Bahn Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)
Banh Mi is an extremely popular dish that consists of the Vietnamese version of a Baguette filled with assorted meat, vegetables and a generous amount of pork kidney pate. Banh Mi was reported by culinary historians to have existed as early as the 1830s after the French colonist introduced the baguette and other baked goods such as pate Chaud. Over time the Banh Mi evolved to what it is today with many vendors filling the baguette with an assortment of filling which you can choose, some of these Fillings include slices of pork belly, grilled chicken, sardines, pork meatballs all accompanied by vegetables such as cucumber, pickles, carrot and coriander. If you haven’t already given Banh Mi a try make sure you do during your travels in Vietnam.
Banh Xeo(Sizzling Cake)
Banh Xeo or otherwise known as “sizzling cake” is the Vietnamese version of the famous a crepe but with a unique twist , Although rice batter is the common ingredient used for making Banh Xeo the dish incorporates a whole bunch of fillings such as Shrimp, Pork, diced green onion, mung bean and bean sprouts. Banh Xeo is extremely popular for breakfast in Vietnam as it is quick and simple to make. Finding this dish is extremely easy in Vietnam if you’re looking to give this a try as many stalls are set up throughout Vietnam for you to purchase and enjoy this tasty meal!
Originating from Hanoi is the Mouth Watering dish named Bun Cha which has left many Hanoians transfixed by its taste and texture! Bun Cha consists of grilled meatballs, pork belly accompanied with individual bowls of vermicelli noodles, dipping sauce( fish sauce, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, stock, crushed garlic and chillies), Pickled Vegetables and fresh herbs. Bun Cha today is sold throughout Vietnam and is an extremely filling meal to enjoy and can cost as little as 3-4 USD. Make sure you give this dish a try to truly experience the best of Vietnam’s culinary cuisines.
Pho is probably one of the most famous noodle dishes that has come out of Vietnam, this dish is so popular that it is enjoyed globally. With its creation in the early 20th century Pho achieved global popularity after refugees from the Vietnam war started making the dish in the country they have sought refuge in. the most common and popular versions of pho you can find today are made either using specially seasoned beef or chicken broth served with slightly thicker cuts of rice noodles and various types of meat such as beef brisket, tendon, tripe or meatballs(Popular in South Vietnam) served with a side of assorted garnishes. The garnishes used after the dish is served are typically raw vegetables like bean sprouts, cilantro leaves and lime to add a crunchy texture as you chow down on this fantastic dish. There are several regional variants of pho so do make sure you try a bowl of pho in the different cities and towns in Vietnam!
Cao Lau originated in the Vietnamese Town of Hoi An and is only found there, the dish consist of buckwheat noodles, Char siew Pork, served with crispy green’s. The noodles are rumoured to be made using water from an undisclosed Cham Well in Hoi An that gives the noodles its unique texture and it is later steamed instead of boiled like most noodles. Some people believe the dish had been inspired by the Japanese soba noodles during Japan’s occupation of Vietnam in ww2 while others believe in that the dish has been influenced by Chinese cuisine due to the char siew pork in the dish. Because of its rich history, Hoi An is considered a melting pot when it comes to cuisine and the Cao Lau Noodles proves that!
Another Favourite noodle dish in Vietnam is Mi Quang, originating from the province of Quang Nam in Central Vietnam the noodle dish consists of ingredients such as noodles, herbs and assorted meats. Mi Quang broth is considered to be pretty strong and only a little bit of it is used to compliment the dish(just enough to cover the vegetables). The noodles are then garnished with peanuts and toasted sesame rice crackers these 2 ingredients is what sets Mi Quang apart from the other noodles in the Vietnamese Peninsula.
Com tam is an extremely filling rice dish that consists of grilled pork ribs or shredded pork served over rice with sliced cucumber, julienned carrots, pickled vegetables accompanied with a prawn paste cake. Just like chicken rice the dish is served with a side of soup to compliment the different flavours of the dish and the locals believe that the soup cleanses the throat. If you’re travelling throughout Vietnam you will notice that different regions will serve different styles of com tam either adding an omelette to accompany the dish or even replacing the prawn paste cake with an egg or pork meatloaf. Eating a plate of ComTan is a truly rewarding experience to enjoy!
Bun Rieu (Crab Noodle Soup)
Bun Rieu is an extremely nutritious dish packed with calcium, iron, vitamins and fibre. This popular noodle dish is served in a tomato broth that is concocted with Annatto Seeds, tomato, tamarind paste, crab liquid, Congealed pigs blood, split water spinach stems all served with raw bean sprouts and a Vietnamese vegetarian sausage and spearmint. Due to the fresh ingredients in Bun Rieu, it is typically enjoyed during the summer. If you’re keen to experience something new and not squeamish about congealed animal blood make sure you grab a hearty bowl today!
Canh Chua (Sour Fish Soup)
A Native to the Mekong Delta region is a sour fish soup known locally as Canh Chua. The fish used for this dish are mostly procured simply by catching the river fishes in the Mekong Delta which makes the ingredients in the dish extremely fresh. The broth, however, is a little complicated to make, using pineapple, tomatoes, tamarind paste, caramelized garlic, chopped scallions and a herb named Ngo Om which gives of a lemon-like aroma. If you’re hanging out in the long strip that is the Mekong Delta make sure you don’t miss out the opportunity to excite your taste buds with a nice hearty bowl of Canh Chua
Cha Gio is a fried spring roll dish that originated in the city of Saigon, the ingredients that they use in making the spring roll consist of minced pork, sea crabs, unshelled shrimp, mushroom, dried onion, chicken eggs all seasoned with hints of pepper and salt. Contrary to popular belief that the Vietnamese eat this dish every day, the dish is typically eaten during the festive seasons especially occasions such as Tet, however, due to its popularity with tourists, the dish is served all year round. Different regions will have their own style in making the dish some variants include rolls being packed with beef or chicken to cater for different tastes.