By Nguyễn Thanh Hà
Like many Vietnamese living and working abroad, Nguyễn Ngọc Lâm, who lives in Denmark, dearly miss traditional dishes like bún chả, phở and bún vịt măng. But for him, nothing can compare to bún vịt măng (rice noodle soup with duck meat and fresh or dried bamboo).
Bún vịt măng , a must-try dish in Hà Nội. Photo toplist.vn
Though the dish is available nationwide, the most delicious version is cooked by Hanoians, Lâm said, adding those cooked by his mother are among the best.
Lâm had fond memories of enjoying bowls of bún vịt măng made by his mother and learnt from her to make a version of his own.
“I learned her technique to cook the dish at my home in Denmark, but the flavour is somehow different,” Lâm said.
Lâm’s mother Trần Thị Hinh said to cook the dish she needs a duck raised naturally from six months and up.
“This kind of duck meat is fragrant and soft but crispy compared with others," she said.
A secret to making the duck tastier is to soak it with white wine, salt, lemon juice, and ginger before putting it in a boiling water pot under medium fire.
“During the process of boiling, we should put pieces of salt, ginger and citronella in the pot. These ingredients help the boiled duck have fragrant characteristics,” Hinh said.
The dish is a feast for the mouth, eyes and nose . Photo toplist.vn
Fresh or dried bamboo should be cut to five-centimetre pieces and boiled for an hour before frying it with dried onions until it's well mixed with fish sauce, sugar, and spice. The fried bamboo and boiled duck blood pieces are then put in the broth pot over a light fire, Hinh said.
“The dish being tasty or not depends greatly on the broth which is cooked with duck bones, ginger and other spices,” she said.
The final stage is to pour the broth in a bowl of rice noodles which is topped with duck meat pieces, fresh onions and eryngiums, she said, noting the dish is tastier when topped with pepper powders.
Lâm said he had a very good appetite when dipping a piece of duck meat in the mixed sauce made of ginger, garlic and Phú Quốc fish sauce.
“It’s great to enjoy the crispy bamboo, sweet broth and aromatic fragrance of ginger,” Lâm said, adding that all tiredness seemed to be gone after eating a hot bowl of bún vịt măng.
An attractive plate of boiled duck meat, one important ingredient of bún vịt măng. Photo toplist.vn
Different from Lâm who enjoys the dish cooked by his mother, Bùi Hồng Anh from the northern province of Quảng Ninh like bún vịt măng from shops in central Hà Nội.
“When I have work in the capital city I often enjoy eating at these shops because the dish there is super tasty that I can eat it instead of my meal.
"The duck meat is firm, less fatty and fragrant while the bamboo is soft and crispy,” Anh said, adding that she feels quite healthy after eating the dish. VNS
You can sample the dish in Hà Nội at:
+ Lan Béo rice noodle soup with duck and bamboo
Address: 42 Nguyễn Công Trứ Street
Opening hours: 6am-2pm
Price: from VNĐ30,000- 50,000 per bowl
+ Huyền Anh shop
Address: 39 Nguyễn Du Street
Opening hours: 7am-10pm
Price: ranging from VNĐ20,000 to 60,000 per bowl
+ Minh Phúc shop
Address: 195 Đại La Street
Opening hours: 7am-11pm
Price: VNĐ50,000 per bowl
+ Hiền rice noodle soup with duck meat and bamboo shop
Address: 8 Lĩnh Nam Road
Opening hours: 4pm-11:30pm
Price: VNĐ40,000 -50,000 per bowl
+ Văn Chiến shop
Address: 326 Bà Triệu Street
Opening hours: 10:30am-2pm and 4:30pm-8pm
Price: VNĐ25,000 to VNĐ 45,000 per bowl