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9 Authentic Foods that Describe Vietnamese Cuisine the Best

9 mins. read

Arguably one of the most beautiful countries in South-East Asia, Vietnam is a timeless charm that is known for its picturesque natural beauty, a plethora of breathtaking attractions, massive caves, and gorgeous beaches. There are a plethora of gorgeous places to visit in Vietnam; the country offers an unparalleled experience to the visitors, with intriguing stories from the past, its history!

Vietnam is not just limited to natural beauties; the contemporary structures too, are appealing to the eyes. But what is gaining popularity at its peak now is the ever-delightful, authentic Vietnamese cuisine that simply amplifies your experience to the next level. When travelling to new countries, trying out their authentic cuisine is a must. And when you are visiting Vietnam, there is no halt to that. Vietnamese cuisine is a beautiful amalgamation of healthy, exotic, and fried street foods. The flavour of Vietnam’s food is unique; it is different from most South-East Asian countries. We know how important delicious food is; without any further ado, here are the 9 dishes that must-try during your trip to Vietnam.

Delicious Soups of Vietnam

Vietnamese soup

1. Pho – The Famous Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Pronounced as ‘Fu’, this is a delicious noodle dish that is loved by one and all in Vietnam. And sure enough, tourists visiting the country also fall in love with it. Pho can be eaten at any time of the day but it is primarily eaten as a traditional breakfast. The origination of this Vietnam dish is from the Northern region of the country but now, Pho has become the national dish of Vietnam. A bowl of this noodle soup comprises a chicken broth or light beef broth that is flavoured with ginger and coriander. To this flavoured broth, broad and flat rice noodles and spring onions are added. Along with this, slivers of meat (chicken, pork, or beef) are also added. If you are a vegetarian, instead of slivers of meat, tofu is added to this soup in Vietnam. You can also garnish your bowl of Pho with sliced red chillies, bean sprouts, holy basil, squeeze of lime, and cilantro.

2. Cao Lau (Noodle Bowl)

Another noodle soup dish that is a must-try when in Vietnam, Cao Lau is a scrumptious bowl of thick rice-flour noodles that leaves an exquisite flavour in your taste buds. The rice noodles dish in Vietnam is accompanied by bean sprouts and pork-rind croutons. The broth of Cao Lau is flavoured with mint and star anise, giving the soup a zesty taste. You can garnish your bowl of Cao Lau with thin slices of pork (or meat of your preferred choice). Along with the noodle bowl, grilled rice-flour crackers or crispy rice paper is also served. The vegetarian option of this Vietnamese food is prepared using Tofu, served along with local salad and green beans. Hoi An, a city in Central Vietnam, is the most famous location for the authentic Cao Lau. As per legends, the authentic Cao Lau broth is cooked using water from one particular local area in Hoi An. Make sure to try this extraordinary dish when in Vietnam.

3. Mi Quang (Noodle Soup)

A speciality in Vietnam’s Hanoi region, Mi Quang is a classic noodle dish that also happens to be famous street food. Though some of the ingredients used in this noodle soup of Vietnam may vary from place to place, Mi Quang typically consists of a bowl of meat noodles that is flavoured with aromatic edible oils, shrimp, peanuts, mint, eggs (generally quail eggs), and fresh sprigs of leaves.

The broth is also infused with turmeric and other fragrant herbs. Mi Quang Vietnamese soup is a dinner time meal and a pretty healthy way to end the day.

Scrumptious Vietnamese Rolls

Vietnamese rolls

4. Goi Cuon (Spring Rolls)

You must have surely had the deep-fried spring rolls in India, right? But the Vietnamese spring rolls are different than those found here. For starters, Vietnamese spring rolls are not fried. Gui Cuon, as they are locally called, are translucent rolls that are packed with greens, coriander, and minced pork (or meat of your choice) or shrimp. The base of the rolls is specially made sheets that just need to be soaked in warm water for a few seconds to soften. In the Southern region of Vietnam, there is another variation of these spring rolls; they are made of barbecued strips of pork that are wrapped with green banana and star fruit, which are then dunked in rich peanut sauce. Goi Cuon is a famous food in Vietnam that is served cold with fish sauce; while eating the spring roll, first you dunk the roll in the sauce and then relish it with all your heart. Oh before we forget, in the Northern region of Vietnam, these spring rolls are called Nem Cuon.

5. Chả Giò (South) / Nem Rán (North)

Ah well, now let’s come to the fried Vietnamese spring rolls or what is known as Chả Giò in the South) and Nem Rán in the North. These rolls are made with rice paper, which is filled with minced meat (pork or chicken) or with vegetables (in the vegetarian variation). Once filled, they are deep-fried until the outside is brown. These fried spring rolls are served with tangy sauces in which you can dunk them and eat. Chả Giò (South) / Nem Rán (North) is popular street food in Vietnam and must-try when in the country.

Zesty Sandwiches and Pancakes of Vietnam

vietnamese sandwiches

6. Banh mi (Vietnamese/Saigon sandwich)

One of the most popular Vietnamese street foods, Banh Mi is a sandwich that was made during the French colonial rule in the 19th century. Banh Mi is also known as Saigon Sandwich; it uses a French baguette that is filled with delicious selections of ingredients. The baguettes are filled with lots of greens and a choice of fillings that includes a paté of pork or other meats like beef and chicken. In the vegetarian variation of this Vietnamese food, tofu paté is used as a filling. What is interesting about Banh Mi or Saigon Sandwich is that many other locations, from London to New York, have tried imitating this sandwich but the authentic one is found in Vietnam only.

7. Banh Xeo (Sizzling Pancakes)

Love eating pancakes? If yes, then Banh Xeo is for you! Filled Vietnamese sizzling pancakes that are made of shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, and egg – they are fried and then wrapped in Vietnamese rice paper with loads of greens. Banh Xeo is served with Nuoc Cham or Fish sauce. When in Vietnam, the best city to try the authentic sizzling pancakes is Ho Chi Minh City. Make sure to include it in your Vietnam tour package.

Crispy Fried Foods of Vietnam

vietnamese fried food

8. Mực Chiên

You must have tried Butter-fried Calamari or Squid if and when you have visited Goa. Now, let us introduce you to the Vietnamese Calamari dish that is deep-fried for you to savour. At some restaurants in Vietnam, they fry and serve the whole squid with sauces and chilli; however, in most restaurants, they are sliced into loops and then fried and served. Vietnam is a coastal country, so fresh squid is available in abundance.

9. Bun Cha (Vietnamese Meatballs)

A speciality in Hanoi, Bun Cha is one of the most common grilled foods in Vietnam. From street food stalls to fancy exquisite dining, you can enjoy Bun Cha’s flavours everywhere. Wondering what they are? Well, they are meatballs, where the pork or the meat of your choice is barbecued on an open charcoal brazier. The barbecued meat is then served on a bed of cold Vietnamese rice noodles with several greens and broth. Bun Cha is usually eaten at lunchtime and is a favourite in the country.

Apart from these, other street dishes and food of Vietnam that you must try include Banh Khot, Bun Bo Hue, Ga Tan, and Cha Ca.

Good food always makes the travel experience and more enjoyable. Vietnam is one such country where delicious food options are in abundance. So, when visiting the country, make sure to experience and enjoy the Vietnamese cuisine at its best.

December 15, 2021


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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