+ Cao Lau

Cao Lau is a variation of pho which is normally served dry and uniquely prepared by Hoi An people. The ingredients are sweet-smelling rice, bean sprout, groundnut, lean meat of pork leg and pork chest, pork fat, ash water, banh trang (or banh da - rice paper), and herbs of different kinds. The noodles in Cao Lau is similar to those of pho but, the color is yellow and the flavour of rice is more marked. The kind of rice to make Cao Lau must not be too old or too newly-harvested so that the noodles will not be too dry or too brittle, but soft and a little bit leathery.

This well-chosen rice will then be soaked in ash water which is taken from Cham Island about 10km offshore. The water is taken from wells in Ba Le village, where the water has enough alum to mix the rice powder with. The preparation of Cao Lau is simple, but very hard for people from elsewhere to follow, because what makes Cao Lau special lies in the noodles which can only be made in Hoi An. And this makes this unique dish a specialty only Hoi An can produce. Visitors find this kind of food both strange and tasty. Together with the relics and the landscapes, Cao Lau adds considerably to the excitement of Hoi An.

+ Hoanh Thanh

The main ingredient of this dish is ground shrimp wrapped with wheat flour. This is called hoanh thanh, which has three kinds: boiled, fried and mi (untranslatable). Hoanh thanh mi is most popular in Quang Dong (China). In Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh city, people call it my van than or man than.

+ Com Ga (Chicken rice)

A big aluminum pot with a couple of chickens being boiled in it is the sign of small restaurants which serve chicken rice. The chicken for this kind of chicken rice must be plump and not too old, and the rice not too hard or too crushed. A plate of chicken rice with grains of rice wrapped in a thin layer of chicken fat, and chicken sliced or mixed with herbs, salt, pepper and lemon leaves, is a dish most visitors can not miss.

+ Banh Bao - Banh vac

Visitors to Hoi An can easily see this specialty served in restaurants. A big plate of banh bao - banh vac normally contains about 10 banh bao (looking like dumplings), the size of each of which is about half of a pingpong ball, and several semicircular shaped banh vac, the size of each of which is about half of a tennis ball. Banh vac looks like a flower with edges like the ears of a bronze cauldron, and this is probably why visitors usually call it "white rose".

The filling of banh vac is normally shrimp, bean sprout, mushroom, onion, minced pork. When boiled, the filling can be seen from outside. Banh bao and banh vac need a special sauce which is made from fish and shrimp meat, lemon and chilli. They are best served with fried onion, salad and a variety of herbs.

+ My Quang

Together with Pho Ha Noi ( a type of rice noodles in Ha Noi) Bun Bo Hue (a type of beef rice noodles in Hue), Hu Tieu Sai Gon (a type of noodles in Sai Gon), My Quang has long been known as the spirit of Quang Nam Cuisine.

My Quang is a kind of rice noodles which is prepared by Quang Nam people. Like pho, bun, hu tieu, my quang is made from rice; however it has a flavour which is unlike any of the dishes mentioned above. The noodles in pho are thin and delicate, and the noodles in my quang are fatter and plump. My quang is sold at street corners or at marketplaces.

My Quang tastes best when served with a variety of herbs, such as mint leaves, houttunya, cabbage, onion, coriander, banana flower and so on. A bowl of my quang is normally dressed with pieces of banh trang (also called - baked rice paper), roasted groundnuts, shrimp or pork, which look very tasty.