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Vietnam royal dishes reproduced at festival
By Bui Ngoc Long - Thanh Nien News -

Gap tu dung voi do chua: an appetizer made from shrimp paste that is seasoned with fish sauce, onion, pepper, and fat. It is skewered, steamed and then grilled. The food is eaten with fermented vegetables.

Hai sam nau voi tom ba oan va rau cu: sea cucumbers cooked with shrimp balls and vegetables. The broth is stewed with marine specialties like peanut worms and noble scallops for 24 hours to achieve its desirable flavors without the addition of seasonings.

Banh khoai tia and banh ke: the former is made from the specialty rice flour of the town’s Huong Can Village and purple yam. Its filling consists of shrimp, pork, bamboo sprouts, and peziza (a kind of large fungi). The latter has vegetarian filling with mung bean, tofu and wild shiitake mushroom. It is made from Hue’s millets which are considered as the best in Vietnam.

Goi ga Hue: a salad made from chicken, glass noodles cooked from mung beans, pork sausage, chicken egg, and pork, all shredded. It is topped with sesame seeds, peanuts and rice crackers. Dipping sauce is thick chicken broth.

Vit long – xoi hong: boneless duck stuffed with chicken innards, eggs and peziza. The duck is wrapped in pandan leaves and steamed together with sticky rice.

Banh mau phap lam: a sweet rice cake made with water melon and melon seeds. The dessert, which has almost disappeared from Hue people’s meals, is served with tea.

Six dishes that were traditionally served at royal meals of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) were reproduced at the ongoing Festival Hue in the central town on Tuesday.
The royal meal was part of a gala called “Royal Palace By Night,” and served more than 600 people who paid VND2 million (US$94.5) for admission. The second night was scheduled on this Saturday.
Phan Thanh Hai, director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Center, said the dishes were cooked by artisan Ho Thi Hoang Anh, the successor of Ho Van Ta, head of a cooking team serving at the end of the Nguyen Dynasty.
They were presented with their original names as being mentioned in the dynasty’s records, he said.
According to Hai, they reproduced the dishes with a hope that they would be able to make people understand properly about the royal cuisine of Hue, which was the Nguyen’s capital.
Anh, the artisan, told Thanh Nien that the meal was not about “extravagance” or “luxury,” because “we wanted participants to enjoy and experience the true tastes and the fineness of royal cuisine.”

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