Chả Mực Hạ Long

Cha muc

Hạ Long Squid Cake (Chả Mực Hạ Long)

Quảng Ninh province is Việt Nam’s most unique coastal province, with half of its area comprised of land and the other half comprised of the sea. It is distinguished by a remarkable archipelago of over 2,000 islands, accounting for two-thirds of the country’s total, that stretches along 250 kilometres of the coastline. It shares a border with China and is home to the Móng Cái International Border Gate, which is one of Việt Nam’s busiest.

The province invested heavily in tourism and commerce infrastructure, as well as developing eco-tourism in a sustainable way and forming high-end tourism sites in Hạ Long city. The sea in Quảng Ninh province is abundant in seafood. In fact, it is home to a variety of cuttlefish, including kiss lip cuttlefish, broad club cuttlefish, pharaoh cuttlefish, and golden cuttlefish, among others. They can be dried, grilled, or fried, but squid cake known in Việtnamese as chả mực is the most popular and best of all in the region. The original Hạ Long chả mực must be made using cuttlefish rather than normal squid, and it must weigh between 1.5 and 2 kg.

Chả mực Hạ Long has grown in popularity among both locals and visitors over time. It’s become a regional speciality and a one-of-a-kind dish. An ancient style handmade method using a traditional stone mortar and a wooden pestle with well-seasoned savoury condiments such as salt, pepper, minced onion, garlic, fish sauce, honey, glutinous rice flour, annatto seed oil, and pork lard pounding until the ingredients turn into a white smooth thick paste is their trademark in making chả mực in Hạ Long city. Lifting paste and thwacking it back into the mortal, over and over, to archive the final texture, is a hard job that can only be done by a skilled chef. “Slapping” is the perfect word to use for this process. The texture of the paste changes during this procedure as it smooths out and becomes less grainy and stickier and firmer.

The squid paste will be chilled for at least two hours after the pounding stage is completed. This stage allows the fine squid paste to settle and develop the desired flavour and bouncy/chewy texture. The final stage is to divide it into small portions and mould it into round cake shapes in the palm of your hand. After shaping, the cakes will be fried till golden and crispy yet still juicy. “Xoi” (steamed sticky rice) is a popular accompaniment to chả mực Hạ Long.

Quick • Affordable • Sustainable • No MSG-Added

To serve fresh, wholesome and reasonably priced Vietnamese food and practise sustainable business.

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Quick • Affordable •
Sustainable • No MSG-added

To serve fresh, wholesome and reasonably priced Vietnamese food and practise sustainable business.

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Singapore

Same day delivery via Deliveroo.

Same day islandwide delivery.

Bulk Order (min $250) via Catersmith. Order must be placed at least 3 days in advance.