Why not jump-start your day by trying this local dish for breakfast? Though not exclusive to the region, in other words, this food owes its origin to Hue, it has been successfully improved in a more specific way by such creative vendors. What makes it different here is its viscid and rich filling topped with ground pork, shrimp, and crunchy fried onions. By the way, don’t forget to spray some spicy fish sauce all over to have a better taste.
Banh Bao (Dumpling)
Are you a fan of Chinese baozi? If so, don’t hesitate to include such a wonderful street food in your list of must-eat foods when going to Quang Ngai. It is also rumored that the vendor, herself, is a native Chinese, so don’t worry about its quality since it will not let you down. At first, you may not get impressed by its ordinary appearance; yet, soon you will find your mouth watering once you break the soft crust. A blended mixture of well-cooked pork, pigskin and especially accompanied by 2 big quail eggs is stuffed inside with a stimulating odor. Additionally, the price for each ranges around 10,000 VND - such a bargain that is nowhere to be found in other cities.
Have you got fed up with starchy food? Do you want to enjoy your meal here without gaining weight? Oc hut is a good suggestion, particularly when you visit here in winter. Faraway, you can easily detect the spiraling smoke from large pots of cooked snails, and of course flavorsome with an addition of peppers and citronella. The atmosphere is very busy in the evening as many people - both locals and tourists - all come to try this special food. The proper way to way to eat this is also really interesting: don’t consider using any forks and all you need to do is to suck the snail out of its shelf to enjoy.
Bun Dau Mam Tom
It seems understandable to say that Quang Ngai is a melting pot- a place where immigrants gather to reside. The next dish I want to show you has almost no relation to Quang Ngai at all. However, since it was introduced into the town, it has gained a positive reply from all walks of life, specifically teenagers. Served on a big round tray, a course often includes block-shaped noodles, vegetables, boiled sliced meat, deep-fried pork rolls, and most importantly, a bowl of shrimp paste. A harmonious blend of different ingredients when dipped into spicy sauce can make you feel irresistible at the very first sight. Beverages are on offer for wider preferences too.
Ram Thit Nuong
Chances are that you will come across a family-owned restaurant selling this type of food in every corner of Quang Ngai provincial city. The moment houses in town are lightened up is also the time when those restaurants are best-patronized. You can either stand by to see how the chefs cook outside or have a seat indoors to wait for your turn. You may hear your stomach drum while seeing spiced beef, together with shrimp rolls evenly grilled on hot iron gates. When served, they are usually “hand in hand” with thin rice paper and a small bowl of ketchup with nut toppings. A tip for you is that you roll cucumber and extra vegetables on request inside so as not to lose your appetite quickly because it is a little bit greasy for inexperienced ones.
We can say that the quintessence of Quang Ngai’s cuisine lies in Don - a brilliant culinary “invention” of all times in recognition of both Vietnamese and international friends. You may miss everything in the post but not this one, truthfully. Or else, you will regret for a long time afterwards. For more information, don is a kind of mollusc that lives along the bank of Tra Khuc river. After some preliminary treatments, it is stir-fried with green onions and other spices to eliminate the original stinky smell. There are 2 versions of this serving: dry and watered. Yet, the latter is more common and preferred. But I recommend you try both to experience the so-called matchless dish of Quang Ngai province.
Ca Bong Song Tra (Goby)
In terms of specialties, besides Don, Quang Ngai also has a reputation for Goby, which is considered to be a highlight in cooking traditions of this place. From the prerequisite ingredient - that is goby for sure, people create various versions of it by following their own secret recipes including refined sugar, coconut milk and the like. Goby would be better if you enjoy it with rice or porridge, of course in hot condition. Moreover, you may find some shops that sell this food as a souvenir so that you can drop by to get some for your relatives right before returning from the journey.