6 Famous Specialties in Ba Be Lake

Sour shrimp, grilled lake fish, dried pork hung on smoking-shelf, forest banana... are the attractive specialties at Ba Be lake of majority of tourists.

Located on an altitude of about 145 meters over sea level, Ba Be lake (Nam Mau commune, Ba Be district, Bac Kan province) is the largest natural freshwater lake in Vietnam. It is an interesting stopover for travelers who want to stay away from the noisy urban life discover and experience an untouched, vast and magical nature.

The scenery and people in Ba Be Lake
In addition to the moments of relaxation and watching the scenery by boat on the lake, visitors can stay in Pac Ngoi village to better understand about the cultural characteristics of Tay ethnic living along the lake, and enjoy fascinating cuisine of the local area.

Grilled fish

When traveling to Ba Be, nothing seems to be more interesting sitting in the lakeside, sipping grilled fish dipped in chili sauce, and some corn wine.

Grilled fish in Ba Be lake is a favorite dish of many guests because it is not fishy. Although the fish are as small as a finger, they have a tangy and delicious taste; especially, we could eat all the meat, bones and head of the fish. After being cleaned, the fish are eviscerated to remove gallbladder and gut, then people use the bamboo stick to grip, and grill over the burning charcoal in about 15 minutes. When the fish turn yellowish- brown, they are ready for being enjoyed.

Pickled shrimp

In Ba Be, people usually eat pickled shrimp with boiled pork (pig’s feet meat) and bacon together with a dish of sour star fruits, green bananas, and đinh lăng (Polyscias fruticosa) leaves... In the poetic natural surroundings, sipping sour shrimp with small cup of spicy corn wine, visitors will have the feeling of relaxation, enjoy the acidulous greasy taste of shrimps, the piquancy of garlic and chili, and flavor of galangal…

This kind of food is sold pretty popularly in Bo Lu and Pac Ngoi,.. villages. Apart from shrimp, fresh tép (small shrimp) or small fish types are caught from the lake are also pickled and preserved in jars if people could not slam in one time.

Forest pip banana (banana with seeds inside)

In Ba Be, forest pip banana are sold popularly in the road to Ao Tien (Fairy pond), and at pick-up area from the entrance into the lake... Since grown in the mountains around the lake, the trunks are very high, bananas are plump which look very attractive. The banana not only creates a beautiful scenery, but also is used as a medicine or a gift.

Dried Pork ( preserved by hanging on the smoking-shelf)

Generally, when making dried pork, people use meat of the “rocket pig", a kind of pig who grows very slowly but the meat is very delicious. Unlike some other ethnic groups, Tay ethnic living around Ba Be lake often put meat in crates or baskets used to go to forest and then hang up the kitchen (on smoking-shelf). Smokes from wood stoves fumigate the meat everyday; therefore, the final product will have reddish-brown color.

The meat is hung on the smoking-shelf

Preserved in this way, meat can be used in the whole year without getting stale. Today, Tay people around Ba Be lake live in quite easy circumstances, they do not have to preserve food for the family; however, they always have some strings of dried pork at home to eat on some special occasions, holidays and other important days.

Dớn vegetable (kind of fern)

Dớn is a forest vegetable, grows in wet areas near rocks, easy to find and also helps to treat some illnesses; therefore, this vegetable is a favorite food of people. After being picked , this kind of should will be cooked instantly to avoid being crashed and to retain its freshness.

Sticky rice

Sticky rice can be eaten with salted peanuts and sesames
The plump grains of sticky rice planted in terrace fields are soaked in several hours before being put into wooden timber and steamed. The rice grains then become soft and non-stick, have a distinct flavor.

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