Enjoy the best Hanoi food tour with shrimp paste with fried tofu vermicelli


Perhaps, there is no place in the world where sauces can be as diverse as Vietnam. Besides fish sauce, which is already well-known, shrimp paste is another special sauce that all tourists should try when taking Hanoi food tour. And shrimp paste with fried tofu vermicelli seems to be the best dish where the sauce is used as an ingredient.


Shrimp paste with fried tofu vermicelli

Where is the origin of the food?

Shrimp paste with fried tofu vermicelli is regarded as a unique dish of Northern Vietnam and also popular street food of Hanoi. Being introduced to Southern Vietnam about 5-6 years ago, the dish quickly became a favorite food of many people.

Although the way it is made is completely different from common cuisine there, shrimp paste with fried tofu vermicelli is very attractive to the locals. The food is an ideal option for summer days in Hanoi when the temperature gets high.

A great harmony of unique ingredients

If you think that shrimp paste with fried tofu vermicelli only consists of shrimps, fried tofu, and vermicelli, you are wrong. They are just the main ingredients. In order to attract customers, all restaurants add some extra elements, such as pork, roasted cinnamon pork, lean pork paste, and sometimes fermented pork roll.

These additions are often supported by all local diners. Perhaps, it is because the greater the number of ingredients, the more meaningful the dish is. The elements placed in a round, on a flat winnowing basket infers happiness and agreement among individuals.


Flat winnowing basket

Because the dish is quite exclusive and represents Hanoi cuisine, the way people enjoy it is different from the way they have other types of food. When you enter a shrimp-paste-with-fried-tofu-vermicelli restaurant, the first thing that you should feel is the atmosphere. In summer, most restaurants are crowded and a little stuffy.

Then, watch the cook. You will be surprised at the number of tasks that he can do at the same time. While his left hand puts pieces of tofu into a pan, his right hand is cutting vermicelli into small parts. All of his actions are so accurate and professional that your dish can be ready within only 2-3 minutes.

A full set of shrimp paste with fried tofu vermicelli that you often see consists of vermicelli, fried tofu, shrimp paste, chili, and fine herbs. Instead of serving one types of herbs, many cooks mix various types, such as perilla, marjoram, and coriander, with one another.

Some other additional food that diners can feel free to choose is boiled pork, grilled chopped meat, and fired pork organs. Although there is a great number of ingredients, the “soul” of the dish lies in the shrimp paste. The reason is that it is acceptable if one of the elements is not so good. But if the shrimp paste does not have its true flavor, the whole dish will be a disaster.

Experienced cooks never only use shrimp paste bought from markets. They always add several other spices to make it more flavorful. Common spices that can be named are lemonade, fresh chili, and fat. After that, some cooks will mix them up until the shrimp paste has a smooth layer on top. Some others who are more careful even boil it down all day. And they allow customers to get as much of it as they want.

All of these elements combined make shrimp paste with fried tofu vermicelli a perfect and attractive dish. And it will make your Hanoi foodie tour excessively memorable.


Shrimp paste

One thing to note is that you may find the smell of shrimp paste a little uncomfortable at first. Nevertheless, after some bites, it will be one of the best sauce you have ever tasted.

Some famous restaurants for your Hanoi food tour

In Hanoi

  • Trung Huong Restaurant (Phat Loc Alley, Hoan Kiem District)
  • Goc Da Restaurant (Ngo Gach Street, Hoan Kiem District)
  • Giang Restaurant (Trung Tu Street, Dong Da District)

In Ho Chi Minh City

  • Tien Hai Restaurant (409 Nguyen Tri Phuong Street, District 10)
  • Hoang Anh Restaurant (40/78 Le Thi Hong Street, Go Vap District)
  • HomeMade Restaurant (1 Nguyen Van Trang, District 1)

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