Just like many other Nghe An specialities, the Tương Sauce in Nam Dan is not only famous within the province but also in other parts of the country. Made from small healthy soybeans, corns and glutinous rice, this is a familiar sauce that appears in the daily meals of families in Nam Dan. It can be served with many different types of foods ranging from rice and soup to meat and vegetables.
In contrast to the Tương Sauce in the Northern Vietnam, the Tương Sauce in Nam Dan has a brown-yellow color and a tempting smell of glutinous rice, corns and fried soybeans.Its recipe requires both skills and patience. From the 5th month of the year (according to Lunar calendar), people start preparing the necessary ingredients to make Tương Sauce.
How to make it
First, the corns must be fermented until they break down and the starch becomes sweet before the cook grindsthem into small pieces. Next, the soybeans are fried, cooled off and grinded. They are then boiled in a hot pot before the cook can either store them in a big bottle or dried them with other ingredients. In addition, the water used for Tương Sauce must also be chosen very carefully. Usually, people will use filtered rain water, but if doing so is not possible, they will resort to the water of Lam River. Romantically, they will get the water from the river at night when the scenery is most peaceful, and then filter it carefully in the next few days.
After all fermentations processes, the cook will mix all the beans and water together, adding salt following some secret ratios. If there is too much salt, the Tương Sauce will lose it sweetness and deliciousness. However, if there is too little salt, the sauce will have a bland flavor later.