Tra Que Village, about 3 kilometers from Hoi An, is home to nearly 20 hectares of vegetable fields. Photos: Giang Vu
If you are a fan of Hoi An's popular foods like rice noodle cao lau, chicken rice, and prawn rolls locally known as tom huu, you definitely must visit Tra Que village, some three kilometers from the town.
The 300-year-old village is one of the country's best vegetable producers though it is better known for homestay and agritourism among foreign tourists.
In fact more than 20 varieties of leaf vegetables produced at Tra Que are commonly used in Hoi An cuisine.
The greens are often praised for being not only organic but also having unique flavors, as local farmers stick to their traditional growing methods that are hundreds of years old – like using weeds taken from nearby De Vong River as fertilizers and not using any chemicals.
Thanks to Tra Que's vegetables, Hoi An foods are best in their birthplace despite the fact that they can now be found in many other places around Vietnam.
At the village, even if you have no interest in getting your hands dirty by playing farmers, the experience will not be less enjoyable with trips to family-run eating places around fields.
A lot of dishes are worth checking out even if you have had them before. Like the tasty tom huu in which leaves are wrapped around prawns and pork and the rolls are held together by slim green spring onions and the strongly flavored stir-fried mussels with Vietnamese coriander and green onions, just to name a few.
Tra Que farmers grow vegetables using their centuries-old, organic methods
Vegetables get clean water
and are fertilized with nutritious weeds obtained from a nearby river
The veggies are free of chemicals and look good regardless of the holes caused by worms
Coriander is one of the three most commonly used herbs in Hoi An foods
Another is basil
Foreign tourists play farmers at Tra Que
Sitting at one of little restaurants in Tra Que, one can feast their eyes on this beautiful scene