Ninh Binh is famous for its mountain goat meat (meaning ‘De’ in Vietnamese) and crispy rice (meaning ‘Com Chay’ in Vietnamese). Local people in Ninh Binh province are really good at cooking when they skillfully create many delicious dishes from mountain-raised goats in their home area. Tam Coc has some good restaurants catering to foreign tourists than Ninh Binh city, serving both Vietnamese and Western dishes.
Different from goats in other regions, Ninh Binh goats grow on rock mountains so the meat is much more delicious than goat raised on hills in other provinces. Moreover, Ninh Binh people have their own secret in processing goat meat into many special dishes.
If you have chance to visit this area, take a menu and you will see long list of strange and unique dishes, each of which has its own unforgettable flavor. This kind of goat meat is prepared in many attractive ways such as: rare goat meat mixed with lemon (dê tái chanh), stir-fried goat meat (dê tái lăn), lemongrass and coconut goat, steam goat meat, grilled goat brisket, goat hotpot, goat gruel and roasted goat.
- Place to eat: Truong Yen Restaurant, Truong Yen, Hoa Lu
Burned cooked rice (Com Chay)
This dish is made from cooked rice sliced into round shapes. After cooled down, the round slices are soaked into hot oil pan until they turn yellow. Beef and pig’s heart and kidney are crushed into thin slices and mixed with spices and ingredients like tomato, carrot, onion and mushroom. Then the mixture is well-fried and put into the Com Chay bowl.
- Place to eat: Burned Cooked Rice Huong Mai
Another specialty visitors should try when they come to Ninh Binh is eel vermicelli noodle. The main ingredient of this dish is eel. Turning eels into good dishes is quite challenging and requires experience. High quality eels are small eels that are strong , fat and still fresh. They have brown-pink backs and yellow bellies. Besides main ingredient, banana flower and vermicelli are other important elements. Banana flower should be fresh and ripe. Vermicelli must be made from high quality phrynium fruits and are small, pure threads.
- Place to eat: Eel Vermicelli, Ms. Phan
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