While Hà Nội is famous for its bún chả (vermicelli with grilled pork and fresh herbs), the southern province of Bạc Liêu is well known nationwide for its bún bò cay (spicy beef noodle soup) which foodies say is their magical dish.
A seller named Ánh Nguyệt, at one of Bạc Liêu’s top most tasty shops in Ward 5’s Cao Văn Lầu Street, said her father-in-law started the job nearly 50 years ago, making him one of the longest-running vendors in the province.
The dish has strongly attracted locals and foodies, but after that, it has become an indispensable dish for visitors and travellers in the province, Nguyệt said.
|Many foodies visit Bạc Liêu to enjoy spicy beef noodle soup. — Photo danviet.vn|
For a tasty dish, Nguyệt uses beef bones stewed overnight for a concentrated but fragrant broth.
Nguyệt said she uses corn beef and beef tendons cut to about the size of two knuckles, marinated in orange juice with cashews and turmeric powders, ginger, garlic, minced curry seeds, broth mix and a bit of salt.
It is left for an hour before being fried for a few minutes. Crushed-up citronella and coconut juice are poured into the mix before it is cooked over a fire until the beef turns soft.
|Ingredients of the dish include beef, noodles, chilli and many others. — Photo mucwomen. com|
Buffalo-horn red chilli plays an important part in the dish because its spicy and its colour makes the dish famous for having its special flavour, she said, adding that the chilli is cut into two parts to get out all of its seeds, grind it well before putting it in a bowl and pouring it into the cooked beef.
The dish is more enjoyable when eaten with basil and coriander and dipped in salt mixed with chilli pieces and lemon juice, she said.
|Foodies say bún bò cay at Ánh Nguyệt Shop is the tastiest dish in Bạc Liêu. — Photo toquoc.vn|
A friend of mine from HCM City, Trần Nguyên Ngọc, said he enjoyed the dish so much, particularly when dipping a fragrant and soft beef meat piece into the sauce.
“I feel its greasy, spicy and lightly sour, an unforgettable flavour of this western river region that those living far from the province felt missing or craving," Ngọc said, wishing that the dish would be preserved so as guests and travellers to the province can enjoy it.
”I like the spicy from the dish so much, although my tears turn out and when he ends the bowl my sweat is out a lot, making me have a healthy feeling full of energy to continue discovering the Bạc Liêu Province.”
|A spicy bowl of beef noodles. — Photo travel.com.vn|
Seller Nguyệt said she is very happy because her grown-up children have agreed to join her to carry out the job handed down by their grandfather. They have awareness of the importance of preserving the job that has helped to feed all family members but also a speciality of the region.
“My children (our third generation) do the job very well. I now only act as a supervisor to maintain the dish’s quality,” she said. VNS