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Rich and flavorful Ninh Binh mountain goat


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  • Rich and flavorful Ninh Binh mountain goat
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  • If it's called “mountain goat,” it must be a goat living on the mountain, not goats raised in mass in farms or freely roaming in home gardens and cooked in a “mountain style.” Therefore, to truly enjoy authentic mountain goat, you must go to the right place and not just stop by any restaurant with a sign saying “Ninh Binh mountain goat.” From taxi drivers in the city to boat rowers in Tam Coc - Bich Dong all told us that.

    Rich and flavorful Ninh Binh mountain goat

    The “Ninh Binh mountain goat” brand has been well-known nationwide for a long time. In 2012, Ninh Binh mountain goat served with burnt rice made it to the “Top 50 Vietnamese specialties” list established by the Vietnam Record Center. Just that alone is enough to make diners from all over the world eager to try the specialties from Ninh Binh goat, whether it's true mountain goat or “ordinary goat cooked in mountain style.”

    Mountain goat or goat with a high percentage of “mountain essence”?

    From the boats passing through the Trang An - Bai Dinh or Tam Coc - Bich Dong area, you will see white figures moving up and down on the surrounding rocky mountain ranges. Those are the goats wandering on the mountain slopes, eating fresh grass all year round. Among them are also goats that are actively released by people and then captured when needed. Saying this to let you know that we don't always get to eat the meat of goats that only live wild on the mountains from birth to adulthood.

    These goats are often described as more fragrant and richer in nutrients than goats raised at home. Because mountain goats that roam the mountains tend to have firmer meat and richer flavor. Moreover, these goats freely search for and eat characteristic herbs, drink natural water flowing from the local rocky mountains, creating a unique quality and flavor that domesticated goats cannot match. Therefore, food enthusiasts always try to find authentic mountain goat meat, even though it is several times more expensive than domesticated goats.

    Ninh Binh mountain goat is said to be much more fragrant and delicious than goat breeds in other regions of Vietnam, even more so than goats in Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces (also famous for their goat and lamb specialties). It is said that the weather and climate in the North are more diverse with four distinct seasons of hot, cold, and cool in the year, so the goats are also “tempered” through the intense heat of the dry summer and the cold, harsh winter, making Ninh Binh goat meat richer and more intense, like a person who has endured hardships is often more profound than those familiar with easy and comfortable life.

    Mountain goats have become a culinary brand attracting many tourists to Ninh Binh. Therefore, since 2014, the Department of Science and Technology of Ninh Binh has implemented the project “Application of advanced techniques in breeding Ninh Binh mountain goat breeds” with the aim of maintaining and developing the local characteristic goat breeds.

    Indeed, it is not easy to distinguish between goats raised in the mountains and mountain goat breeds raised on farms. Perhaps the percentage of “mountain essence” must go through many analyses to be known, while cuisine depends on the subjective perception of each person. However, believing a little might be easier for diners, if a restaurant claims to serve mountain goat, then believe it is mountain goat, because it is difficult to enjoy a dish in a state of doubt, it is better to convince yourself that if you have come to Ninh Binh to eat goat, then every goat has some percentage of “mountain essence.”

    Burnt rice goat meat - an interesting combination

    There are many mountain goat specialty restaurants in Ninh Binh city with many variations in preparation. Even when recommended by locals, it is not certain which dishes are traditional Ninh Binh mountain goat specialties. Visitors from afar to Ninh Binh are often introduced to restaurants like Duc De, Thanh Cao, Huong Mai, Bao Khuyen, Hoang Giang, Phu De... scattered in and around the city.

    There are dozens of dishes made from goat, such as grilled goat, stir-fried goat, goat with lemon, goat with plum sauce, steamed goat with lemongrass, goat stir-fried with lemongrass and chili, mixed stir-fried goat, stir-fried goat with lemongrass and chili, goat braised in wine, honey-glazed grilled goat ribs, goat hotpot, goat pearl porridge, goat stir-fried with wine, herbal goat stew, five-spice grilled goat ribs, wild vegetable soup, goat curry, three-layer goat sausage, fragrant five-spice grilled goat, grilled goat udder, grilled goat loin, grilled goat legs, goat roasted on a spit, goat blood wine, herbal goat feet stew...

    Goat with lemon is a dish that every restaurant encourages customers to try because it fully captures the sweet taste of fresh goat meat without being overwhelmed by other spices. Goat with lemon must be thinly sliced fresh goat meat marinated in lemon, ginger, chili, lemongrass, lime leaves, lime zest... and other spices, served with sung leaves, bitter banana, starfruit, velvet tamarind leaves... and especially dipped in Ban sauce (Hung Yen) - a characteristic sauce of the Red River Delta region made from fermented soybeans with yellow flower rice and white salt. Ban sauce is believed to enhance the flavor of goat meat, making it more delicious while still retaining its soulful taste without being overshadowed by many other spices like when dipped in other sauces.

    A unique dish at Ninh Binh goat meat restaurants is crispy burnt rice that many other goat meat restaurants in different regions do not have. When ordering goat with lemon, grilled goat, or goat braised in plum sauce, the restaurant often encourages you to order a plate of crispy burnt rice to accompany. Crispy burnt rice sandwiched with goat with lemon, wrapped in sung leaves, herbs, salted sung, garlic... and then dipped in a bowl of chili-salted Ban sauce is quite exotic and interesting. You can also dip the crispy burnt rice in the plum sauce bowl, enjoy it with pickled starfruit, garlic, chili... Plum-braised goat is also a quite unique and delicious dish, so try it when you come to Ninh Binh goat restaurants.

    How many people eat a dish, there will be as many opinions about its deliciousness, badness, and difficulty in determining what is “standard”. Locals will also try to help you identify authentic mountain goat restaurants and “ordinary goats cooked in the mountain style”. However, I think we don't need to emphasize that too much, because coming to Ninh Binh is coming to the most beautiful and majestic nature in the North. So, to enjoy local delicious dishes, just choose a reputable, clean restaurant and confidently order goat meat, crispy burnt rice, and a bottle of Kim Son wine to enjoy slowly.

    Sometimes, whether a dish is delicious or not is not necessarily because the mountain goat is “authentic” or not, but more importantly, the mood of the eater and the people sitting at the table together...

    According to Ngan Phan/Doanh nhan Sai Gon


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    MinpriceTháng Chín 8, 2017