Mango roll-ups, beef jerky salad, iced tofu pudding and steamed rice papers are dishes that attract visitors to central beach town Nha Trang.
The main ingredient to make mango roll-ups is ripe sweet mango from Cam Ranh, the largest mango growing location in the central region. After being peeled and turned into a puree, the mango is put in a cooking pot. The mango flavor must be preserved during the cooking process. After about two to three hours of cooking depending on the quantity, the mangoes are put into molds and then left to dry in the sun for three to five days. The dried mangoes will then be cut and packed.
Mango roll-ups in Nha Trang. Photo by Pasgo
Mango roll-ups have a delicate sour taste and soft chewy texture with the natural aroma of sweet mango and a sprinkle of sunshine. This is one of the unique and famous snacks in Nha Trang. The price for this delicacy ranges from VND70,000 to 100,000 ($3 to 4.27) a kilogram and can last for seven months. Visitors can find mango rolls at many food stores in Nha Trang or at rest stops.
Vietnamese squid pancakes
Nha Trang residents often have breakfasts including Vietnamese pancakes or banh xeo, in which squid pancake is a local dish for visitors here. Similar to the way of making banh xeo in other places in the central region, the mixtures are poured into small iron molds. Then the cook will add fresh squid, bean sprouts and onions in the middle. An important ingredient that produces the dish’s unique flavor is the freshly caught squid.
The dipping sauce used for squid banh xeo is fish sauce with chili and garlic. Tourists can find this dish at restaurants near the Thap Ba area, most of which are open from late afternoon to evening. The price of a squid banh xeo is about VND5,000 ($0.21).
Beef jerky salad and iced tofu pudding
Beef jerky salad and iced tofu pudding in Nha Trang. Photo by Surre
Beef jerky salad served with iced tofu pudding is a popular dish in Nha Trang, especially among children and students. Beef jerky salad is made from shredded papaya, combined with marinated dried beef liver mixed with spicy sauce, herbs and vinegar, topped with shrimp-flavored crackers. After enjoying the beef jerky salad, visitors can savor a glass of iced tofu pudding mixed with rich coconut milk, a common dessert in Nha Trang.
Tourists can look for these dishes in diners along the streets. A portion of beef jerky salad costs around VND15,000 to 30,000, and VND10,000 for a glass of iced tofu.
Rice paper with fish cake roll
The fish cake is thinly sliced after frying, accompanied by cucumber, star fruit, sliced bananas, herbs, spring rolls, boiled eggs and vermicelli. All you need to do is roll them in the rice paper and dip it in the sweet and sour fish sauce. Those who don’t want to eat fried fish cake can order a steamed version instead.
Rice paper with fish cake and other ingredients in Nha Trang. Photo by VnExpress
Rice paper with fish sausage rolls is a popular dish in Nha Trang and is favored by many tourists because of its unique taste and reasonable price.
Dien Khanh steamed rice paper (banh uot)
For a long time, banh out Dien Khanh has been famed across Nha Trang. After the flour is pureed, it will be mixed with water and steamed in a terracotta oven. It’s served with pork rinds, shredded dried pork, dried shrimps and green beans. The fish sauce for this dish is made from the intestines of mackerel or anchovies.
Banh uot Dien Khanh, a famous dish of Nha Trang. Photos by Nha Trang Today
The price for a plate of banh uot Dien Khanh is not too expensive, ranging from VND15,000 to 20,000. Visitors to Nha Trang can enjoy this dish at eateries along National Highway 1A.
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