Top 12 Ninh Binh Cuisine - Far East Tour Travel Guides

Besides its long-standing historical values, Ninh Binh ancient capital is not only famous for beautiful natural landscapes, but also for its special cuisine, that you can’t find anywhere else. You simply cannot resist the unique Ninh Binh specialties!

1. Ninh Binh Burnt Rice 

It is not a fancy dish, it is just burnt rice made from rice with a unique flavor. 

According to an old tale, Ninh Binh burnt rice was created in the late 19th century under the French colonial period. At that time, in Ninh Binh, there was a young man named Dinh Hoang Thang who worked for a Chinese restaurant. While working at this restaurant, this young man has learned a lot of secret recipes of making Chinese food. Since then, he has used his genius brain to create a new dish, which is burnt rice.
Ninh Binh burnt rice

Goat meat is also an extremely popular food in Ninh Binh, so local people combined burnt rice with goat meat. They usually dip goat meat into their special sweet sauce that embraces the flavor of the crunchy rice and the meat.

2. Goat Meat 

Another popular dish is made from the mountain goat meat, which is one the most outstanding dishes of Ninh Binh cuisine. To make a delicious finished product must go through a lot of stages, the new quality eliminates all odors. This dish is often served with herbs, fruits and ginger sauce.
grilled goat meat
There are many specialty goat mountain restaurants in Ninh Binh city with the variations in the way of serving a multitude of attractive goat dishes such as grilling, steaming or stir-fried with wine. Perhaps, the undercooked goat meat with lime (De Tai Chanh) is the most popular dish that every restaurant recommends to their customers. Because it carries the full sweetness of fresh goat meat without being overwhelmed by other spices. De Tai Chanh must use fresh meat, then slices thinly to mix with the sauce of lemon, ginger, chili, lemongrass, lime leaves, lime juice. It is served with fig leaves, unripe bananas, star fruit and other ingredients, especially, it must be dipped into soy sauce to be completed.

Read more: An excursion to Ninh Binh in the ripen rice season

3. Kim Son Swarm Eel Spring Roll (Goi Ca Nhech Kim Son)

This swarm eel spring roll look a little bit scary to some people, but the flavor is what make it stand out. Fish to make salad must be fresh and big with dark blue dot at its back. The process of making fish salad is very meticulous and sophisticated. A tasty swarm eel to make salad cannot have the fishy taste or smell when eating. It would be better when you combine with a crunchy piece of burned rice, the sour taste of vinegar, the warm spicy taste of ginger, pepper, chili, lemongrass from dipping sauce. If you have the opportunity to visit Ninh Binh, you definitely need to try this dish once!
Goi ca nhech Kim Son

4. Mountain Snails

This is an emerging specialty of Ninh Binh. This species is rare and hard to catch because they live only in rocky holes and only available in the rainy season. Mountain snails live in caves, so it is difficult to detect, in order to catch them, people have to get up early when snails come out of the cave searching for food. However, the mountain snail meat is very firm, crunchy and sweet. Some people say that it (somehow) smells like Chinese medicine. They can be cooked into many dishes such as grilled, stir-fried with tamarind, boiled lemongrass, steamed, mixed salad. Each style is good in different way. 
mountain snail

5. Nem Yên Mạc

Coming to Yen Mac, you will have the opportunity to try the famous a unique spring rolls made from pork. The ingredients of spring rolls are simple but sophisticated in the way they make. Pork spring roll is attractive due to its pink color of pork skin, thin slices pork, powder and other spices. It goes well with guava or fig leaves and dipping fish sauce.
Nem Yen Mac

6. Eel Vermicelli (Mien Luon)

In addition to the above names, eel vermicelli is also known by many people when they mention about Ninh Binh. Unlike other places, eel to make vermicelli is selected carefully, only one type of eel-the one with brown back (local people call them Com Eel), smaller comparing to other types of eel but it has strong and fragrant meat. Mien Luon are often served with sliced banana flowers to reduce the fishy taste of eel. Many people who first enjoy this dish, expect to return a second time. 
Eel vermicelli

7. Sweet and Sour Anabas Soup 

This dish is a classic family dish of the Truong Trung valley in Ninh Binh. This dish can be found in some family style restaurant across the country, but here, local people choose their ingredients very carefully from choosing the big perch and cooking method. The typical flavor of this dish is light sour and sweet, freshly taste of tomatoes and tofu, and especially, the sweetness of fish. All of these things combine together, making it hard to resist.

8. Roasted Crab with Piper Lolot leaves

Roasted crab with piper lolot leaves is a familiar country-flavored dish among tourists when traveling here. Fatty field crabs, accompanied with shredded piper lolot leaves, create an extremely special flavor. Although it used to be just a simple dish in poor rural areas, nowadays it has become a specialty that many tourists cannot refuse.  
roasted crab

The crabs grown wildly are carefully “made”, the leaves are washed, and then the two main ingredients are roasted together follow a certain recipe. Because of using field crabs, this dish gives you a lot of surprises by the crispy taste of crabs combined with the typical aroma of piper lolot leaves. This dish pairs really well with hot rice.

9. To Nhu Noodle 

To Nhu Noodle consists of vermicelli, meat balls, raw vegetable and broth. It sounds simple but the process of making this dish must be very careful from selecting ingredients. Especially, in the way of cooking and eating are not like other places. Bun and meat balls are separated into different plates, depending on your favor to choose the amount of food you can eat. If you have the opportunity to visit Phat Diem church in Ninh Binh, do not miss this unique noodle dish.

10. Braised Fish with Nauclea Orientalis (cá kho gáo)

Nauclea Orientalis is a species of tree in the family of Rubiaceae that often grows near streams or foothills. In addition to medicinal effects, it is also used for cooking. The fruit is sour, slightly sweet and aromatic, so it is often used to cook sour soup instead of tamarind or dracontomelon, and it stands at the most important place in making delicious braised fish dish. The special taste, non-fatty and non-fishy flavor and attractive smell of the fish and spices have created a famous specialty for this land.
braised fish

11. Ninh Binh Floating Cake (Banh troi)

It will be a shame without mentioning Ninh Binh floating cake. Made from very common ingredients from molasses, dried peanuts chopped with chrysanthemum leaves, Ninh Binh floating cake is quite special with a cool, light sweet aroma of the leaves and grapefruit flowers that will leave a deep impression in your heart.
floating cake

12. Nho Quan Ant Eggs Sticky Rice

Nho Quan is a hilly area with limestone mountains, where the habitat of brown ants is located. Using ant eggs to cook is quite strange to many people, especially, foreigners who normally don’t consider ant as their food. Local people catch ant eggs to wash by warm water, drain, marinate and then stir-fry with sliced onion. After the sticky rice is steamed, they sprinkle the fried eggs on top and mix them up. So, that is how it’s done. It can be said that Nho Quan ant eggs sticky rice is a special gift that nature favors for this beautiful ancient capital.
ant eggs sticky rice

If you have chance to visit Ninh Binh which owns many fascinating locations such as Tam Coc, Trang An Complex or Bai Dinh, do not forget to stop by and enjoy these above fascinating specialties!

Far East Tour is happy to bring you the most comfortable services to satisfy your requests, here are few suggestions for your next trip that cover Ninh Binh in our itinerary:
1. Experience the Grand Vietnam in 3 weeks package
2. Explore the North of Vietnam in 10 Days Package
3. Package holiday to Vietnam through leisure Itinerary in 7 Days

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