VIE-STYLE

Ninh Hòa grilled fermented pork recognised among top 10 specialties of Việt Nam in 2023 by Asia Book of Records

No one knows exactly when the grilled fermented pork dish came into being, but local elders said it was brought to Ninh Hòa by immigrants from the central province of Thanh Hóa.

Hoàng Lan

Khánh Hòa Province’s Ninh Hòa grilled fermented pork (locally known as nem nướng) dish has recently been recognised among the top 10 specialties of Việt Nam 2023 by Asia Book of Records.

Asia Book of Records has recognised 60 of Việt Nam’s specialties since 2012, reported VietKings.

Local Đặng Thị Hoa said the traditional Ninh Hòa grilled fermented pork has been known far and wide for a long time ago due to its unforgettable and aromatic flavour.

327841 cc3b320rau20hc3bang20mia | FDI Việt Nam
Grilled fermented pork known as nem nướng in Khánh Hòa Province’s Ninh Hòa Town is an unforgettable dish for many, including gourmets. Photo mia.vn

Hoa reads a folk song which says:

                         “Đi đâu cũng nhớ Khánh Hòa,

                      Nha Trang gió mát, Ninh Hòa nhiều nem.”

                     “Remember Khánh Hòa wherever you go,

                Nha Trang’s cool wind, Ninh Hòa’s fermented pork.”

No one knows exactly when the grilled fermented pork dish came into being, but local elders said it was brought to Ninh Hòa by immigrants from the central province of Thanh Hóa.

Hoa said, in addition to nem nướng, Ninh Hòa also has sour fermented pork mixed with pork skin, a slice of garlic and fresh chili, wrapped in banana leaves.

327842 nc6b0e1bb9bng20nem20kyluc | FDI Việt Nam
Grilled fermented pork is a specialty popular among visitors and guests alike in Ninh Hòa Town. Photo kyluc.vn

Hoa said the nem nướng has been made by hand with the techniques being handed down from generation to generation for a hundred years. 

The main ingredient of the dish is pork, from special pigs raised in Đất Đỏ District. This famous local pig breed is vital to create the special characteristics of nem, Hoa said, noting that maker has to choose lean butt meat.

It is well ground and mixed with garlic, pepper, fish sauce and sugar for half an hour before being rolled into long stick, then grilled over charcoal until it turns to golden brown and emits a rich spicy scent, Hoa said.

327843 nem20chua20gc3b3i20lc3a120mia | FDI Việt Nam
Apart from grilled fermented pork, sour fermented pork (nem chua) with garlic and chili is another popular pork dish here. Photo mia.vn

She told Việt Nam News that the secret to making the dish more attractive is its dipping sauce, made with glutinous rice soaked overnight and ground well, soy sauce, tomato, minced lean pork, pig liver, fresh shrimp, sugar, garlic, chilli and peanut, all simmered for 5-6 hours and well stirred before use.

The sweet, buttery richness of this sauce is always a favourite, she said.

It is often eaten with fried crispy brown or white rice papers produced by artisans from Diên Khánh District’s Diên Hòa and Diên Thủy craft villages, Hoa said.

The dish is more enjoyable with herbs and fruits such as fish lettuce, basil, perilla, cucumber, young banana and sour star fruit, but it should always be eaten with chives for a slightly sweet after-taste, she said.

327844 khc3a1ch20c483n20nem20nc6b0e1bb9bng | FDI Việt Nam
People enjoying nem nướng and nem chua at a shop in the central town. Photo toplist.vn

She added that at some places, cooks also serve them with green mango or pickle and fermented salted onion.

In the box:

If you wish to sample the dish, many shops in Nha Trang offer it, during typical opening hours from 10:00 to 22:00.

They include:

•    Shop Đặng Văn Quyên at 16A Lãn Ông Str. and 02-04 Phan Bội Châu. Price: VNĐ 40,000 per plate

•    Shop Vũ Thành An at 15 Lê Lợi Str. Price: VNĐ 38,000

•    Shop Nhã Trang at 39 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai Str. Price: VNĐ 25,000-88,000

•    Shop Bà Sáu at 02 Tô Vĩnh Diện. Price: VNĐ 25,000-30,000

•    Shop Ngọc Tiên at 59 Lê Thành Phương Str. Price: VNĐ 20,000- 50,000

•    Shop Bà Năm at 50 Thống Nhất Str. Price VNĐ 35,000-50,000

•    Shop Dì Nương at 29-31 Lê Lợi Str. Price: VNĐ 25,000-30,000

•    Shop Cô Nô at 24 Hai Bà Trưng Str. Price: VNĐ 5,000-15,000

•    Shop Chân Cầu Bóng at road 2-9. Price: VNĐ 20,000-30,000

•    Shop 259 Lê Hồng Phong. Opening hours: 16:00- 22:00. Price: VNĐ22,000-88,000

Theo Vietnamnews