1. Overview

Ninh Binh is a northern province of Vietnam with great potential in the tourism industry. Ninh Binh has a long history as the capital of three Vietnamese dynasties from 968 to 1010. Ninh Binh is blessed with majestic natural landscapes and historical relics such as Tam Coc, Bich Dong, Trang An Bai Dinh, Tam Chuc Pagoda, the historical ancient capital of Hoa Lu, etc. Ninh Binh is also known to tourists for its attractive and diverse cuisine prepared by the skillful hands of indigenous residents.

When you come to Ninh Binh, don’t forget to enjoy the delicious dishes here. Ninh Binh food is very diverse, from restaurant dishes to street food dishes that are not only delicious and of high quality but also very affordable.

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2. Top 15 specialties of Ninh Binh foods you must try

2.1. Ant egg sticky rice

Ant egg sticky rice is a famous specialty in Ninh Binh that you should experience. To make this sticky rice dish, Ninh Binh people will prepare it from young ant eggs taken from the Nho Quan limestone mountains. Then it will be washed, marinated with spices, and stir-fried. 

Combined with this stir-fried young ant egg is sticky white sticky rice with fried onions and onion fat. In particular, this dish depends on the ants’ breeding season and is not always available to enjoy. If you want to enjoy the interesting and unique ant egg sticky rice dish, you should travel to Ninh Binh around February–March (lunar calendar). 

  • Reference address: Restaurants in Ngoc Luong commune, Nho Quan district, Ninh Binh province are the most famous for this specialty.
  • Reference price: 2.05 USD – 4.10 USD/plate

2.2. Ninh Binh scorched rice

Burned rice is the most delicious and popular snack in Ninh Binh. Different from other scorched rice dishes, scorched rice in Ninh Binh is made from a mixture of dry and sticky rice and goes through many stages of drying and deep-frying to produce batches of crispy, fragrant scorched rice. Scorched rice is often eaten with shrimp paste or fried green onions, or more strangely, when eaten with goat meat and rich sauce, etc.

  • Reference address

Hoa Lu scorched rice: 3 Vo Thi Sau, Dong Thanh, Ninh Binh.

Thu Quyen Grocery Elderberry Agent: 202 Luong Van Thang, Dong Thanh, Ninh Binh.

  • Reference price: 1.44 USD – 5.74 USD depending on weight.

2.3. Ninh Binh goat meat

Ninh Binh goats are raised in the rich Hoa Lu land with many limestone mountains. Goats eat many precious medicinal herbs in the mountains, so goat meat is not only delicious but also nutritious and good for health. Dishes made from goat meat, such as fermented goat, steamed goat meat, grilled goat meat, rare goat meat with lemon, etc. What makes this dish more special than other dishes is the secret of preparation and seasoning. People often eat it with fig leaves, green bananas, star fruit, and especially soybean jam.

Most especially, most restaurants or eateries in Ninh Binh will be famous for their scorched rice dish with goat sauce. This is the perfect combination of two specialties here, creating a strange, delicious flavor. suck.

  • Reference address:

Chinh Thu goat meat restaurant: Khe Thuong village, Ninh Thuan commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province.

Thang Long Restaurant: Trang An, Truong Yen, Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh

  • Reference price: 4.10 USD – 20.51 USD/piece.

2.4. Ca Kho Gao

Ca Kho Gao is one of the strange dishes with strong regional characteristics in Ninh Binh. Gao fruit has a sour, sweet taste and cool properties; it is often used to replace tamarind and Sau fruit. With a very special flavor, Gao fruit not only eliminates the fishy smell of fish but also has a unique aroma, making braised fish extremely attractive.

The Gao fruit will be cut into small slices and placed on the bottom of the pot, then the fish will be placed on top and covered with a layer of thinly sliced Gao fruit slices on top. The dish has an uncertain flavor because, depending on the taste of the Gao fruit at each time, the Ca Kho Gao will be slightly sour or a bit acrid. Because of its uniqueness and characteristics, Ca Kho Gao has become a dish loved by many diners.

  • Reference address: Huong Que Restaurant: 05 Nguyen Luong Bang Street, Tan Thanh Ward, Ninh Binh City, Ninh Binh Province
  • Reference price: from 4.10 USD/piece

2.5. Ninh Binh mountain snail

Mountain snails are snails that live in caves and limestone mountains and have a completely different taste than snails in rivers and seas. Mountain snails live in limestone mountains in Tam Diep, Yen Mo, and Nho Quan. They only go out to look for food during the rainy season, from April to August. Snails can be processed with many different ingredients to create many dishes. There are a variety of snail dishes, such as grilled, stir-fried, steamed with ginger, boiled, and mixed with onion salad.

