting in an exceptionally aromatic brew. Despite its high alcohol content, Kim Son Wine remains fragrant and free from any impurities.

9.3 Water Drift Cake

In Ninh Binh, water drift cake is a traditional dish loved by many people

A delicious dish for those who like to eat sweet when coming to Ninh Binh, it is drift cake molded with rice flour, and the difference of this dish is that combined with honey sugar, peanuts create a characteristic attractive flavor.

The drift cake has a non-harsh sweetness and a gentle aroma of chamomile leaves and grapefruit flowers. The attractive round white cakes combined with the fat flesh of peanuts create a delicacy that attracts many diners.

Above are 7 famous specialties of Ninh Binh you should try that Karst Plateau shares with you. With this diverse list of dishes, we hope you will have a complete discovery of Ninh Binh with these interesting and attractive dishes. In addition, Ninh Binh has many interesting places to visit that you should not miss.

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