Breakfast in Phu Ly with perch rice paper and rolls

HA NAM – Banh da perch and grilled Banh Cuon are often enjoyed by tourists on the journey from Hanoi to the South.

About 60 km south of Hanoi capital, located on National Highway 1A in Phu Ly city. This place is often considered a rest and breakfast stop for tourists on the journey from Hanoi to Ninh Binh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An… Every morning from around 5am, there are goods. A series of cars parked along with the roadside shops. You can also have lunch if going in the opposite direction.

Two famous, well-known, and most often eaten dishes when stopping in Phu Ly are Banh Da perch and Banh Cuon. Photo: Van Anh

The rolls here are coated with a moderate thickness, crispy and vegetarian, with no meat or wood ear. Prominent on the white cake background is layers of fried, fragrant yellow onions.

Diners eat with sweet and sour fish sauce, with more pickles made from kohlrabi, carrots and seasoned grilled meat. Grilled meat is not too dry, not too fatty, but fragrant, soft and delicious. Many visitors believe that Phu Ly rolls are a combination of Thanh Tri rolls and Hanoi bun cha. The dish has a unique feature in taste, making it different from other rolls across the country.

Perch rice paper has small fibers, opaque white color, not large or yellow like other places. The cake has a chewy texture that won’t be crushed when left in the broth for a long time. The fish is perch, caught locally, so it’s always fresh. After cleaning, the fish is usually steamed, then removed from the lean part, or filtered, marinated in spices and then deep-fried. In order for the fish not to burn, the chef must fry it at a high temperature, submerged in oil.

The seller will arrange the fish in the middle of the bowl of rice paper, surrounded by chopped vegetables that are cooked and then filled with broth. The broth is not fishy, ​​sweet, and fragrant with fresh ginger. The dish brought up to diners is quite full, with lots of cakes and fish. Only a healthy adult can use the full serving.

Perch can be deep-fried, or sautéed in oil, depending on the restaurant. Photo: Van Anh

Ha Nam land belongs to a low-lying area, so there are many wild perch in nature. If you come to Phu Ly at the time when the fish are having eggs, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the fragrant pieces of perch, along with greasy fish roe.

Both dishes cost 30,000 VND each. You can visit any roadside shop to enjoy these two specialties because the quality is quite uniform and are highly appreciated by diners. In Hanoi, you can enjoy Nguyen Khuyen street, Ha Dong district; Dao Duy Tu street, Hoan Kiem district… with prices from 35,000 VND.