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  • Writer's pictureTravel Vietnam Local Guide

Top 10 Must-try Vietnamese traditional food

Updated: May 30

While Vietnamese cuisine abroad still flies under the banners of pho and banh mi, the full spectrum of Vietnamese food is a symphony of delightfully textured, bright and piquant flavours.

Northern food is known for its simplicity; the dishes of central Vietnam are generous in spice and quantity; Southerners like to add sugar. Wherever you travel across the country, you're sure to eat well.

Let discover top 10 of the most famous Vietnamese food that are definitely worth a try!

Phở (pho) - one of the most famous Vietnamese food

Vietnamese Pho
Vietnamese Pho (Source: Internet)

This famous Vietnamese food, consisting of a flavorful broth, rice noodles, tender slices of beef or chicken, and an assortment of fresh herbs, has captivated the taste buds of food enthusiasts around the world. With its origins deeply rooted in Vietnamese culture, Pho represents the perfect harmony of flavors, textures, and aromas.

Let's explore all things about Vietnamese Pho - one dish you cannot miss in your Vietnam trip.

Bánh mì (Vietnamese bread) - the epitome of famous street food in Vietnam

Bánh mì (Vietnamese bread)
Bánh mì (Vietnamese bread) (Source: Internet)

The epitome of a perfect banh mi lies in its crispy yet fluffy baguette, filled with an array of savory ingredients such as grilled meats, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs.

Let's explore the Delicious World of Vietnamese Banh Mi!

Bún bò Huế (Hue beef noodle soup) - one of famous Vietnamese food

Bún bò Huế (Hue beef noodle soup)
Bún bò Huế (Hue beef noodle soup) (Source: Internet)

Bun bo Hue is another famous Vietnamese food that showcases the culinary diversity of Vietnam. Hailing from the historic city of Hue, this beef noodle soup is a beloved specialty known for its bold and robust flavors. The aromatic broth, infused with lemongrass, shrimp paste, and chili, sets the stage for tender slices of beef, vermicelli noodles, and an array of fresh herbs and vegetables.

Bánh xèo (Vietnamese crispy pancake)

Bánh xèo (Vietnamese crispy pancake)
Bánh xèo (Vietnamese crispy pancake) (Source: Internet)

This one is made by pan-frying a batter of rice flour, turmeric, and coconut milk until it turns golden and crispy. Inside the pancake, you will find a delightful filling of succulent shrimp, tender slices of pork, bean sprouts, and green onions. To savor its full potential, wrap a piece of banh xeo in fresh herbs and dip it into a tangy fish sauce.

Cao Lau (cao lầu) - Hoi An's specialties

Cao Lầu
Cao Lầu (Source: Internet)

A dish unique to Hoi An, cao lầu is beyond compare. Saluting the history of the coastal trading port from where it originated, this sensuous bowl of noodles is a fusion of Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese influences. Slices of Chinese barbecued pork are fanned over cao lầu noodles. These thick noodles, with the same heft as Japanese udon, are then doused with a spice-laden broth and topped with fresh herbs and crushed pork cracklings.

Mì Quảng (Quang noodle) - a must-try Vietnamese dish

Mì Quảng (Quang noodle)
Mì Quảng (Quang noodle) (Source: Internet)

The broth is typically infused with turmeric, giving it a vibrant yellow color and a subtle earthy flavor. Topped with a medley of ingredients such as tender slices of pork, succulent shrimp, aromatic herbs, peanuts, and crispy rice crackers, Mi Quang offers a delightful interplay of textures and tastes.

Cơm tấm (Broken rice) - dish not to be missed in southern Vietnam

Cơm tấm (Broken rice)
Cơm tấm (Broken rice) (Source: Internet)

This humble yet flavorful dish showcases the art of transforming simple ingredients into a satisfying culinary experience. Com tam, with its fragrant broken rice grains, pairs perfectly with a variety of accompaniments such as grilled pork chops, shredded pork rinds, pickled vegetables, and fish sauce.

Bánh Bèo

Bánh Bèo
Bánh Bèo (Source: Internet)

Bánh bèo is a quick fix from Hue in Central Vietnam. These steamed rice cakes come in bite-sized servings, akin to Vietnamese tapas. Each delicate, chewy disk is topped with a spoonful of creamy mung bean paste and toasted shrimps. The cakes are then trimmed with either croutons or the more indulgent tép mỡ—crunchy fried pork fat. At the centre of a good bánh bèo should be a dimple, signalling a well-steamed batch.

Bún Riêu

Bún Riêu
Bún Riêu (Source: Internet)

The interplay between crab and tomato makes bún riêu a truly standout dish. A hearty soup bursting with acidity, the components of this meal include slippery bún, fresh crab meat, blocks of tofu and stewed tomatoes. Cooking an authentic bowl of bún riêu is a labour-intensive process. After the crab meat is separated from the body, the shell is then pulverized using a mortar and pestle and then strained through to form the base of the broth.

Hủ tiếu Nam Vang

Hủ tiếu Nam Vang
Hủ tiếu Nam Vang (Source: Internet)

This is the standard street food item in the south. The Vietnamese version of the kuy teav in Cambodia and guay tiew in Thailand, hủ tiếu is a bowl of noodles served either wet (nước) or dry (khô). Typically, an opaque broth made from pork bones is eaten with hủ tiếu noodles. The definitive rendition of hủ tiếu is Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang. The recipe calls for pork on the bone, boiled liver, a quail egg and some shrimp. If you’re squeamish, ask them to hold off on the congealed pork blood chunks, which make their way into a bowl every now and then. The peppery broth speckled with chopped green onions also has a noticeable sweetness to it, coming from the addition of rock sugar.

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1 comentario

Dang Nguyen
Dang Nguyen
18 abr

I love Pho

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