Another specialty visitors should try when they come to Ninh Binh is eel vermicelli noodle.
The main ingredient of this dish is eel. Selecting eels to make good dish is quite challenged and requires experience. High quality eels are small eels called” lươn cốm” which are strong , fat and still fresh .They have brown-pink backs and yellow bellies. Besides main ingredient, banana flower and vermicelli are other important elements. Banana flower should be fresh and ripe. Vermicelli must be made from high quality phrynuim fruits and are small, pure threads .
Eels are washed carefully with vinegar, removed the inside , mixed with spices like red chilli, onion, pepper, “ nước mắm” and then fried in hot oil until fragrant and yellow. Banana flower is cut into thin threads and soaked in salt water to remove resin and keep it white. Vermicelli is put into cool water for 5-7 minutes and then fried with mashed onion . Eel vermicelli noodle is often eaten with ginger, “ lá lốt” and lemon juice. The crispness and pleasant smell of yellow fried eels, the acrid , buttery and sweet taste of banana flower accompanied with the spiciness of ginger , chilli , the pungency of “ lá lốt” and the sourness of lemon juice converge on the eel vermicelli bowl that make a try worth a thousand words.
Found in most restaurants in Vietnam