The grilled duck with 7 tastes in Cao Bang

Top 7 Special Food in Cao Bang to Savor the Vietnamese Northern Cuisine

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With the list of top special food in Cao Bang, travelers know what local specialties and unique dishes to enjoy. It brings distinctive feeling about real Vietnamese Northern cuisine. Cao Bang is a land of the historical attractions and places of interest such as Pac Bo Cave, Ban Gioc Waterfall, Nguom Ngao Cave, etc. Besides sightseeing, the province is ideal for ethnic food tour to the local traditional villages. Discover Top 7 Special Food in Cao Bang to Savor the Vietnamese Northern Cuisine!

#1: The grilled duck with 7 tastes (Vịt Quay 7 Vị)

Cao Bang owns an appetizing grilled duck that every foodie falls in love with. The duck food offers up to 7 tastes due to the fact that the locals use 7 kind of spices to spice this food. The key lies in the spicing step which is said to be the secret of the Tay people who live in the east of Cao Bang Province. The mixture of salt, fish sauce, etc., is made in the specific proportion and soaked into the whole duck. Cover the duck are the thin layers of honey and vinegar that help the duck meat to be soft, smooth, sweet, eye-catching, and mouth-watering. The skin will not be dry when being grilled on the hot coals. Cao Bang grilled duck is the first thing to eat when you go to Cao Bang with Vietnam Food Travel !

#2: A kind of glutinous rice cake (Bánh Khảo)

“Bánh Khảo” is one of the most famous cakes in Cao Bang that are in favor of many connoisseurs. The ingredients to make this cake are the glutinous rice, sugar, peanut, sesame, etc. The rice cover has scrumptious fillings of the peanut and sesame as well as the fatty taste of pork fat. When savoring, you feel the light sweet sugar and the appetizing glutinous rice. The cakes are made in shapes of the rectangles and wrapped by the colorful covers of green, red, yellow, etc. In the local shops, “Bánh Khảo” are put in group of 10 and printed with the manufacturer name, manufacturing date, etc. It’s known that the procedure to make this cake is quite sophisticated and skillful, which reflects the chef’s expertise. That said, the cake is an art and the chef is an artist. In a tradition, members of a family can together make “Bánh Khảo” to welcome the Lunar New Year Festival.

A kind of glutinous rice cake (Bánh Khảo)
A kind of glutinous rice cake (Bánh Khảo)

#3: A kind of ant-eggs cake (Bánh Trứng Kiến)

In April and May of every year, the Tay ethnic group of Cao Bang Province gathers at the forest to find the black ant-eggs which are major ingredients to make the cake. “Bánh Trứng Kiến” is made from the glutinous rice flour, ant-eggs, and the young leaves of fig tree. The black ant-eggs in Cao Bang are high in protein. Understand that not every kind of ant-eggs can be eaten, and only the Tay people know how to sort out those of the right black ant-eggs (the ants with small body and pointed tail). Secrets might also lie in the steps of mixing the glutinous rice flour, the flour grinding, the ant-eggs frying, etc. The completion should be steamed and then left cool to be cut into the square pieces. The cakes are soft, fragrant with the fig leaves, fatty and scrumptious thanks to the high-protein ant-eggs.

A kind of ant-eggs cake (Bánh Trứng Kiến)
A kind of ant-eggs cake (Bánh Trứng Kiến)

#4: A kind of traditional roasted sticky rice (Bánh Chè Lam)

The list of the unique delicious Cao Bang food cannot lack “Bánh Chè Lam” which is made from the roasted sticky rice, roasted peanuts, ginger, and malt. The cake brings the enjoyable eating experiences in which foodies appreciate the sticky sweet honey, the soft sticky rice, the ginger taste, and the scrumptious peanut. All makes this cake unforgettable. Served with the hot tea, this traditional cake makes guests fall in love with the green charming land. The cakes are on sales in local markets and shops.

A kind of traditional roasted sticky rice (Bánh Chè Lam)
A kind of traditional roasted sticky rice (Bánh Chè Lam)

#5: A kind of vermicelli soup (Miến Dong)

Pieces of “Miến Dong” look soft, smooth, and fragrant with the typical scent of “Dong (Oriental Canna)” flour, and with no medical substance. The bowl of this healthy soup is an indispensable food on the table to worship the ancestors at the end of the year. The hot bowl includes ingredients of chicken, mushroom, and coriander that make the foodies warm and glad with the happy belly. Yummy, hot, and healthy, “Mien Dong” is the specialty of locals that you should always slurp to the last drop when traveling to Cao Bang all seasons.

Fried vermicelli with seafood
Fried vermicelli with seafood

#6: Cao Bang rolled cakes (Bánh Cuốn)

This is a highland specialty of the Tay hill-tribe group who makes the stuffed and rolled cakes especially in the Tet Festivals, other local events, family gathering, or welcoming the valued guests. In the unique style, Cao Bang rolled cakes have the fillings of minced pork and mushroom, are served with the hot pork bone broth that is sour and sweet. The broth is special, including the fermented wild bamboo shoots and chili. Some chefs might even add chicken egg to the batter over the steaming basket and cover it with the rice sheet. On completion, the Cao Bang rolled cakes with minced pork, mushroom, and chicken egg, served with the pork bone broth delight your palate and are good for health, definitely.

Cao Bang rolled cakes (Bánh Cuốn)
Cao Bang rolled cakes (Bánh Cuốn)

#7: Trung Khánh chestnuts

In almost any talk about the famous specialty of Cao Bang, then Trùng Khánh chestnut always has a place in the list. This is the valuable and rare nut that is only unique in the Cao Bang Province. Fragrant and scrumptious, the chestnuts are ideal for boiling, frying, or steaming, which all result in the mouth-watering snack. The typical characteristics of Trung Khánh chestnuts are the thick shell, plenty of hair, and natural scent. When chewing, the chestnut are quite soft and flour-like for the amazing culinary experience. In fact, foreign travelers become fans of this chestnut while many others buy kilograms to bring home.

Trung Khánh chestnuts
Trung Khánh chestnuts

The journey of distinction and happiness should always include time for the special culinary experiences to treat the belly kindly enough. To make the trips more enjoyable, look for the food carts and eat the local food that appeals to you. Each step you travel, each eatery you visit, there stands out the succulent street food Cao Bang to taste.

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