With hundred kinds of noodles in 54 provinces and cities, noodles are the pride of Vietnamese people. Despite mostly made of rice, it has different colors, shapes, tastes and ways of usage giving it different names. Among many kinds of noodles, bun – vermicelli is the most popular choice all over Vietnam. north vietnam travel tours
Used in Bun dau mam tom are two kinds of Bun; one and the most popular is noodles bundled up and shaped into pieces like small leaves. It is called Bun la, in which la represents for the noodles’ shape. The second and less popular kind is the normal thin long noodles. This kind of noodles is only used when we cannot find bun la for this dish. However, no matter what kind of noodles you are having, you can enjoy the same of fresh taste in your mouth.
Dau – tofu is deeply fried in boiling cooking oil only long enough for the inside to be still soft, juicy and white color still and the outside crispy yellow. Just freshly fried and still hot is when it tastes the best. Immediately attracting your eyes is the smell and playful color of tofu.
Mam tom is a fermented shrimp paste that is especially loved by people in Northern Vietnam. Thanks to the sauce’s purple color and strong and not so much good smell, you can easily realize its presence. Mam tom is used in a lot of Northern Vietnamese dishes such as: Bun rieu – Crab meat noodles; Bun Thang – Hot rice noodles, Oc chuoi dau – snail stewed with tofu and fresh banana and since they have been mixed up in the broths already, you may not recognize it when enjoying. It might be quite pungent but once enjoying shrimp sauce, you will love it!
Besides vermicelli, fried soya cheese and shrimp paste, some pork meat and sausages are also served. So in a portion of Bun dau mam tom, you can easily spot green rice sausages and thin sliced boiled pork. Of course, after dipping a little bit of each thing into shrimp paste, everything goes perfectly together in your mouth. tripadvisor mekong river cruises
Last but not least, odoriferous herbs, basil or cockscomb mint, is optional but can make the difference.
Where to go for Bun dau mam tom in Hanoi?
Phat Loc Alley
When it comes to bun dau mam tom, Phat Loc, which has been the high street bun dau among others, is the first name that pops up. Phat Loc Alley in Hanoi Old Quarter is the most reachable for those who are craving for bun dau mam tom. Less than 100 meters in length, with a lot of vermicelli stores selling fried tofu and shrimp paste along two sides, Phat Loc alley is often crowded, especially, in lunch time and in the afternoon.
Ma May Street
Boasting two bun dau shops facing each other, both offering incredibly crunchy fried tofu and bubbly shrimp paste, Ma May Street is another rival in the Old Quarter. It is possible to choose crispy or soft fried tofu.
Hang Khay Street
Making an airy soft mixture when being stirred with oil, it is the best kind of shrimp paste. And it is exactly what you can find at bun dau place at Hang Khay Street.
For a portion of bun dau for 2 people in Hanoi, the full portion of vermicelli, fried soya cheese, shrimp paste, green rice sausage and thin sliced pork, expect it to cost about USD $4.5.
However in Saigon, where the shrimp paste is brought all the way from Hanoi for this dish, the price will be doubled or tripled. That is the reason why it will cost about USD $7 for a meal of bun dau mam tom for 2 persons in Saigon.
Vietnamese break down:
- Mắm tôm means fermented shrimp paste
- Đậu phụ means tofu
- Bún means rice vermicelli
How to eat bun dau mam tom?
Make your own dipping sauce: add kumquat or lemon juice into the shrimp paste sauce bowl, whip the shrimp paste until it is foamy and add some chili slices if you want. Taste and adjust.
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