Grilled rolls, fresh seafood, jellyfish noodle soup, mini egg pancakes and deep herring salad are distinctive dishes in Nha Trang, a top beach town in central Vietnam.
Nha Trang-style grilled rolls (nem nuong) are famous nationwide. They are typically made of pork, seasoned, then grilled. Nem nuong can be found in many places, even in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. However, nowhere do they taste as exquisite as in Nha Trang.
The dish is not complete without sweet, spicy fish sauce, green papaya and herbs.
As one of the best dishes in Nha Trang, nem nuong should be on top of your culinary list here. Grilled on-site, the rolls are served with rice paper, lettuce, herbs, chili, garlic and steamed rice. The best way to enjoy this dish is by hand.
Nha Trang is blessed with a large amount of seafood like shrimp, sea urchins, squid, crab, jellyfish, and other shellfish collected by local fishermen.
Many seafood fanatics sign up for a tour to Binh Ba Island where lobsters are served at an affordable price. Binh Ba lobsters are famous for their freshness, with the island the largest lobster habit in Nha Trang.
There are red lobsters (long legged and spiny), blue lobsters (blue spiny), and tropical rock lobsters at different prices. Fresh lobsters can be grilled, steamed, or even eaten raw.
Jellyfish noodle soup
Nha Trang boasts a six kilometer coastal line. As a result, there is an abundance of jellyfish here, greatly contributing to local cuisine.
Beside jellyfish, the dish is topped with round scad fillet and fish cakes in fragrant freshwater fish broth. Customers can add some other elements such as crab, shrimp or pork to fit their appetite.
Famous spots for this dish are located along Bach Dang Street or at Nha Trang Market.
Jellyfish reportedly bring many health benefits, especially for those suffering from high blood pressure and intestinal ailments.
Mini pancakes (banh can)is a southern Vietnamese specialty consisting of crunchy small rice pancakes made with quail eggs, fresh and dry pork, and last but not least, seafood.
The cakes are cooked in a small clay pan on glowing charcoal. They are usually sold by pair due to their humble size.
Banh can is served with a sauce made of fish sauce, lemon juice, chili and garlic. It is an essential part for the cake's unique appeal. Some spots also serve herbs, pork balls and green mango as sides.
Deep herring salad
Deep herring is a type of forage fish, living near the coast and swimming in large schools. Nha Trang deep herring salad can be found anywhere in town. Deep herrings are tiny, with white meat and notably bloodless, reducing the fishy smell of the dish.
The salad is a harmony of the sweetness from fish, mildly sour taste from lemon and spicy heat from chili.
The sauce, usually made from the fish bones, are also carefully seasoned to enhance the taste of the salad.