10 Vietnamese street dishes to put on your must-try list
One of the things to be least afraid about is to starve yourself during your trip in Vietnam. From food stalls, bistros of all sizes to fancy restaurants, food can be found in almost every tiny little corner here. So if you are gonna be there sometime, make sure to dive in to its really well-known street food culture. Don’t forget to pack your tongue up with you, it would undoubtedly be your best companion.
Yeah sure, as if you didn’t try it before. But try to erase the sloppy made noodle soup called Pho in your local restaurant out of your mind, and be prepared for its original version, which is best to be found in Hanoi. The proper broth that was prepared for days would mix your thin sliced, medium cooked, full delighted beef and these long chewy white noodles together into your mouth. And all of that’s topped with cilantro. How could one ask for more?
2. Bún chả
Searching for a place to sit down for lunch then suddenly you see smoke comes out from a sidewalk brings that joyful barbecue smell straight to your face? Then look no further, you have found it. Just some pork belly or minced pork but seasoned with typical magical Vietnamese spices dip in fish sauce would float you higher than that smoke. Make sure to try ‘Nem’ with it too if you’re a spring rolls’ fan.
Not your typical supermarket rice, but something stickier and very limber. It’s time to please your personal favors now because it would go with anything you would want to put in and bring it to a new level of taste. Make sure to ask for the traditional ways too, they would be wrapped in banana leaves and surely gonna amaze you.
4. Gỏi cuốn
There must be time when you are super tired of the summer heat there and don’t even wanna look at oily food anymore. Then roll up some of these to freshen up your body, then you would see why they call them summer rolls. Usually shrimps or boiled pork belly as the main component would be wrapped up in tons of vegetables and a thin layer of rice paper (cause everything can be made from rice). Make sure nothing fells out as you dip it into the fish sauce mixture with a touch of lime. If it does, you did it wrong, seek for professional help.
5. Hủ Tiếu
This is one special dish that the southern Vietnam has to offer. Also known for tourists as Phở’s cousin, but it can also be served dry. It’s a big question to go with or without the broth, because both versions taste amazing in its own means. Either way, make sure that they serve you the chinese Char siu pork and egg noodles, that’s the way it should be done.
6. Bún bò Nam Bộ
One of the best noodles mixture that you could find in Asian, it’s a complex symphony of tastes that would please even the most grumpy person you know. The tenderness of the well seasoned beef would melt right over your tongue with a touch of sourness from those briefly pickled bean sprouts. Meanwhile the minced peanuts would add richness and crunchiness to the mix and fresh slides of chili would spice the whole thing up. Don’t forget that you would always have a bowl of this typical fish sauce dip right next to you to put a Vietnamese stamp on it.
7. Bánh mì
It’s time to stop using the phrase Vietnamese sandwich and call sandwiches American Bánh mì instead. Directly bought from the people who start baking and selling it at 3 a.m., it would be served best as a quick breakfast or brunch, but the taste after wouldn’t go away so quickly. Just like Xôi, it’s a personal preference choosing what to put in between (my recommendation would be Char siu with pickled veggies and omelette), but the crunchy pieces of bun would never fail to brighten up your morning.
8. Bánh xèo
Probably your first ever savory pancake, it would bring a whole new experience of richness to your taste, especially when served as filling for your spring rolls. Beef or shrimps would be wrapped up warmly with bean sprouts inside crunchy fried dough, which is made from rice flour (big surprise!!!). Make sure to bring an empty belly there, you don’t need to eat anything else for the whole day.
9. Nộm (Gỏi: if you are in Southern Vietnam)
The one true Vietnamese salad comes in many variations. Either you go for beef jerky or jellyfish, green papaya or mango, it would always deliver the sourness that you need against the heat there, considered one of the most healthy dish in Vietnamese cuisine.
10. Cà phê trứng
Literally translated translated as egg coffee, it’s the one drink that best served as a dessert thank for its creaminess, but the typical bitter taste of true Vietnamese coffee is not at all to be mistaken. The foamy egg white is stirred into excellence, and the yolk blends perfectly into the mix, leaves you yearning for the second cup.