No one can say how long this simple dish belongs to Ninh Binh‘s people but it has been a familiar dish with not only local people but also for visitors from near to far.
This dish is named after the famous place making it. In the past, it was a dish served to students who came from other regions but stopped at Ninh Binh before continuing their trip to the examination. But now, it becomes a local delicacy that can be served in many restaurants in big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang.
The cooking technique of this dish is quite elaborate. To make the dish requires not only secret formula but also passion for the work. Meat to make delicious Yen Mac fermented spring roll must be lean pork and makers usually choose meat right after the pigs are slaughtered that will make spring roll more fresh and flavor. Afterwards, meat is cut into 2-3 cm long slices. Then, slices are ground and mixed with “ thinh” ( a kind of ground roasted rice). After that, meat is put into one garment to press that will help it to be kept longer. The pork skins are boiled and cut into thin slices. Pork meat and skins are mixed with “thinh“ again , added a pinch of salt and rolled into small rolls covered with guava leaves and then wrapped by banana leaves on the outside. Next, rolls are tightened by strings split from giang, one type of bamboo which has long node.
Yen Mac fermented spring roll is served with guava leaves, fig leaves and aroma vegetables dotted into” nuoc mắm” which is mixed with garlic, lemon juice, pepper and chilli. When visitors have a chance to enjoy the dish, they will feel the greasy taste of meat, the buttery and fresh taste of guava leaves , fig leaves as well as sourness, sweetness and saltiness of “nuoc mam” .