When it comes to Vietnam, people often think of Phở as the most famous dish that everyone should try at least once when visiting the country. However, Vietnam cuisine has much more to offer the world than just only “Pho”.
It is believed that Vietnam is renowned for its scrumptious food. You can easily find tasty delights such as pho, banh mi, bun cha, mi quang, vietnamese spring rolls, banh xeo and so on from the North to the South. There are plenty of dishes you can choose to try when travel to Vietnam and here are the top 5 picks that you can’t miss.
1. Bún chả Hà Nội
Bún chả is a popular dish of Ha Noi and is usually served with grilled fatty pork, meatballs, fresh herbs and rice noodles with a dish of dipping sauce. Bun cha is best accompanied with crab spring rolls (Vietnamese call it “nem cua bể” ). People often order these spring rolls as a side dish.
In 2016, the former U.S. President Obama and food expert Anthony Bourdain enjoy eating bun cha and drinking beer at a local restaurant.
In the South, people often eat bun thit nuong instead, which is a similar dish as bun cha with rice-vermicelli noodles, grilled pork, herbs (basil, mint, bean sprouts, etc.), salad, and special sauce.
2. Bún bò Huế
Another specialty of Vietnamese cuisine is Bun bo Hue which was originated from Hue – the central of Vietnam. The main ingredients of this dish are rice noodles, tender slices of beef shank with flavorful broth and lots of Vietnamese herbs on top of the bowl. What makes Bun Bo Hue special is the spicy flavor of lemongrass.
3. Mì Quảng
Mi Quang is a distinctive dish of Quang Nam – one province in the central of Vietnam. Different from Bun bo Hue and Pho, Mi quang’s noodles are far more thicker, wider and flatter and it is served with a little pork broth. On the bowl, people often place shrimps, some slice of porks, rotten egg and sprinkle green onions, peanuts and coriander and a piece of rice cracker. Besides, customers are given a plate which is full of salad, bean sprouts, banana blossom, etc.
4. Bánh mì
Banh mi is well known as a popular street food in Saigon. The local can choose to eat banh mi for any meal of the day. The bread has thin, crunchy crust and white, airy crumb. It is usually stuffed with pork, pâté, ham, fresh herbs, a slice of cucumber, pickled carrots and radishes. Not only is banh mi delicious but it is also cheap and convenient to bring along. If you have any chance to visit Saigon, you should definitely taste it and you will know why it is so famous around the world.
5. Bánh xèo
Another favourite street food in Vietnam, especially in the South is banh xeo. Banh xeo is a kind of crepe which is often folded in a half and it has yellow color coming from turmeric powder. On the top of banh xeo, it is put with prawns, some thin slice of porks, bean sprouts and is served with dipping sauce. Banh xeo is best enjoyed with seasonal vegetables and often wrapped in banh trang (rice paper) and dipped into the sauce. Depending on the region, the size, the fillings and the sauce may be a little different. Banh xeo is served hot, so it is perfect to eat on rainy days.
Above are the 5 must-eat dishes in Vietnam and I bet that once you try, you won’t be able to help but fall in love with Vietnamese cuisine right away!
By Ngoc Vo, ASEAN Correspondent from Vietnam