Vietnam Time

10/11/2017 9:56:57 AM

Childhood nostalgic with Hanoi's street food

Cotton cady, fried ball-cake are a few among many of Hanoi street cuisines which remind tourists and local residents of their dreamy childhood.

Bánh rán (fried rice ball)

Bánh rán is a deep-fried glutinous rice ball, a popular dish in northern Vietnam. In Vietnamese language, bánh refers to a category of food including cakes, pies, and pastries, while rán means "fried." Its outer shell is made from glutinous rice flour, and covered all over with white sesame seeds.

Bánh rán - a popular street dish in Vietnam (photo: Phi Yen)

Its filling is made from sweetened mung bean paste, and scented with jasmine flower essence.

Traditionally, the filling should be separated from the shell so that if one shakes the bánh rán, one can feel the filling rattling against the inside of the shell. Many of Hanoi children keep this kind of sweet gift in memory.

In the past, bánh rán used to be a reward from parents to children for their good performance at school.

Surgar cotton candy

Wandering around Hanoi’s Old quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, you can easily catch the sight of cotton candy made on bikes. The candy is called ‘kẹo bông gòn’ in Vietnamese which is a form of spun sugar confection with dashes of colour and flavour which change from place to place.

Cotton Candy sold on a street of Hanoi (source: Hanoi Times)

However, like other countries, in Vietnam, the candy is made by heating and liquefying sugar and spinning it out through a minute hole with a centrifuge. Once in air, thin molten sugar strands re-solidify as cotton candy, which mostly contains air.

It is sold on a stick or in a poly bag. The machines in Vietnam are small and automatically produce single-servings of sugar cotton candy in which the spinning head moves at a speed of several thousand rounds per minute. Most tourists have Vietnamese sugar ball candy to recall their childhood experience.

Kẹo kéo (stretch candy)

This candy made from malt, peanuts, sesame. The seller pull it until the length of the rods is exceedingly perfect, he later cuts the rob of candy by hand, which creates pleasant sound.

A phase in making

A phase in making  (source: Hanoi Times)

Now the candy has become pretty sticky with fragrant smell from nuts and sesame. Seemingly, the longer it takes to finish the 'product', the more excitement it brings to the awaiting customers.

Nowadays, children hardly have chance to taste this sweet candy, but it is still available somewhere in the city, for example, on Hanoi’s night market.

Cháo sườn - rib porridge

Spare rib porridge is made of two main ingredients: white rice and spare ribs. The ribs are first stewed for one hour. The chef then takes them out, put the rice in the broth and cook until it turns into porridge. Next, the ribs are deboned before being put back into the porridge pot.

Rib porridge (source: Hanoi Times)

A perfect bowl of spare rib porridge is the combination between the sweetness of the broth, thanks to the essence extracted from ribs, which are stewed for hours, and the tenderness of the pork and porridge.

Lingering in many Hanoian childhood’s memory, rib porridge is served as the “afternoon-meal” after school  for them.  

Tràng Tiền ice cream

Kem Tràng Tiền is nothing fancy but everything about it is extraordinary. Lying on Trang Tien Street (Hanoi), the ice cream shop has been well-known for more than half of century.

Trang Tien ice cream is well known for its special flavour, which a number of Hanoi generations have a passion for. Visitors who once have a chance to visit Hanoi and taste Trang Tien ice cream will never forget the distinctive feature of Hanoi’s culinary culture: standing to enjoy ice-cream.

Trang Tien Ice Cream (source: Hanoi Times)

There are no chairs; people eating ice-cream on Trang Tien Street have to stand and enjoy the cool and sweet flavour melting on their tongue. Despite the inconvenience, a lot of people come here every day.

Trang Tien ice cream is famous for the wide variety of flavors, including green bean, chocolate, young glutinous rice, and milk, which are sweet and delicious.

Since its first appearance in 1958, Trang Tien ice cream has maintained its reputation thanks to the distinctive quality and flavors. Despite its fame, the price is very reasonable —everyone can enjoy it.

Trang Tien ice cream parlor is always crowded with people, especially in the afternoon. People queue up from outside to buy ice cream.

Not only Hanoians, but also people from other provinces and foreigners have a habit of eating ice cream when dropping in Trang Tien Street. Hanh, another shop keeper added “Customers vary. Small children, pupils, students and adults are very fond of Trang Tien ice cream”.

Trang Tien ice-cream attracts not only Hanoians but also other visitors because of its simple but unique flavour. Being asked about her feelings about Trang Tien ice cream, Julie Gaunt, a 22-year-old lady from the UK, said, she enjoyed it a lot.

"I was so curious, then queued in the line and enjoyed it with everyone. The ice-cream is very tasty and the way of eating it is so special”, she said.

The British lady comes here to enjoy ice cream whenever she has free time./.

  ( VNF/Hanoi Times )
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