The home for this special dish is on the way to come to a famous tourist attraction of Huong Pagoda (Perfume Pagoda), so you can at the same time come to visit the “second best cave in Vietnam” with Huong Tich Cave and Yen Stream and enjoy the dish on the way returning to Hanoi city. Coming to Perfume Pagoda (refer Perfume Pagoda Day trip from Hanoi
here), you will have a chance to admire the picturesque landscapes and take photo with water lily and other pretty flower and tree on the sides of Yen Stream.
On the way returning to Hanoi, Van Dinh duck-meat street shall be an address that should not be ignored.
Van Dinh Town stretches along 21B National road with numerous stalls and restaurants with the panels of Van Dinh duck meat which have made the brand of this town. This special dish has appeared on the menu of many restaurants from the North to the South of Vietnam. It is not too far to go from Hanoi to Van Dinh. You can change one day of Vietnam cheap tour
to visit Perfume Pagoda and taste Van Dinh duck meat.
Duck meat can be found in almost every place in Vietnam, but it becomes the special dish of Van Dinh and Hanoi in general due to its differently delicious taste. The whole street which is around 50 km from Hanoi center is filled with duck meat restaurants.
Why is the duck meat here so famous? Is there anything different in the raising farm and feeding method or it is the difference in cooking method that makes this simple dish so famous with a typical flavor? From duck meat, there are a number of dishes done here including duck meat boiled, roasted, baked, fried with galangal, stewed with sour fruit or meat served with rice noodle.
Boiled duck meat seems to be easy to made, but it is not as simple as put the meat in a boiling water pot. T believe that the species and some ingredients in the pot are the mystery that makes this dish different.
The dish of baked duck meat with the taste of galangal, citronella and a special kind of leaves picked on the forest in the North mountain region. Despite the cooking method of roasting or baking, the meat marinated with this kind of leaf is always in a typical fragrance. Customers are difficult to ignore the meat which is baked on the red fired wood coal with a very strong and attractive fragrance.
It is said that the fragrance spreading on the whole street seems to be the best way of advertising for the dish. Each restaurant for these dishes has its own special secret to make the foods. Dipping sauce is also the specialties created by the art of adding different spicies including garlic, ginger, chili, pepper, vinegar, sugar and so on. The sauce is made with great tastes of various flavors in harmony.
A dish of vegetable salad is the indispensable thing served with duck meat. This salad includes various types of vegetable like basil, coriander, bean sprouts and sliced banana flower which are all help to boost the flavor of duck meat. Van Dinh duck meat if often served with rice noodle or Van Dinh roll cakes which is also a famous dish.
Besides, the dish of duck meat porridge is considered the most special dish here. After a time searching for the reasons that make the fame of Van Dinh duck meat and the answer is the duck breed that is raised only in this region.
Van Dinh duck are often smaller than other duck breeds. Each duck weighs around more than 1 kg but they contain more lean with firm and fragrant meat giving the sweetness while enjoying. That kind of duck must be raised on the field of Van Dinh with the water source of Van Dinh so that they can be as tasty like that. There is the thing that makes me really regret that some restaurant replace Van Dinh duck by other kind of duck which gives more meat but less delicious taste.
At present, this breed of duck is facing the risk of oblivion right on their traditional land due to the tough competition with the larger breed of duck with white feather imported from China. That kind of duck is raise in bulk due to high productivity and cheaper price. However, it is certainly true that traditional Van Dinh duck meat is always the best kind of duck meat.
It is my suggestion that Van Dinh duck meat should be raised more and more. Seeing the huge flock of large white ducks on the field, I am worried that if the traditional famous dish of Van Dinh duck meat can be disappeared. If so, it shall be a loss for the Hanoi tradition cuisine. Let’s keep maintaining a part of traditional taste which has appeared on all the region from the North to the South.