Cam Nam Village, just a stones throw from the heart of Hoi An’s Old Quarter, typifies the sort of gastronomically experience available to people not afraid of straying from the uninspired menus of the lollipop cute cafes dotting the river’s banks.
This tranquil spot, at the lower section of the river, is home to dozens of little restaurants. The one thing they all have in common is that they all serve great local rustic fare. Everyday, Cam Nam rice paper village welcomes hundreds of guests, including western travelers and people f-rom the neighborhoods.
How it can be served
Three of the most common local dishes served up to punters are: banh dap (smashing rice paper), hen xuc banh trang (clams served with crispy rice paper) and che bap (sweet corn soup).
Banh dap (Rice Cracker) or smashing rice paper derives its name f-rom the action needed to produce the dish.
It is made from two pieces of rice paper – the first piece is crispy, the second is wet. To join them together, they must be smashed on to the table. Soft, thin fresh rice paper between crisp, grilled rice paper, making pleasant sounds when squeezed. A bowl of special fish sauce, with chili, so you can enjoy the flavor of a rural dish f-rom Hoi An.
Hen xuc banh trang (minced clams) is a combination of clams and crispy rice paper. The clams are fished up f-rom the Hoai River, which runs through Cam Nam village.
The clams are boiled and then fried with dozens of fragrant vegetables and spices, including onion, spring onion, pepper, chilli, ginger, sugar water and peanuts. When the clams are ready, crispy rice paper is set on the table, which is also used as a spoon for the dish.
Finally the desert: che bap (corn sweet soup/pudding). Hoi An’s sweet and sticky corn is perfect for this soup. Locals swear that one bowl is not enough and visitors that return are the first in line, ready for another helping.
Whether this is true or not is a matter of conjecture. What is true, is that no trip to Hoi An is truly complete without sampling the culinary spectacles that small village’s like Cam Nam have to offer.