Best Vietnamese food you should try
In Southeast Asia, there are a lot of cuisines that will give you an exciting experience of complex flavours and textures that will make dining unforgettable. Take, for example, Vietnamese cuisine and its colourful variety of dishes that people from other countries visit just to experience.
Because of the country’s French colonization, Vietnam was able to expand its cuisine and produce some of the most delicious dishes we know today. Moreover, its influences from China, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand have also been vital in the making of its unique and diverse culinary heritage.
So, if you’re interested to know more about Vietnam and its cuisine, here some of the dishes you should know about:
Banh xeo and Banh khot
This savoury creeper is a delicious dish made from rice flour, turmeric powder then stuffed with pork, shrimp and delicious bean sprouts. All these ingredients are then gathered together in boiled lettuce sprinkled with delicious herbs to create a swirl of flavours that will excite your taste buds.
It’s usually served with fish sauce to add a more interesting twist to its flavour. In some restaurants, this dish is served additional serving of tofu or shrimp at the centre.
The bun rieu is a soup dish with crab and tomato as its base broth. When you eat this soup, you will smell a piquant aroma due to the crab ingredient. Moreover, the red vegetable toppings add an extra layer of acidity which creates a delicious contrast of sourness in the soup.
Usually, this dish uses Vermicelli as the main noodles then it will be topped with meatballs, pork knuckles, fried tofu, fish snails and blood cubes.
Also known as spring roll, the goi cuon is a healthier and delicious counterpart of fried spring roll. Made with slices of pork, shrimp, lettuce, mint, vermicelli noodles, all the ingredients are wrapped in translucent rice paper.
To add more taste and a kick of flavours, the goi cuon is dipped in hoisin-peanut sauce.
Bun bo Hue
Also known as Hue, this dish originated from the city of Hue. Made with beef broth as the base then cooked with lemongrass, shrimp paste, sugar, and chilli oil, this dish is a delicious meal you can take during cold seasons. Moreover, the rice noodle adds a chewy texture to the dish while you’re eating it. To add more flavour to the dish, it’s topped with beef, herbs, and lime. An exciting blend of spicy, sour, and sweet will overwhelm your taste when you eat this dish.
Thit kho to
The thit kho to is a dish caramelized to perfection made of pork belly braised in sugar and fish sauce marinated until tender. Usually, it’s served in a clay pot then cooked with a variety of vegetables dipped with sauce.
If you’re a fan of pork rich in flavour, the thit kho will give you an exciting gastronomical experience.
Rau muong xao toi
Made of morning glory, a plant that grows in most Southeast Asian countries, the rau muong xao toi is a delicious dish that is stir-fried then cooked with sinful amounts of garlic. To add more flavour, fish sauce and sugar can be added to the mix.
The charm of this dish is its simplicity which can give an exciting burst of flavour. If you want to eat something simple but keep you satisfied, this dish is the perfect choice.
In some areas of Vietnam, the rau muong xao toi can be served with pieces of beef, fried tofu, lime and spices.
A specialty of Hoi An, this soup dish is something you shouldn’t miss, especially if you’re going to visit the ancient city. According to locals, traditional cooks used water from the antiquated Ba Le well.
The brown hue of the soup is said to come from the lye solution from the ash of trees that can only be found in Cham Island located on the coast of the city. However, these stories are just folklore circulating around the country.
Made of sliced pork, crunchy rice crackers, species, and a variety of fresh herbs, this dish is a delicious treat if you want a soup that will give you a mild medley of flavours.
Banh cuon is a rice noodle dish that has a similar look as the cheung fun. Inside this pocket of goodness, you can find minced pork, seasoned wood ear mushrooms, and then fried shallots dipped into savoury fish sauce.
Usually, the banh cuon is best eaten when it’s freshly cooked because the flavours are still vibrant and strong compared to when it’s cold. You can eat it on its own or with rice.
Bo luc lac
In Vietnam, the Bo Luc Lac is often referred to as ‘shaking beef’ which is a method of tossing meat in flavours and spices. Usually, the beef is cut up in cubes then simmered in garlic, onions, black peppers, and soy sauce.
It’s served with a mix of lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber which is a perfect dish if you want to start your meal with a good entree to work up your appetite. Additionally, you can also eat this dish with rice or on its own if you want.
Bun thit nuong
Made with marinated pork seasoned with scallion, oil, and crushed peanuts, this dish is a delicious soup served with vermicelli noodles. To add a more hearty touch to the dish, it’s cooked with herbs, pickled daikon, and carrots. The dish may seem like a regular ensemble of ingredients but it’s bursting with flavours and textures that will make you swoon.
This dish is a perfect meal if you want extra warmth during cold seasons. Additionally, you can also eat this with rice or on its own.
Originating from the beautiful city of Hanoi, the bun cha is a popular dish that can be considered Vietnam’s version of a burger. The meat used for this dish is seasoned pork sliced thinly then grilled on charcoal.
Once the texture is achieved, it will be inserted into small patties. Usually, the bun cha is best served with vermicelli noodles and cha go. If you’re looking for a hearty meal that will give you an exciting burst of flavours, this dish is perfect for you.
If you want to munch on something light, the Goi xoai, is a delicious dish that comes in the form of a light salad. Made of julienned carrots, onions, unripe mangoes, and then topped with delicious herbs such as mint and basil, this dish gives a refreshing burst of flavour.
To add an extra punch of taste, the goi xoai is drizzled with nuoc cham and a lime-based sauce that adds an interesting contrast of flavours.
This dish is usually topped with boiled shrimp, dried beef of a generous amount of shallots and roasted peanuts for more texture and crunchiness. Pair this with a glass of shake during a hot summer’s day for full effect.
The canh chua is a delicious blend of sour and sweet flavours. Made of tamarind broth, fish, pineapples, tomatoes, and a handful of vegetables such as okra, and elephant ear, this dish will give you a refreshing burst of flavour that will slightly remind you of okra. Add more texture and sourness when you drizzle it with lime and lemongrass.
Thit luoc tom chua
If you want a perfect accompaniment to beer, the thit luoc tom chu is the perfect choice for you. Made of stir-fried baby clams then seasoned with sauce, spices, and herbs, this dish is a delicious finger food that will give you a contrast of flavours that melds well with the irony aftertaste of beer.
Additionally, you can also thit luoc tom chua with rice because it’s a very versatile dish.
If you like Chinese dai bao, the Banh beo gives a similar flavour. Made of large steamed buns sold on the streets, this dish is stuffed with seasoned fillings such as meat, quail egg, Chinese sausage, and vegetables. If you’re looking for a snack you can munch on while travelling, this dish is the perfect choice for you.
Also known as rice porridge, this dish is one of the most popular foods you can try in Vietnam. If you want to add more flavour and texture, you can top this dish with a variety of toppings such as meat bits, spring onion or vegetables.
This dish is best eaten during breakfast or cold nights if you want extra warmth. Drizzle with soy sauce for an extra kick of flavour.
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