Hanoi in cold days is the best time you can enjoy many famous dishes.
Corn and sweet potato
Hanoi in cold days, the good smelling of grilled corn and sweet potato in a corner of night street with yellow light makes many people feel fluttered… If the autumn is woken up by the smelling of young green sticky rice and milky flower, the winter is featured by the smelling of boiled corn and grilled sweet potato.
This smelling appears in all streets, all small valley, making people cannot resist because it reminds a part of peaceful childhood in the bustling day. The fresh corns and brown sweet potato on the coal stove bring a strange warm feeling. Their good smelling seems to urge the customers to enjoy immediately.
Enjoying the simple snacks is to wake up the childhood memory of anyone. They make the people living in the city remember the friends in the country. Sitting on the sidewalk to eat corn and sweet potato with your pink cheek because of the hot coal is a simple hobby but make people remember forever. Just like that, the corn and sweet potato become in dispensable part of Hanoi’s Winter.
Like many other places across Vietnam, boiled snails become an in dispensable dishes of Hanoians when the winter comes. Snails are often soaked with chilly in order to make them “open the mouth” to release dust and sand inside before being boiled.
The snails are normally served with a mixture of fish sauce, lime, chili, sugar and lemongrass. It is quite interesting to know that this accompaniment varies from stall to stall and the good sauce rather than the snails is the key to attract eaters.
The smell of the cakes makes passersby’s mouth water and the heat from the stoves keeps people warm in the cold atmosphere. The main ingredients of the crisp yellow cakes are sweet potatoes and bananas from the countryside.
After being mixed with flour and sugar, they are deep fried and become a perfect treat in winter days. Gold cumbersome piece of cake, crunchy outside, soft inside, sweet as honey flow.
When Hanoi becomes cold, “Floating Cakes” is sold at the beginning. This is a kind of snack that many people Hanoi love. With molasses broth from yellow, aromatic spicy fresh ginger, topped with peanut, Floating Cakes treats your taste buds well. For student, Floating Cakes stall is where they can not only enjoy an afternoon snack but also gather together and go for some gossip.
In particular, with Winter underway, it is a great opportunity to enjoy Floating Cakes because this dish is spicy and hot. Almost Floating Cakes restaurants are opened throughout the Winter and closed when Summer comes.
Hot Plain rice flan
Plain rice flan is considered one of the most rustic and simple cakes in Hanoi cuisine. “Bánh đúc lạc” is the most popular in the north with a jelly shape and mild flavor. The main ingredients are non-glutinous rice flour or corn-flour and peanut. It is served either hot or cold, commonly with soy sauce and sometimes with tofu.
It is interesting to relish a hot bow of Hot Plain rice flan topped with ground pork, grilled ground spawns, fried onions, roasted sesame seeds and herbs, called “Hot Plain rice flan”, a good treat in the winter.
Pork rib porridge
Waking up in the early morning and going out in Hanoi, you suddenly remember that it is a long time you do not enjoy Pork rib porridge, and you feel hungry. Then, you decide to go for pork rib porridge.
Pork Rib porridge stand situated in the sidewalk of Hang Bo Street has existed for many years and the porridge here is quite intriguing. A big bowl of porridge full of fried dough sticks and salted shredded pork costs only VND8,000. The stand is small and located in the sidewalk but attracting a lot of people from the elder, children, to the young.
What better than eating a hot bowl of rib porridge in the early morning. A tasty bowl of porridge with crispy fried dough sticks and fragrant salted shredded pork and the noise in the sidewalk in the early morning, all of them are enough for a satisfying breakfast.
During cold times in Hanoi, hot chestnuts were more than a snack. They drew people together and helped to ease the dreariness of winter. Even today, when living conditions are much improved, Hanoians recall long-ago scenes of roasting chestnuts with fond nostalgia.
Every year, come October or November, the chestnut sellers reappear. Stroll along streets like Hang Bac, Hang Be, Nguyen Huu Huan or To Tich and you will likely encounter women roasting chestnuts over charcoal.
Because of their hard shell, chestnuts are first boiled before being roasted with salt or sand. The latter ingredients help to keep the nuts from burning. The secret to roasting perfect chestnuts is knowing how much to heat the pan. While chestnuts may be found all over the city, the best are reputedly sold on To Tich Street.
Upon removing the brown shell, the while chestnut is revealed. Part of this snack’s allure is its scent, which makes people feel warmer. To prepare chestnuts at home, be sure to boil them for 20 minutes before roasting.
With a wealth of imported snacks on offer, Hanoians are still drawn to buy bags of roasted chestnuts when the weather turns cool. On a winter’s night, some lovers are sure to be wandering Hanoi’s streets sharing a bag of steaming chestnuts.
Please visit our website to explore more about Vietnamese cuisine.