Thanh Hoa, the hometown of the famous General and King Lê Lợi (Le Loi) in Vietnam history, holds an important role in the reestablishment of Đại Việt (The Great Vietnam, the formal name of Vietnam before the French colonization) and the withdrawal of Ming dynasty armies. Nowadays, the city of Thanh Hoa, capital of Thanh Hoa Province, plays also a very important role in the North Central region of Vietnam. Thanh Hoa has a deep culture history with traditions pass generations to generations. Culinary culture is not an exception.
The grilled roll is peculiar. The Thanh Hoa’s delightful traditional course is made from pork with the seasoning all been fermented and all been wrapped up in banana leaves so they can all be grilled on hot coal. The roll flavors bounce from sourness of the seasoning to the chewy and salty flavors of the pork.
The list of ingredients is including lean pork shoulder, pork’s skin, fried rice flour (bột thính), garlic, chilies, pepper, Ming Aralia leaves (dwarf tree native to India), guava leaves and banana leaves.
The process is tricky and fussy and very similar to the sour pork rolls. The banana leaves, Ming aralia, guava leaves will be cleaned with water, and then allowed to dry. The hair from the skin will be removed. All of the pork will be boiled and sliced into very thin slice. Afterward, the pork will be mixed with Ming Aralia leaves, guava leaves, chilies, garlic, and other seasonings for half an hour so that the pork will be in the most flavorful state it can be.
After half an hour, the rolls maker will divided the mixed into fist-sized rolls and will be wrapped with banana leaves. The banana leaves must cover the filling entirely so air cannot get through inside. Depends of the area that the rolls will have square or rectangle-shape.
After the wrapping, the rolls will be fermented for one to two days depends on the weather. In order to grilled the rolls, the maker must ready hot coal so they rolls can be buried inside that layer of coal. When grilled, the pork’s skin will melt along with small pops and a distinguish smell.
(Divided the pork with Ming Aralia leaves and guava leaves into fist-sized rolls.)
Removing the banana layers, you will have the traditional dish from Thanh Hoa to eat in the cold day, with the light smell of banana leaves, the sourness of fermenting seasoning and the saltiness of pork. Accompanying with the rolls are vegetables fig leaves, or chilly with sauce.
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