Exploring Cuisine at Chinatown, Ho Chi Minh city

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Exploring Cuisine at Chinatown, Ho Chi Minh city
Exploring Cuisine at Chinatown, Ho Chi Minh city

District 5 is considered Chinatown, Ho Chi Minh City, where has been long inhabited by the Chinese community and famous for wholesale markets such as market Dai Quang Minh, Soai Kinh Lam and Tan Thanh markets. Besides, many stalls for drinking have opened for several tens of years and is seen as a cultural specialty of Ho Chi Minh City.

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Che Tuong phong

Che Tuong phong
Che Tuong phong

“Tuong Phong sweets stall” has the age of nearly 30 years old in the Chinatown, Ho Chi Minh City. It is regarded as the oldest dessert soup stall; even it is older than the stall located in the Den Nam Ngon area and Soai Kinh Lam fabric market, which are often referred to on newspapers.

Located on the An Diem street, a modest road like an alley, Tuong Phong stall is always crowded with diners because  sweet dishes are delicately processed and cooking method is handed down from generation to generation . In addition, the stall almost keeps the old style with a food cart, high wooden tables, the black ceiling covered with charcoal dust; especially, both sellers and assistants are members of a family.

Tam ky Pha Lau from duck

Tam ky Pha Lau from duck
Tam ky Pha Lau from duck

It is possible that fried duck or Peking duck deserves to be ranked first in the list of unique dishes of China. However, food connoisseurs in district 5 are interested another variation made from duck. This food is Phá Lấu with the distinctive taste of Tam Ky stall.

With the age of some tens of years old,  Phá Lấu Tâm Ký is located in Tran Hung Dao street and near the intersection of Chau Van Liem, district 5. The stall is always crowded with customers and only serves “take away”. Phá Lấu often includes main ingredients of black puddings, maws, tongue, and so on. In reality, Phá Lấu from duck is not popular to many people. Tâm Ký also follows the traditional method by using five-spice powder as the main ingredient but Tâm Ký has its own secrets for cooking Phá Lấu. Duck meat is flavored by a special recipe aimed at keeping the meat not too tough and soft as well. If tasting the dish, you will realize the exquisite flavor of five-spice powder. Phá Lấu is often accompanied by pickled mustard greens, black sauce and shacha sauce.

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