Six famous Quang Binh specialties that you can buy as gifts for your loved ones
In addition to the fascinating tourist destinations, Quang Binh is famous for many delicious specialties. If you have the opportunity to visit this province, do not forget to buy the following simple yet tasty specialties as gifts for your family and friends.
Tan An sesame rice cracker (Banh Trang Me Xat Tan An)
Tan An rice cracker is famous throughout Quang Binh province thanks to its tasty flavour, this is a unique kind of sesame rice cracker that cannot be found anywhere else. Notably, this specialty has three versions: the thin crackers are often used for making spring rolls or summer rolls; the thick ones are used for grilling; and the sugared sesame crackers with a characteristic sweet taste can be used as snacks.
The thick version is used for grilling. Photo: Phongnhaexprorer.com
Tan An sesame rice cracker is made from high quality rice. Firstly, they are soaked carefully, then put into a mortar and ground into a paste, mixed with peeled sesame and then thinly coated before being dried in the sun. Each piece of rice cracker will be put evenly and dried on bamboo screens to dry. Next, the locals will collect them and make the surface flat before bringing them to the market. In general, this type of rice cracker is richer and more delicious than the common types due to the inclusion of sesame.
You can eat the sugared sesame crackers directly or after grilling them. Photo: quanbinhtravel
Reference price: VND 80,000 - 120,000/kg.
Le Thuy krill (Nhut Tep Dong Le Thuy)
The sprawling fields in Le Thuy district are ideal living conditions for the freshwater krill (“tep” in Vietnamese) - which is the main ingredient for making many dishes, of which the most famous is the one called “Nhut”. Around December, when the water withdrawals process takes place on the rice fields and the farmers prepare for the winter-spring crop, the main season for krills will start.
The raw ingredient for making “Nhut” must be fresh krill from the paddy fields. Photo: Phongnhaexplorer
After being collected, the krill will be washed and put in a crock pot to ferment with layers of salt, and then you can use a bamboo screen and a stone to compress it tightly. After a certain amount of time, dry the krill in the sun for a while, then grind them into a smooth mixture. Next, mix it with the flour made from roasted corn and rice, add shredded galangal and ginger, and finally, put this mixture in a glass bottle and dry it in the sun.
The feature that makes the “Nhut” of Le Thuy district different from those in other regions is the typical light sour taste and aroma. “Nhut” can be eaten with hot rice or used to make a dipping sauce. Regardless of its simplicity, the unique taste of this specialty will definitely satisfy you from the first taste.
“Nhut” can be eaten with hot rice or used to make a dipping sauce. Photo: cookie.vn
Reference price: VND 60,000 – 80,000/jar.
Shrimp paste (Mam Ruoc) - the popular specialty
“Mam Ruoc” - one of Quang Binh specialties that you can buy as gifts - is made of “Ruoc” which is a small, reddish-brown krill. The main season of “Ruoc'' in Nhat Le beach usually begins in June as the locals think that the taste of “Mam Ruoc” is best with krill caught around this time. After being caught, the krill will be washed and salted for about a day. Next, take the krill out and squeeze out the water before leaving them to dry in the sun. The dried krill will be ground finely, then you have to put it in a jar, stir well and dry in the sun again until it has a fragrant aroma.
Mam Ruoc as a favourite gift. Photo: giadinhngaynay.net
Mam Ruoc of Quang Binh province leaves tourists with a strong impression due to its thick paste and attractive aroma. This specialty can be eaten directly or mixed with chili pepper, garlic, sugar and lemon to make a dipping sauce for vegetables, pickles, eggplant, boiled meat, nice noodles and plain rice flan. In addition, this paste can be added to soups and stews to enhance the flavor of the dish.
Reference price: VND 70,000 – 100,000/500 gram.
Dried sweet potato (Khoai Deo)
Khoai Deo is a specialty of Quang Binh province, which is considered a delicious and nutritious gift of many tourists. To make this snack, red sweet potatoes are cleaned, boiled, thinly sliced and then dried in the sun for 10-12 days until they have a brownish colour.
Khoai Deo is a famous specialty of Quang Binh province. Photo: hoinongdanninhbinh.org.vn
Casually place a piece of dried sweet potato in your mouth and slowly enjoy it, you will feel the sweetness spreading throughout. The aroma with “the taste of the sunlight and wind” of Quang Binh will make you remember it forever. This is considered a very meaningful gift for relatives and friends when you travel to Quang Binh province.
The attractive slices of Khoai Deo. Photo: @khoaideoolang
Reference price: VND 35,000 - 70,000/1kg.
Rice dumpling cake (Banh Bot Loc)
Banh Bot Loc is not only famous in Hue city but also a specialty of Quang Binh province, however, the one in Quang Binh has a more diverse filling as compared to those in Hue. With a transparent outer part made from tapioca flour and a filling made from shrimps, minced pork, wood ear, spring onion and shallots, Banh Bot Loc attracts diners due to its look and taste. Have a bite and you will feel the chewy texture and flavour of the crust blended with the rich filling. It is noted that you can enjoy the cakes with sweet and sour dipping sauce to enhance their flavour.
There are two versions of Banh Bot Loc, which are the ones wrapped in banana leaves and the ones without any wrapper. If you buy this kind of cake as a gift for your loved ones, you should choose the ones with banana leaves.
Banh Bot Loc in Quang Binh province has a more diverse filling than those in Hue city. Photo: foody
Reference price: VND 15,000 – 30,000/10 cakes.
Quang Binh Honey
As the mountainous area of Tuyen Hoa has a diversity of flowers, the bees here have created natural honey with a characteristic aroma. It can be said that this kind of honey is an invaluable gift of the mountains and forests bestowed on the local people. In order to get wild honey, the locals have to go deep into the forest, extract the honey and then preserve it. Quang Binh honey smells like forest flowers, is light, sweet and has a colour from light yellow to dark black depending on the time of extraction. Wild honey is rich in nutrients and good for health, so it appears in many folk remedies and has become a specialty of Quang Binh that is favoured by many people.
Quang Binh natural honey is famous for its taste and nutrients. Photo: chicucthuyhcm.org.vn
Reference price: VND 430,000 - 450,000/liter.
Quang Binh is “the land of sunshine and wind”, but its specialties are diverse. When visiting this province, you should not forget to enjoy and buy dried sweet potatoes, honey, Tan An rice crackers and rice dumpling cakes as gifts for your relatives and friends.