Lôi Âm Charcoal Grilled Hill Chicken (Gà Nướng Lôi Âm)
In the province of Quảng Ninh, the Lôi Âm Pagoda is a well-known spiritual tourism attraction. In addition to being sacred and historic, and partly hidden among the clouds the pagoda is also known for its charming scenery and stunning nature surrounded by vast green pine and pineapple plantations. The pagoda is located in the Lôi Âm mountain, about 15 kilometres from Hạ Long city. Visitors will be able to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of Hạ Long Bay from this vantage point.
Over 500 years of glorious history Lôi Âm Pagoda was once a popular scenic spot in Hải Dương city and was built in the Trần dynasty, also known as the House of Trần, was a Việtnamese dynasty that ruled over the Kingdom of Đại Việt from 1225 to 1400. Lôi Âm Pagoda located next to Yên Lập lake. Derived from the need to supply water for irrigation to Hoành Bồ and Hưng Yên districts, Yên Lập lake was built in 1975 and is considered the largest irrigation project in the province.
When visiting Lôi Âm Pagoda, travellers must take a ferry across the scenic Yên Lập lake to the foot of mountain Lôi Âm, then climb uphill for 1 ½ hour to reach the pagoda. At the base of the mountain, pilgrims can enjoy Lôi Âm charcoal grilled chicken or gà nướng Lôi Âm in Việtnamese, after paying their respects to the Buddha. This is a one-of-a-kind gourmet adventure that no visitor should miss.
The Lôi Âm chicken, also known as “gà đồi” (hill chicken) among the locals, is raised and grazed on hills, forests, and under fruit trees, with access to an outside range area during the day enabling them to exhibit normal chicken behaviour such as scratching, pecking and dust-bathing as result developed bones and muscles and strong natural immunity. It’s a slow-growing method that’s said to produce healthier meat that also ultimately tastes better.
To ensure freshness and a desirable outcome, gà nướng Lôi Âm will only be slaughtered and processed when the customer ordered; in other words, “cooked to order” or “made to order” mean that the item is made fresh upon ordering (instead of pre-made or kept warm, for example).
The hill chicken menu only has two preparations: regular grilled chicken and grilled chicken stuffed with mugwort. Mugwort is a bitter flavouring herb to season fat, meat, and fish. The herb promotes digestion and has also been used in treating colds, backaches, headaches, insomnia, and sciatic nerve pains in the Vietnamese herbal medicine known as “thuốc name” (medicine of the South), which is indigenous Việtnamese traditional medicine (VTM) and is based largely on folk herbal knowledge.
The end result is charcoal grilled chicken with an exceptional taste, flavourful, smoky, tender but firm texture, crispy and juicy, thanks to the special sauce used to glaze the free-range bird throughout the long grilling process.