Viet Reader.


Premier Newspaper for Vietnamese Worldwide

3 delicious warm dishes for winter in Hanoi that you must eat immediately

In the cold season, Hanoi also has many delicious things; mentioning them makes people crave...

People keep saying that worms are a special dish of the Northern autumn, but in the early winter, worm rolls still attract customers in every alley. There are times when the cold of early winter has not yet appeared, a few patches of rain suddenly poured down, the wind from somewhere brings the cold, people urge each other to bring blankets and warm clothes and do not forget to "crave" for some hot, warm dishes.

Also read: Things to do in Hanoi at the end of autumn » Vietnam News - Latest Updates and World Insights |

Ruoi (worm) - Nostalgia of Hanoi

In Delicious Pieces of Hanoi, writer Vu Bang said that when it comes to the season, being unable to eat worms is like a beautiful woman who has wasted her flowering years and will be filled with regret later. The writer mentioned the scene in the North, in the last days of autumn, all families, "more or less, all eat worms". Sometimes, people don't know the life of a worm very well, but that hot, fragrant delicacy that has just been drained of oil evokes cravings. Craving the rich, fragrant taste of nature, plants, and herbs mixed with the coldness of winter.

Women and mothers who don't buy earthworms to make it themselves, instead take their husbands and children to the city early to make a plate of earthworms, a few round pieces of earthworms, or a whole big plate, cassava in small pieces and dip it in a bowl of properly mixed fish sauce. Oh my... how new!

Who doesn't know that Hanoi doesn't have worms? They are returned from provinces near Hanoi, such as Hai Phong, Hai Duong, Quang Ninh, Thai Binh, etc. Yet it turns out to be a heart-achingly delicious winter gift. When the worm season comes, people also crave to taste the fatty worm meat rolls. Earthworms are also called earth dragons and are listed as "cordyceps".

During the lunar new year, when the fields near the sea are full of worms at night, people use nets (separate nets) or nets to catch fresh batches of worms. Looking at the basket of sandworms returning to Hanoi, some are bright green, some are opaque red, some translucent yellow, and sometimes light grey, like tarnished silver. All the worms writhe in a viscous substance called mud - which also helps them stay fresh for a long time when they leave the water.

Seaworms can make delicious dishes, but many still like seaworm rolls the best. Fresh worms must be feathered, use hot water, stir well, pick up trash, and wash again and again until thoroughly clean. After that, drain the water and prepare a delicious dish. Gill worms are delicious in making patties, steaming, stir-frying, cooking or baking with eggs. People also make roasted worms in banana leaves or worm sauce.

In the first months of winter, Hanoi women even tell each other to buy bamboo shoots - a vegetable that is only available for just over a month. Maybe many people have not tried this dish, but let's hear how writer Vu Bang makes stir-fried sea worms.

Cut the tangerine peel into small pieces and marinate with fish sauce. Stir-fry the onions with fragrant fat, stir-fry the worms, and then scoop them out. Add fat to the pan and stir-fry the pork belly with thinly sliced pork belly. When almost cooked, add the pork belly and stir well. When stir-fried thoroughly, you don't have to worry about breaking it.

On the contrary, it will be tough. Add eggs, spring onions, a little sesame oil, a few coriander stalks, a few chopped galangal leaves, and a little pepper. The dish is hot and steaming. No matter how much you eat it, you will enjoy it.

The easiest way to reward worms is to talk about worm cakes. Worm mixed with minced meat, eggs, dill, tangerine peel, chopped. All marinated with delicious fish sauce, mixed well, and put in a frying pan over low heat, the aroma is truly "deaf to the nose". When eating, sprinkle a little pepper, add some coriander, and serve while hot is "proper".

Steamed worms are a bit tastier. The same ingredients include meat, onions, tangerine peel, dill, fish sauce, and some wood ear mushrooms, mixed well and steamed. Earthworms only appear seasonally, so people buy them and give them near and far as gifts. They can be stored in the freezer for a year without spoiling. Whenever you want to eat, bring it out to prepare. Saying that is to eat worms, but only in the right season, in the cold wind of winter, to satisfy the craving.

Read more: In photos: Cha ruoi - Vietnam’s famous and worm omelet » Vietnam News - Latest Updates and World Insights |

Banh troi tau (Steamed rice cake) - A late afternoon snack on a winter day

During the cold days in Hanoi, Banh Troi Tau is a dish that makes people unintentionally miss it. A few round, plump dumplings floating in a bowl of cane sugar water cooked with naturally heated ginger warms people's hearts.

Made from glutinous rice flour and two popular fillings: green beans and black sesame. The crust is soft and smooth on the outside, and with a chewy bite, your teeth will be filled with a rich, fleshy filling mixed with a sweet, fragrant sugar syrup with the scent of ginger. Mixed with that sweet piece of cake is ginger's spicy and warm sweetness. Penetrates the tip of the tongue, goes down the throat, warms the body, and dispels the cold brought by the wind.

All the ingredients that make this banh troi are good for health, from being good for digestion to warming the body, helping to nourish blood and enhance physical health. The hobby of eating banh troi of Hanoians is also strange.

In the morning, no one is seen in the shops, but in the late afternoon, young and old, boys and girls, big and small, flock to the banh troi tau shops on the street, humming a few stories while waiting for a hot bowl of banh troi tau. A few pieces of cake float in a bowl, drizzled with hot ginger sugar water and sprinkled with a little sesame and grated coconut. Some people like strong sweets, others like delicate sweetness, but in the end, they all love the faint scent of ginger to dispel the cold.

It's not natural that people make the filling with black sesame. Eating black sesame in winter nourishes the blood and beautifies the hair. That's what women like most about their stomachs. An afternoon snack that warms the stomach and is good for health, who doesn't like it? What I like even more is the cozy atmosphere that snacks bring in winter.

Chicken thighs Quẩy - Delicious dish on a windy day.

Quẩy is not a strange dish to the Vietnamese people. In Vietnamese restaurants, quẩy is included in breakfast daily, served with pho and porridge to add flavor. The Chinese call it du tac qua or fried rice cake, a Chinese breakfast dish. It's a long and salty stir-fry. Quẩy "chicken drumstick" is sweet, crispy, spongy, and has a mildly sweet taste. It is very delicious to eat.

Quẩy "chicken drumstick" is a snack with no long history nor a thrilling story about its appearance. But on cold autumn afternoons or bitter winter days, the fragrant aroma of fried chicken thighs pervades the streets and alleys.

Quẩy "chicken drumstick" also has to go through many meticulous steps to become such small, beautiful, evenly bloomed chicken drumsticks with attractive colours. From choosing the ingredients, mixing, kneading, proofing the dough, rolling, cutting and frying, each step must have its secret to making crispy, spongy, dough-free, oil-free dough.

From the suburbs to the old streets, it is easy for you to find chicken drumsticks. On a windy winter afternoon, a small bag of quiche with a dozen beautiful, hot quiches is enough for a filling, warm meal.

Grilled rice worms, banh troi tau or quẩy "chicken drumstick" are available in many places, but in Hanoi's winter, they all have their flavor only when the cold falls and the wind rush back. How warm is it to take two or three people to the street to enjoy those gifts?

About author
You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page.
View all posts
More on this story