Fermented pork


Nem Phung is a specialty of Phung Commune, Dan Phuong District, Hanoi, that can be seen no where else across the country.

Ingredients for Nem Phung is quite simple with pork, pork skin, glutinous rice, long-grain rice, soy bean and fig leaves. To make Nem Phung perfectly, we must choose fresh pork, rump or loin.The pork is cut into tubes and teamed. Once the pork is cooked, we fillet it into lean, fat and skin separately, then cut them all into thin strips. The pork is only medium rare cooked, we need another ingredient to make the pork fully cooked. It is Thinh (finely grinded roasted rice). Thinh is made from ordinary rice, glutinous rice and soy beans with proportion of 7:2:1. Rice and soybean are carefully rinsed, soaked in warm water then thoroughly roasted. Remember to stir gradually in roasting process to assure it is evenly cooked. Roasted rice and soybean are put into the miller, and finely ground.


After that, we mix Thinh with chopped pork, and a little julienne lime leaves to enhance flavor for the dish. Wrapping the mixture first in fig leaves, then in fresh banana leaves and tie it by wire strips, we have a guava-sized square pack of Nem called Qua Nem (a ball of fermented pork). Fig leaves is carefully selected. We should not select too young leaves that are too small to wrap the Nem, and also the too old ones that are tough and acrid. The best ones are hand-sized leaves, still young and having rough spots. Wire strips are splitted from Giang tree (one of bamboo species). It looks very dazzling and eye-catching in green leaves. Qua Nem is strung into five or ten-pack bunches, look very delicious.

Having one pinch of Nem Phung dipped in chilli sauce, we feel like all the wonderful tastes of nature converge in the dish. Nem Phung is also popular as an alcohol pairing, often goes with Vietnamese rice liquor and beer. The sapid taste of meat, buttery taste of fig leaves, aroma of Thinh, all blend together in Nem Phung and make it an unforgettable dish.  

                                                       Source: Hanoi’s cuisine - Hanoi City Tourism Department