Top 10 best Vietnamese dishes you have to try once in life

May 27, 2020

If someone asked me why I was proud of my country, I would not hesitate to answer because Vietnam nurtures me up with an abundance of cuisine from ingredients to flavors.

There are Vietnamese dishes you definitely have to try in Vietnam. I am not sure the following list has the most well-known dishes by tourist. However, being born on the S-shaped strip of land, traveled through many regions, tried much delicious food, I silently thanked God for placing me in a wonderful land of blooming culinary culture. Right now, from my personal experience, I would like to list the food you should try once when you are in Vietnam. Hopefully, you know that these are not just dishes that fill you up, they will tell you stories about our culture.

  1. Pho

Pho originated from the capital North of Vietnam. Pho is the soul of Vietnamese cuisine. This rich soup from bone broth with raw vegetables will give you a serene impression of the Vietnamese flavor.

Pho – soul of Vietnamese cuisine

  1. Goi cuon (Spring roll)

The culture of Vietnam can condense in an idiom – the leaves protect tattered ones. Do you know the story of spring rolls that you may see in a luxurious restaurant that, still spring from the story of poverty? In history, when Vietnamese people needed to save a bunch of left food, accidentally they created a kind of charming harmonious taste in one spring roll.

Spring rolls in a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh

  1. Banh mi (Vietnamese baguette) 

Banh mi was imported from France however by the clever creation, Vietnamese magic it to a signature dish of Vietnam, which is currently worldwide famous. The difference between Vietnamese baguette and French baguette is that the carefully selected filling has the protein of meat, grilled sausage, and eggs, soften with cilantro, spring onion and coriander. By biting a piece of bread, you will taste the Vietnamese there.

Banh mi 

  1. Com tam ( Rice pallets)

Rice pallets keeps accompanying with the Saigonese. In Ho Chi Minh city, a plate of broken rice costs only about 2 dollars. Unlike other dishes, rice pallets is rarely seen in luxurious restaurants but presents in daily life as the Vietnamese eatery habit and its appropriate nutrient content.

A perfect broken rice dish

  1. Banh xeo (Sizzling cake)

Traveling through three regions of Vietnam, enjoying pancakes in many provinces, I can conclude that Mekong delta pancake is the most perfect pancake for Vietnamese taste. Mekong delta pancake made from turmeric-colored rice flour. That flour paper covers the filling of shrimp, pork, cassava, green been. It was eaten with myriad kinds of fresh wild vegetables, including green mustard, young mango leaves, and herbs.

Mekong delta pancake served with vegetables

  1. Hu tieu ( Vietnamese Southern noodles)

Hu Tieu is a rustic dish of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta people that appeared in a show about Southeast Asian cuisine by Gordon Ramsay. He said that the scent of chives, coriander, basil is blent to create a harmonious and light taste. Even, Gordon supplemented that Vietnamese Mekong Delta broth might more delicious than many Vietnamese restaurants in London. For his strong impression, shortly after returning home, Gordon made the noodles into a thorny topic to the chefs who are the top 5 of the US Masterchef show in the fourth season (2013). 

Vietnamese Mekong Delta noodle soup

  1. Bun mam nem (Vermicelli with anchovy sauce)

Bun mam nem should be a very special dish in Central Vietnam. The story of anchovy sauce is also a story about their economic nature from living in a land with lots of storms and disasters. The people of the Central region put the fish in a jar and added salt, incubated for three months as the fish ripened into anchovy sauce. This kind of fish sauce is salty, which makes people eat lots of rice. A bowl of anchovy sauce has 3 layers. The bottom layer is lettuce, basil, papaya. The middle layer is small and soft vermicelli. The top layer is boiled pork, crispy roasted pork belly, beef, jackfruit, and fried onions to reduce the condense of anchovy sauce.

Vermicelli with anchovy sauce in Vietnam

  1. Banh khot (mini pancake)

Mini pancakes root from the beautiful coastal city of Vung Tau. The appeal of mini pancakes is that the crust is made from rice flour mixed with coconut milk. It is fried in a mold made from cast iron, so the crust is very crispy. Topping is usually shrimp or meat. It is served with sweet and sour fish sauce and basil. This is a rustic dish but very common with Vietnamese people.

A dish of crunchy mini pancakes.

  1. Xup cua ( Boiling scrambled eggs and mushroom soup with crab)

In luxurious restaurants, crab soup is an appetizer in luxurious restaurants but in daily life, crab soup is very popular among the young generation. In front of the school gates, from elementary schools to universities in Vietnam, there is often a small soup vendor. This dish is made from chicken broth, mushrooms, shrimps, minced meat, tapioca flour, and eggs. This mix is scrambled to harmoniously smooth paste. This interesting street food is very popular with young Vietnamese when they need a snack meal.

Cup of crab souup

  1. Banh trang nuong Da Lat (Vietnamese pizza)

Grilled rice paper from Da Lat has been very famous for Saigonese because it is a convenient and attractive snack. Dalat rice paper is known as street pizza. You can sit at the ancient park of the turtle lake, sip a grilled rice paper that stuffed with diced sausage, fried onions, scallions, chutneys, and mayonnaise sauce. And then, you can silently watch the traffic back and forth, you will feel how the simplicity of Saigon.

Street Vietnamese pizza

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