December 28, 2023
HANOI – The French have long used chicken or foie gras to make world-famous pate, and Koreans’ favourite dish is grilled beef intestines, but for Vietnamese it is pork intestines, cooked into many popular dishes, that have conquered eaters from all social walks.
Many locals consider it a national dish, and across the country’s three regions, people have their own favourite ways to enjoy the intestines. Hanoians are interested in boiled pork intestines and intestine porridge, while Southerners like intestine hotpot eaten with bread, and in the central region, the favourite dish is fried intestine with turmeric.
Nguyễn Minh, an overseas Vietnamese living in Denmark who recently returned to his home city Hà Nội, said intestines can be enjoy at home, at a restaurant or even on the pavement.
Vietnamese cooks have great skills in cooking the intestines into many different dishes such as boiled intestines, grilled intestines or fried intestines.
Minh said he likes pigs’ steamed blood sausage and boiled stomach, while his mother is interested in pork uterus and fried pig large intestines with sour pickles.
“The dish is so attractive with its mixture of fried garlic and pickles in cooking oil and eaten with corianders, I never have too much of it,“ Minh’s mother said.
Vietnamese writer Vũ Bằng (1913-1984) in his work Món Ngon Hà Nội (Hà Nội’s Tasty Dish) wrote:” Pick up a piece of uterus, dip it in a bowl of shrimp paste mixed with lemon juice and chili, and eat, using two fingers to add herbs. You can enjoy a great time eating in this way, while gaining some understanding of the country’s special delicious foods.”
Different from Minh, Vũ Văn Tuấn in Hà Nội’s Tây Hồ District said he is an addict of grilled intestines which have been available in the capital since a decade ago.
Gầm Cầu Street in Hà Nội’s Hoàn Kiếm District has become popular destination for young people to enjoy grilled intestines with affordable prices from VNĐ 100,000-120,000.
All of the pig’s innards have been soaked in special spicy mixes with honey, chili sauce or soy sauce that immediately stimulate the taste buds, said Tuấn, adding that he sometimes asks his friends to go together to a street pavement to enjoy the dish. Accompanied dishes include roasted bread with butter, cucumber salad and potato chips.
The dish is particularly suitable to enjoy with a cup of wine in severe winter days in the capital, said Tuấn, noting that waiters at these pavement shops are very friendly. For example, when a customer asks for a something such as more sauce or more salad, they are immediately served without any complains.
Apart from Gầm Cầu Street, grilled intestines of Korean style are available downtown for locals, foreign visitors, and travellers. These restaurants’ prices are more expensive than those of Gầm Cầu pavements.
The top ten shops include Kim’s BBQ House, Gobchang, Yukssam BBQ Buffet, Chát Quán, Samwon Restaurant, Ajithu, Gumiho, Dae Han, Grilled Intestine Seoul and Giang Restaurant.
These restaurants are often bustling on weekends or winter days, said Tuấn. VNS