Served as a perfect pair with Bia hoi, Vietnamese fermented pork rolls or Nem chua has become one of the most favorite dish of Hanoians as well as tourists.
What is Nem chua?
Nem chua is a meat roll with a sweet, sour, salty and spicy taste which makes the mouth salivate with each bite. Nem chua possesses the local character of each region of Vietnam, due to the differing ingredients and sauces used. Most versions of Nem chua can be distinguished by their name, which is usually named after the area it originated from, such as nem Thanh Hoa, nem Dong Ba in the ancient royal capital of Hue, and nem Ninh Hoa in Khanh Hoa Province, nem Yen Mac in Ninh Binh Province, etc.
In the past, fermented pork rolls are made only in the special occasions but now people can enjoy it every time in the year. There are many families in Cot Co and Hac Thanh streets (in Thanh Hoa city) which have make fermented pork rolls for a dozen of years. In order to for nem chua has such an famous flavor as today’s, Thanh Hoa people combine the other area’s elites to make the rolls are suitable for local’s taste. Thanh Hoa’s fermented pork rolls are not spicy as Hue’s are but not sweet as the Southern’s are.
How is Nem chua made?
According to the recipe, fermented pork rolls are made of fresh pork. The pork has to be used immediately when the pig is slaughtered. The pork is minced and processed in a lot of steps. Other ingredient in this recipe is pigskin. Pigskin is cleaned with boiled water then cut into the thin fibers.
When pork and pigskin are processed, they will be mixed with other ingredients, such as “thính”, salt, sugar, and fish sauce. Next is the packing process. Each roll is added garlic, chili… which will make fermented pork roll more fragrant. Normally, the packed rolls can be eaten after 2 or 3 days.
The fermented pork rolls are often used with chili.