Fermented pork roll, or nem chua, is a unique culinary delight that all tourists should try during their Vietnam travels. This delicacy will offer you a taste of complex flavors and a delightful combination of sweet, spicy, and sour notes. If you wish to indulge into Vietnam’s vibrant culinary culture, this is a dish you do not want to miss.
1. What is Vietnamese fermented pork roll?
Fermented pork roll, a famous traditional Vietnamese food, is a meat roll made from fresh pork with various spices, wrapped by banana leaves. As the name suggests, the pork roll will undergo fermentation underneath the leaves wrapping, giving it a combination of sweet, sour, and spicy taste. Fermented pork roll is a specialty of many provinces in Vietnam, each offering you a different experience.
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2. Popular types of nem chua in Vietnam
You can find various types of nem chua with different characteristics across many regions in Vietnam, distinguished by their names which are based on their places of origin.
2.1. Nem chua Thanh Hoa
Nem chua Thanh Hoa, a famous specialty of Thanh Hoa Province, is renowned for its unique flavor that distinguishes itself from other types of fermented pork roll. It is also a common dish among many locals’ daily meals, and a well-known Northern Vietnamese food to tourists. Made of pork with chili and garlic, what sets nem chua Thanh Hoa apart is the use of ming aralia leaves, which creates a distinct taste. If you visit Thanh Hoa, this is a highly recommended gift for your friends and families.
2.2. Nem chua Lai Vung – Dong Thap Province
If you are having a trip to Lai Vung District in Dong Thap Province, don’t miss the chance to try their famous traditional fermented pork roll. Their recipe has been passed down through many generations, which has become a pride to the locals. Offering an eye-catching red-rose color, nem chua Lai Vung will offer you a unique sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavor. This dish is one of the main reasons Dong Thap is a popular destination for tourists traveling to Southern Vietnam.
2.3. Nem Phung
Nem Phung originates from Phung Town, Dan Phuong District in Hanoi. It is among the most favored fermented pork rolls among Hanoi’s citizens. Made from the most basic ingredients, what made nem Phung such a popular dish is the meticulous food processing. What makes the flavor of nem Phung even more complete is the use of fig leaves to wrap around the filling while eating. The fig leaves are hand-selected during the cooking process to ensure quality for consumers.
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2.4. Nem nam Giao Thuy – Nam Dinh Province
Nem nam Giao Thuy is one of the most popular traditional foods in Nam Dinh Province. With a complicated and meticulous cooking process, it will offer you a distinguished taste. Along with common pork and spice ingredients, the locals also use a special kind of powder made from roasting and milling high-quality rice. Nem nam Giao Thuy is normally best served with fig leaves and fish sauce.
3. How to make fermented pork roll? The best traditional recipe
3.1. Nem chua ingredients
Pork, preferably pork thigh, is the main ingredient of nem chua, along with pork rind. The most commonly used spices are pepper, garlic, salt, and chili. Some places also make use of aromatic leaves such as ming aralia or fig leaves to enhance the flavor. Banana leaves are used to wrap around the pork for the fermentation process.
3.2. Nem chua recipe
The pork thigh and pork rind should be minced, then mix with the spices to create the main filling mixture. Divide the mixture into smaller equal parts, each wrapped by fresh banana leaves. After the wrapping, nem chua can be left at room temperature for a few days to be fermented before it can be eaten.
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4. How to eat nem chua?
The most popular way to eat nem chua is to eat it raw or dip it in chili sauce, which allows you to thoroughly taste the perfect combination of spices with the sour taste of fermented pork. Some people also enjoy this dish with alcohol due to its unique taste. You can also try fried or grilled nem chua, a popular snack among younger generations in Vietnam.
If you want to further explore the food culture of Vietnamese people, you can consider visiting cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long, where you can explore Vietnamese traditions and try a wide variety of traditional foods.
To have a comfortable vacation in Vietnam, you can stay at Vinpearl, a top-notch hotel and resort brand. Furnished with modern facilities and luxurious amenities, consisting of pools, bars, spas, gyms, and children’s playgrounds, Vinpearl will offer you the perfect accommodation for your holiday.
During your stay, you can also visit VinWonders, a chain of highly-equipped entertainment complexes where you can spend fun hours with your friends and family.
Fermented pork roll is a unique delicacy that represents Vietnamese people’s ability to deliver complex and delightful flavors from basic ingredients. Its vibrant flavors are why this dish is favored by many locals and tourists . Whether you are a food enthusiast or a traveler who wishes to experience new cultures, be sure to include nem chua on your list of must-try dishes in Vietnam.