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Typical Hanoian autumn snacks
Jenna Duong 21:41, 2023/09/26
Vong Village's green rice flakes or egg coffee are among snacks that make autumn in Hanoi even more unforgettable for its dwellers.

Hanoi in Autumn is known for its poetic beauty and unique culinary specialties, such as ripe dragon plums or dried beef salad. Here are some typical dishes to help readers explore the capital's most enchanting season.

Vong Village’s Com

 The best green sticky rice in Vietnam is said to come from Vong Village in Hanoi. Photo: Com Vong Ha Noi

Autumn in Hanoi is associated with com, or green rice flakes, which seems to have become a hallmark of Hanoi cuisine. Com is made from young glutinous rice grains that are carefully selected, roasted, and winnowed to remove all the husks. Vong Village in Dich Vong Hau Ward, Cau Giay District, is the cradle of Hanoi Com. Over time, Hanoi dwellers have come up with tasty variations on the rustic original: Com sweet dessert soup, fried com, roasted com, sticky com rice, com cakes, com bologna, bananas dipped in com.

Chili-salted toast

An invention of a Hanoian chef: Chili-salted toast. Photo: HATA 

Chili salted toast is a new favorite dish of young Hanoians. Made with simple ingredients like baguette, sausage, meat floss and chili sauce, the combination has a strong flavor that easily turns diners into addicts!

Ripe Sau

Sau Chin, or ripe Indochina dragon plums, are only available in Hanoi in the fall. Photo: Thuy Chi

After peeling, ripe Sau or Indochinese dragon plums are dipped in salt or mixed with a bit of sugar and chili powder, and that's it. The result is a delicacy. Hanoi dwellers, especially young girls, often eat this snack while reading comics or books, watching movies, or chatting with friends.

Nom bo kho

Dried beef salad is a popular snack in Hanoi. Photo: Thang Nguyen

Nom bo kho, or dried beef salad, is often recommended as a Hanoi specialty every tourist should try at least once. Despite its unknown origin, this dish has a unique taste thanks to its spices. The salad is even nicknamed "the taste of life" because it combines several flavors: sour, sweet, salty and spicy.

Old Quarter Donuts

If you visit Hanoi's Old Quarter in the crisp fall, the sweet, crunchy and aromatic donuts are a must-try snack. The two ingredients, sugar and honey, are popular and will make your stroll even sweeter.

The yummy Hanoi's donut. Photo: Linh Linh

Pho ganh

What could be more pleasurable than eating a bowl of steaming Pho or beef noodle soup on a crisp autumn day? Don't forget to sample Pho ganh or shoulder-pole beef noodle soup while exploring the city. If you don't, you will undoubtedly miss a unique gastronomic experience in Hanoi.

The simple yet unique taste of steaming hot beef noodle soup, Pho Bo, has won over many food lovers at home and abroad. Photo: Pho Ganh Hang Chieu

Banh mi Dan to

Originally, biker gang sandwiches were often served to young Hanoians who stayed out late and traders who stayed up past midnight or got up early. But thanks to its special recipe, the midnight snack has caught on and gained a huge customer base. For regular banh mi (Vietnamese baguette), ingredients such as pork, pâté, and omelets are placed piece by piece inside a baguette. Banh mi Dan to, on the other hand, is made by stir-frying all the ingredients together, making the fillings especially fragrant and appetizing.

 Vietnamese baguette. Photo: zzieff

Cha com

Hanoi's Cha com, or fried bologna with green rice flakes, is an awe-spiring blend of the golden surface's sponginess, the pork's rich sweetness, and the fragrance and chewiness of the green rice flakes inside. Perhaps that's why the dish has long characterized Hanoi's autumn.

 The Cha Com, a  Hanoi's delicacy. Photo: Linh Linh

Chao Suon

For many Hanoians, culinary pleasure on a crisp autumn day is simply sitting at a sidewalk stall, ordering a bowl of hot chao suon or pork rib congee, sipping and savoring the sweet taste mixed with crunchy cartilage. This feeling is hard to find anywhere but in Hanoi during the leaf fall season.

 The dish of Huyen Anh's Chao suon. Photo: Mon Ngon Ha Noi

Bun rieu cua with fried lard

A freshly made bowl of bun rieu cua, or crab paste vermicelli soup, draws the diner's attention to the sweet soup, the fatty fried lard, and the subtle sour taste of tomatoes and thickened vinegar. Comparable to pho and chao suon, this dish will make any traveler feel warm and fuzzy in the brisk weather.

 The dish of Rieu cua Top mo. Photo: Anh Dao

Mixed noodles

Mixed noodles are a popular fast food among young people. Not only is it convenient, but it also allows for more creative recipes than traditional noodles. Popular toppings include chicken feet, sausage, beef, or quail eggs.

 The Mi tron or mixed noodles with various toppings. Photo: Tiem Mi Nha Go

Bun ca

 Among traditional dishes, Hanoi Bun ca or fish vermicelli soup holds its own and appeals to locals as well as international tourists. It is not only food, but also a unique work of art that represents the quintessence of Vietnamese culinary culture. If you are an enthusiastic explorer of typical Hanoi delicacies, bun ca is definitely an experience not to be missed.

 The simple yet delicious dish of Bun ca. Photo: Phuong Thao

Mooncakes with com filling and coconut shavings

Mid-Autumn Festival is the highlight of the Vietnamese autumn, and mooncakes are an essential sight and taste. Com filling and coconut shavings add a new flavor to mooncakes, and tourists should definitely try one - with a cup of hot tea - to enjoy the festive atmosphere and charming tradition.

 A special dish of Hanoi: Mooncakes with young sticky rice fillings. Photo: JOIE

Trang Tien ice cream

No matter how many foreign brands invade the market, Trang Tien ice cream is a timeless Hanoi specialty that appears in the childhood memories of many citizens. A visit to Hoan Kiem Lake would be incomplete without a Trang Tien cone or popsicle, available in chocolate, vanilla, coconut milk, mung bean, green tea and durian flavors.

Eating Trang Tien Ice Cream is one of Hanoian's habits. Photo: Linh Linh

Egg coffee

Egg coffee around Hoan Kiem Lake is the quintessential Hanoi street food. Aromatic coffee powder and fatty egg yolk make visitors sigh contentedly - it feels as if dormant taste buds are suddenly awakened.

 Egg Coffee has long been a hit and a beloved staple of Hanoi's coffee culture. Photo: Linh Linh
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