Mountain snail meat is chewy, crunchy, and has a flavor similar to that of traditional Chinese medicine, so it is often boiled to retain its unique taste. Each snail’s meat is sweet and crispy, dipped in lemon and chili fish sauce, and will definitely give you a strange, unforgettable flavor.

  • Reference address:

Van Bao Ngoc Restaurant: 86 Luong Van Tuy Street, Tan Thanh Ward, Ninh Binh City, Ninh Binh Province

Cuc Phuong Restaurant: Cuc Phuong forest road, Cuc Phuong, Nho Quan, Ninh Binh

  • Reference price: 3.28 USD – 4.10 USD/disc

2.6. Mien Luon Ninh Binh

A Ninh Binh specialty you should also enjoy is mien luon, with broth cooked from eel and shin bones for many hours to create a natural sweetness. It has an attractive dark brown color, a natural fatty taste, and is very rich. 

The eels used as ingredients are nuggets of eel with a pink-brown back and a dark yellow belly. You will enjoy the fragrant and fatty pieces of eel meat. They are small, but the meat is quite firm and delicious. The delicious dish will be served with shredded banana flowers, all blended together to become a famous specialty of this region.

  • Reference address:

Dung Thanh Restaurant: 999 Tran Hung Dao Street, Van Giang Ward, Ninh Binh City, Ninh Binh Province

Mien Luon Tam Hien: 336 Nguyen Cong Tru street, Van Gia ward, Ninh Binh city, Ninh Binh province

  • Reference price: 0.82 USD – 1.44 USD/bowl

2.7. Nhech Fish Salad

Nhech Fish salad is a delicious and famous dish for the indigenous people of Kim Son, Ninh Binh. The salad is prepared delicately and meticulously, going through many stages to remove the fishy smell of the fish and give the fish a sweet taste mixed with the aroma of sticky rice.

Nhech Fish salad can be eaten with leaves such as star fruit leaves, apricot leaves, guava leaves, polyscias fruticosa leaves, fig leaves, etc. Add a little fish, some herbs, and a little chili sauce, and wrap it up to dip in the Cheo sauce or sweet and sour fish sauce, you can fully enjoy the delicious, sweet, fatty taste combined with an unforgettable richness. The Cheo sauce is made from crispy fried fish bones, crushed and cooked together with pickles, pork belly, eggs, and other spices.

  • Reference address: Vu Bao Ninh Binh Restaurant: 6A Phat Diem Dong Street, Phat Diem Town, Kim Son District, Ninh Binh Province.
  • Reference price: 5.33 USD – 10.26 USD /disc.

2.8. Banh Da Perch

Another traditional specialty dish of Ninh Binh that you must definitely enjoy when you have the opportunity to come here is Banh Da Ca Perch. In the area along the lowlands of Ninh Binh, there are a lot of perch, so people here have taken advantage of it to prepare this extremely attractive dish. Perch meat is carefully separated from the bones, mixed with spices such as salt and pepper, and then simmered with dried onions for a rich aroma. A bowl of Ninh Binh perch rice cake will be served with vegetables and fish cakes.

  • Reference address: Huyen Linh Restaurant: Alley 52 Pham Van Nghi, Dong Thanh Ward, Ninh Binh City, Ninh Binh Province
  • Reference price: 1.64 USD – 2.46 USD/bowl.

2.9. Nem chua Yen Mac

The origin of Yen Mac spring rolls is based on the Hue royal spring rolls of the Nguyen Dynasty. Yen Mac Nem Chua uses finely chopped pork butt meat, not pureed like other types of Nem Chua. The meat is mixed with “thinh”, boiled pork skin, and some other heirloom spices and wrapped with guava leaves and banana leaves on the outside. Served with spring rolls are leaves such as fig leaves, polyscias fruticosa leaves, and apricot leaves, dipped in chili sauce or chili garlic sauce to add a little sweet and spicy taste that is easy to eat.

  • Reference address:

Yen Mac fermented pork roll production facility: No. 70, Street 11, Van Giang Ward, Ninh Binh City, Ninh Binh Province

Tuan Binh Restaurant: Hamlet 4 Dong Son, Yen Mac commune, Yen Mo district, Ninh Binh province

  • Reference price: 2.05 USD – 4.10 USD.

