HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese celebrity chef Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, aka Hungazit, carefully peels off Irish langoustine and then places the firm flesh on top of a white rice sushi roll, completing his sushi creation.
The author of several favourite cookbooks in Việt Nam then prepares other flavourful dishes, including baked salmon with seaweed and sesame rice crackers, bao buns with BBQ pork, and grilled pork and apple puree – all using the seafood and pork imported from Ireland.
|Chef Hungazit presents the Irish langoustine shrimp sushi at the culinary event. — VNS Photo Thúy Hằng|
The culinary show on Wednesday at Melia Hotel in Hà Nội is part of the 'Irish Seafood & Pork Showcase' held by Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, in collaboration with the Irish Embassy in Việt Nam, to introduce the diverse and abundant Irish cuisine of sustainably produced seafood and pork.
Highlighting the natural, fresh, and high-quality European-standard flavour of Irish products, the dishes present a unique and attractive culinary experience to representatives from food companies in the restaurant and hospitality sectors.
Speaking at the event, the Ambassador of Ireland in Việt Nam, John McCullagh, said he was delighted to find familiar Irish products in Việt Nam – an Asian country that is thousands of kilometres away from his homeland.
"Ireland wishes to promote cooperation with Việt Nam regarding food export. With a long tradition of mariculture and swine production under strict EU animal welfare regulations, I hope that Irish 'green' and 'clean' quality products will emerge more in Việt Nam," he stated.
|Guests enjoy dishes prepared with Irish seafood and pork at the culinary event. — Photo courtesy of Bord Bia|
Also attending the event is the Irish Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Martin Heydon, who stressed that in Ireland's 10-year strategy for safe food development – the "Food Version 2030" – Việt Nam is considered an important food export market.
"We wish to bring high-quality food that is produced in strict compliance with regulations on sustainable production to Vietnamese consumers. Hopefully, fresh Irish pork and seafood will be more present on Vietnamese tables," he stated.
The culinary demonstration's first dish – the langoustine sushi – brings out the original fresh taste of Irish seafood.
With a favourable geographical position providing an excellent opportunity to catch many different types of seafood, including brown crab, oyster, lobster, mussels, sea shrimp, scallops and bulot snail (Irish snails), the globally-recognised Irish seafood industry exports to more than 70 countries and territories around the world, reaching 600 million euros a year.
The number of imports to the Asian market has increased significantly in recent years. The value of Irish seafood exports to Việt Nam from 2017 to 2021 increased by more than 150 per cent.
|Grilled Irish pork and apple puree, prepared by chef Hungazit. — Photo courtesy of Bord Bia|
The culinary demonstration also included two dishes from Irish pork loin, favoured for its tender and succulent texture.
With a rich tradition of producing top-quality pork, Ireland produces pork under strict EU animal welfare and food safety regulations. Ireland also implements a Pig Quality Assurance Scheme (PQAS), which has additional quality requirements and ensures the highest quality product.
According to the Southeast Asia Market Specialist at Bord Bia, Malcolm Leoi, all of Ireland's leading seafood exporters are members of Origin Green.
"Origin Green, administered by the Irish Government Food Agency, is the world's first and only national food and drink sustainability programme. Origin Green promotes sustainable production throughout all of Ireland's agricultural supply chain, which is why Irish food is world-renowned for being sustainably produced by people who care," he said. — VNS