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`Lau De` restaurant serves up tastes of Vietnam

Posted December. 08, 2000 19:37,   


In the sub-tropical nation of Vietnam, vegetables and fruits are diverse and the people maintain good health by shunning greasy food in favor of high-protein foodstuffs.

Those looking to enjoy traditional Vietnamese food in Korea can visit a restaurant called Lau De (741-0292), in Hyehwa-dong, downtown Seoul, an eatery once visited by Vietnamese political leader Doi Moi.

The name Lau De is derived from a Vietnamese dish that is the equivalent to palace food of Korea. Originally, the dish featured goat meat but because of the rarity of this meat in Korea, beef is used as a substitute.

The meat stock for Lau De is made by boiling bones, a process by which the oil is removed. Various ingredients, including ¡®kukija¡¯ (dried fruit of the Chinese matrimony vine), licorice and herbs are used and consequently, the soup has no aroma.

A choice of vegetables such as spinach and dropwort are added and they are wrapped in Banh Trang (rice paper immersed in rice water). The dish should suit the tastes of Korean people.

In Vietnam there are two types of soy sauces, one of which is made with beans called Neukkang and Nuoc Mam. The sauce is made by maturing fish in a wrapping marinated with salt.

Aside from Lau De (15,000 won), other dishes on offer include a Shabu Shabu style dish called Boneungjoom (15,000 won), comprised of a soup with fruit and vinegar together with meat, vegetables and noodles.

There is also a dish called Naem Kwon (15,000 won) made with boiled meat, vegetables and fruits wrapped in Banh Trang with fruit sauce, skewered, barbecued meat (10,000 won), Vietnamese Pulgogi Jaeneung (7,000 won), Jjacho made with shrimp, crab meat and vegetables wrapped in Cha Gio (5,000 won) and traditional Vietnamese noodles (5,000 won).

Lau De also sells a Vietnamese spirit called Ryootook, and even traditional coffee.

Cho In-Jik cij1999@donga.com