Mussel rice is just rice with mussel. It seems simple but the food must be trained through a sophisticated process of preparation and processing.
Traveling in Hue without eating mussel rice is a failure. Eating mussel rice but not in Con Hen is a bad thing again. Although there are dozens of other dishes, including the royal dishes, without mussel rice, the trip to Hue is also considered bad.
This kind of rice has all qualities of the Hue people such as thrift, meticulous, sophisticated, talented … as well as the local characteristics: bitter and salty preserving the soul of Hue.
The soul of Hue – the thing makes mussel rice become special
“The soul of Hue” is the point that make mussel rice becomes special, can not be mixed with any food. It is possible that Hue beef noodle is more popular than mussel rice because it can be varied according to the taste in each region and added to the ingredients. Other Hue dishes can accept different versions like Hue beef noodle, but mussel rice, when not in Hue, not processed in the right way of Hue, does not have the true flavor.
Mussel rice is just rice with mussel. Even, mussel rice is more rustic than chicken rice by the basic very cheap ingredients to make this dish. However, that mussel rice dish is not a simple thing that was trained through a very sophisticated, meticulous process of preparation and processing.
The best mussel used to make mussel rice must be caught in Con Hen, a floating alluvium on the Perfume River, in Con village, Vi Da commune.
How to make mussel rice
Easy to understand, Con Hen is the land of the dishes processed from mussels, in which the most outstanding is the mussel rice. The mussesls are caught in the early morning, then washed over to clean the mud. After that, the mussels are soaked in rice water to release all the dirt in the belly. After being cleaned, the mussels are put into boiled pot to get two important ingredients: meat (Hue people called mussel face) and boiled water.
By this time, the process of making mussel rice begins. The special feature of the dish is the rice must be cooled overnight. This characteristic comes from the thrifty character and philosophy of life of Hue people: nothing is wasted.
When rice is already, the mussel is quickly stirred with rice vermicelli, dried bamboo shoots and chopped thin pork. Boiled water is put into a hot pot, added a few pieces of ginger and a little spice. The preparation part for the bowl of mussel rice is carried out later.
When customers order, the chef will put all the ingredients into a bowl. Depending on the restaurant or the requirements of the customers, the mussel water will be poured into the bowl or put into another one. When eating, we will mix bowls of rice with mussel water to enjoy.
The soul of Hue can be found in the bowl of mussel rice. The mussel rice in Con Hen is a picture of yin and yang, which causes sweating in the summer then cooling by the Huong River’s wind and being warm in winter.
If you have the opportunity to come in Hue, do not hesitate to go to Con Hen to enjoy a bowl of mussel rice.
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