Food plays a big role in any travel experience and it’s an excellent way to learn the local culture. It’s fun to spend some time exploring and enjoying the wild wonders of cuisines in Halong Bay as there is so much incredible gastronomy at this charming Bay.
Gifted with abundant of seafood, most Halong Bay food are fresh catches like crab, prawn, squid and snail, as well as plenty of Vietnamese traditional foods. The followings are just some of the local treats you should not miss at any expense!
Cha Muc (Squid Cake) Considered to be one of the most popular food of Vietnam, Cha Muc or grilled squid cake is widely enjoyed throughout the country, but it is said that Cha Muc of Halong Bay is the best! The main ingredient is, of course, squid finely chopped and formed into paddies before slowly grilled. According to local fishermen, to make high quality Cha Muc you’ll need fresh caught squid from Halong area because it has a unique taste and fragrance. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, the Cha Muc will go perfectly well with Xôi (sticky rice), Bánh Cuon (steamed rice roll), or simply on its own.
Sam (Horseshoe crab) Sam, or horseshoe crab, is another Halong’s treasure of the sea. It can be used to make a lot of delicious specialties and even some unfamiliar dishes such as pudding crab, crab salad, sweet and sour crab legs, crab sauté with peppers and lemongrass, fried eggs and crab, steamed crabs, fried crab, fried crab’s cartilage, and stir-fried crab with glass noodle. Sam is a great ingredient, and it’s even greater when it’s fresh off Halong Bay!
Ngan, Ngan is a type of giant clam found only in Quang Ninh province, particularly in Halong. Although the direct translation of “ngan” is “tasteless”, but it actually is the contrary. It might not have an explosive taste, but ngan definitely is delicious and has a delicate aftertaste. Ngan can be cooked in various ways, from grilled and steamed, to stirred-fried and deep-fried, and even made into ngan wine.
Banh Gat Gu, who would have thought a simple rice roll can be so delicious. The name of the dish means “nodding” and people says it’s so delicious that everyone has to nod in approval every time they put some in their mouth. The cake is dipped in a special sauce, which is made from fish sauce, chicken fat, onion, and chili, along with a piece of caramelized pork. The secret of Banh Gat Gu is the sauce, and it could be the decisive factor between an average or amazing experience.