Asian cuisines are very distinct and unforgettable. Each country in Asia represents a lot of different types of food that you cannot find elsewhere, same as Vietnamese food. Vietnamese food is known to be both healthy and robust in flavor because it relies a lot on the combinations of the food and the balance of salty, sweet, sour and hot sauce.
When you come to Vietnam, either a big or small city, do not choose luxury place to eat because usually most of the best food are found at roadside eateries, street markets, or humble-looking restaurants. A typical Vietnamese dish usually includes rice or noodles, and delicious nuoc mam (fermented fish sauce) for dipping. Here is 10 must-try dishes when you come to one of the travel destinations in Southeast Asia, Vietnam.
For foreigners, Pho is a very popular food. It is essentially Vietnam’s signature dish, which is rice noodles in a flavorful meat soup with added greens such as onions, mint, basil, and cilantro. A basic Pho bowl contains different types of beef, such as sliced beefs, meatballs, beef flank, etc. Pho is typically eaten for breakfast and it usually costs around VND 20,000–30,000 at a local restaurant or street markets.
Goi Cuon is also known as Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, and is an authentic Vietnamese cuisine. This consists of thin vermicelli noodles, pork slices, shrimp, basil, and lettuce, carefully wrapped in rice papers. Goi Cuon is always eaten together with fish sauce or peanut sauce for dipping to create a very tasty dish. This popular snack is considered a very healthy food because all the ingredients are fresh.
This is a unique French-Vietnamese sandwich that is considered as fast food in Vietnam. Prices are usually between VND 10,000 to 15,000. It consists of a toasted baguette sandwich, pickles, pate, butter, soy sauce, cilantro, etc. You can actually customize your own banh mi with more add-ons options. Mostly, Banh Mi comes with different types of meat for you preference, such as roasted pork belly, fried egg, grilled pork loin, fried fish cake, sausage, etc.
Banh Xeo is also known as sizzling cake. It is a giant savory pancakes that literally makes the sizzling sounds on the pan when being cooked. This dish is made of rice flour, coconut milk, and turmeric, which you can fill it with vermicelli noodles, meat, shrimps, sliced onions, etc. To enjoy Banh Xeo, you shouldn’t forget to dip it in fish sauce because that’s what makes the taste much better.
Com tam is literally translated into “broken rice”. This delicious dish is traditionally served with fried egg, grilled pork chop, steamed pork and egg patty, diced green onions, and fish sauce. Com tam is a popular choice for breakfast or lunch as it is relatively inexpensive. You can easily find com tam as it is sold anywhere, from a local street food vendor to a fancy restaurant. Price falls between VND 20,000 to 50,000.
Bun Cha is one of the favorite dished in Northern Vietnam. This dish is a bowl contains vermicelli noodles, grilled chopped meat, and herbs. Once again, you cannot miss the fish sauce for Bun Cha. Usually, the sauce for this dish is slightly less salty than regular fish sauce, making the taste of meat better. In addition, for your information, this is the dish that Former President of the United States Barack Obama had chose to eat during his visit in Hanoi.
This dish is known as rolled cake. Banh cuon is a combination of ground meat (pork, shrimp, or chicken), minced wood ear mushroom, onions, Vietnamese ham, steamed beansprouts, and pieces of cucumbers that are wrapped in a steamed rice flour sheets. For the best flavor, you should dip each piece of banh cuon in fish sauce. This dish is sold in plenty of street vendors.
Mi Quang is another type of noodles, originating from Da Nang, a province in the West of Vietnam. However, you can easily distinguish this noodle because it has a yellow color, rather than white like any other types of noodles. Mi quang is served with shrimp, boiled quails eggs, roast pork, and herbs. In addition, unlike other soupy dish, Mi quang doesn’t come with a bowl-full soup. It comes with just a little bit beef soup but still brings an awesome taste.
Xoi means sticky rice. Xoi is usually a good choice for breakfast because it will make you full for a longer time. This dish is a glutinous rice comes with many add-ons such as sausage, Vietnamese ham, spoiled quails eggs, etc. If you want to have the best Xoi, you should buy it on street vendors rather in restaurants.
Che is a famous sweet dessert in Vietnam. There are so many different flavours of Che that you will never able to finish trying all of them. It usually gets covered in coconut milk, and comes in various kinds of toppings like jellies, dried fruits, mung beans, etc.
Written by Linh Tran