2.10. Roasted field crab with lolot leaves

Roasted field crab with lolot leaves is a famous Ninh Binh specialty dish both at home and abroad. This is a countryside dish with the combination of the crunchy taste of field crabs and the aroma of lolot leaves. Field crabs are often caught by Ninh Binh people in rice fields. Field crab meat is always firm and more fragrant than other types of crab. Especially when roasted, the crab will have a high crunchiness, combined with the aroma and spicy taste of the lolot leaves, to create an attractive dish. Although prepared quite simply, this dish of roasted field crab with lolot leaves makes diners always remember it.

  • Reference address: Nhu Y Restaurant: Tan Trung Residential Area, Tan Thanh Ward, Ninh Binh City, Ninh Binh Province.
  • Reference price: 2.87 USD – 4.10 USD/portion.

2.11. Bun Cha Quat Ninh Binh

Hanoi has a famous bun cha dish, and Ninh Binh also has an equally delicious bun cha quat dish. Bun cha quat leaves a deep impression on diners because of the rich flavor marinated in each piece of meat. The patties are made from pork belly, marinated with rich spices, and grilled evenly until fragrant. Bun cha quat will be served with sliced vermicelli leaves, crispy pickles, and freshly grilled patties. The “soul” of this dish is the dipping sauce. The dipping sauce must be delicious; the flavor will be doubled.

  • Reference address:

Bun Cha Quat: 540 Tran Hung Dao Street, Mia Street, Ninh Binh City, Ninh Binh Province

Bun Cha Tuan Anh: 168A Nam Thanh Street, Tan Thanh Ward, Ninh Binh City, Ninh Binh Province.

  • Reference price: 1.03 USD – 2.05 USD/portion.

2.12. Banh Troi Ninh Binh 

In Ninh Binh, banh troi is a traditional dish kneaded with rice flour, and the difference in this dish is that the filling is combined with molasses, peanuts, and chrysanthemum leaves to create a unique flavor. Banh troi has a sweet taste that is not too harsh and has a gentle aroma of moldy chrysanthemum leaves and grapefruit flowers. Attractive round white cakes combined with the richness of peanuts create a delicious dish that attracts many diners.

  • Reference address: Head of Street 2, Van Giang Ward, Ninh Binh City, Ninh Binh Province
  • Reference price: from 0.41 USD/piece.

2.13. Banh Xeo Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh banh xeo is also prepared similarly to other regions, but there is one difference, when eating banh xeo, Ninh Binh people eat it with grilled spring rolls. When enjoying Ninh Binh Banh Xeo, you will immediately feel the crispiness of the crust mixed with the sweetness of the meat and the aroma of grilled spring rolls, served with rich dipping sauce and sour foods to stimulate the taste buds. That’s why this Ninh Binh pancake dish attracts and holds customers so much.

  • Reference address:

Banh Xeo Ut: 25 Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Van Gia Ward, Ninh Binh City, Ninh Binh Province

  • Reference price: 2.46 USD/piece.

2.14. Grilled banana fish

Although grilled banana fish is just a rustic dish in Ninh Binh, it attracts many diners to enjoy it. Banana fish has a large, round body, firm, sweet meat, and is best grilled right after being caught. The special feature of the dish is that it does not need to be marinated with any additional spices so that diners can enjoy the original sweetness of the fish. Grilled banana fish is often served with fresh vermicelli, raw vegetables, peanuts, and a cup of dipping sauce.

  • Reference address: Van Long stilt house – Gia Van, Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province
  • Reference price: from 4.10 USD/piece.

2.15. Nho Quan can wine

Besides the variety of traditional dishes in Ninh Binh, there is also the famous Nho Quan can wine, which is extremely popular with tourists. Nho Quan can wine is a wine of the Muong people living in Nho Quan land. This type of wine is special in that it does not need to go through the distillation stage like other popular types of wine. 

Can wine is usually made from sticky rice, rice, potatoes, or brown rice, cooked and ground. Then take forest leaves or vegetables such as ebony, guava leaves, ginger, etc., pound them, squeeze the juice, mix with the ground rice, and ferment in large wine bottles for at least 3 months to create The wine’s flavor is passionate, delicious, and not too heavy. To enjoy wine, you must use bamboo stems to plug into a wine bottle to drink.

  • Reference address:

Some locations in Nho Quan Town, Nho Quan district, Ninh Binh province

Thang Long Restaurant: Trang An, Chi Phong, Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh

  • Reference price: from 2.26 USD/liter

3. Conclusion

Above are Top 15 specialties of Ninh Binh foods you must try that Metta Voyage has shared with you. With this list of diverse dishes, we hope you will have a complete exploration of Ninh Binh with these interesting and attractive dishes.

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