(TITC) - Famous Belgium food reviewer - 2 food trippers listed 10 dishes that first-time visitors should try when visiting Vietnam.
2 food trippers wrote that despite the capital city of Vietnam, Ha Noi, welcoming them with the pouring rain, things that struck their eyes was the huge variety of Vietnamese food stalls and street food stands appearing in every corner of Ha Noi. After 3 years deciphering the culinary puzzle of Vietnam, they always feel a combination of wonder and being amazed at the food in Vietnam, not just in the big cities but all around the country. “Never bored, we loved the food in Vietnam more with each day that we were there.”
Here are the 10 must-try dishes that 2 food trippers highly recommended:
Pho is one of the signature dishes of Vietnam, Ha Noi particularly. The long stand history of Vietnam somehow shines through the rich flavour of broth, an artistic combination of herbs, rice noodles, and broth, creating a bowl of pure magic. Visitors should try both chicken and beef Pho to have a deeper sight to its flavour. Despite not Vietnamese, the Belgium bloggers also found that the difference between Pho in Saigon and in Ha Noi. “Pho in Saigon typically has a richer taste and often comes with a range of hot and sweet condiments as well as a variety of leafy green herbs”, they wrote.
Beef Pho (Photo: TITC)
2. Banh mi:
Vietnamese Banh Mi (Photo: TITC)
According to 2 food trippers, although Banh Mi sandwich can be found everywhere across Vietnam, the best Banh Mi is in southern and central cities of Vietnam. Banh Mi will mostly be sold in vendor stalls or mobile mental food carts. Visitors can choose a wide range of toppings from meats, pate, cucumbers, pickled radish, herbs, sausages and other savoury ingredients.
3. Bun Cha - Charcoal grilled pork with rice noodle:
Bun Cha (Photo: TITC)
Bun Cha is a local favourite food of Vietnam. The dish debuted in international cuisine and became popular since the 44th president of the United States Barack Obama tasted it in their business trip to Vietnam. Bun Cha is a bowl of rice vermicelli noodles dipped into sauce, a sweet yet savoury sauce made with ingredients like fish sauce, sugar and vinegar, with a grilled combination of ground and whole pork. 2 food trippers further recommended visitors to add green herbs to the bowl such as lettuce, beansprouts, corianders, cilantro, etc. Bun Cha can be eaten with crispy spring rolls on the side.
4. Egg Coffee
If Pho is a spiritual food of Vietnam, coffee is a representative drink of the day in Vietnam. Egg coffee is another Ha Noi invention and more than just a dessert, stated 2 food trippers. As freshmen to Vietnam, travellers should try another unique coffee to refresh the taste with a cup of egg coffee. This creamy and yummy drink is made by the mixture of egg yolk and condensed milk to create a frothy addition to a cup of coffee.
Egg Coffee (Photo: TITC)
5. Bun Bo Hue:
As a representative dish from Central Vietnam, this Spicy beef noodle soup from Hue is the combination of broth made from pork bones with lemongrass, shrimp paste, and lime juice. Visitors can challenge themselves with a cubed pig's blood and a pork trotter to totally enjoy the local taste. In the food bloggers point of view, the best place to have this spicy dish is in Hue, the original hometown of the dish.
6. Seafood (Hai San):
Since Vietnam owns a long coast and beautiful, charming sandy beaches, it’s not strange to be one of the great food centres of the world. Seafood is a common choice for groups to gather and have a fun dinner. Seafood is well-known for parties, toasting local beer while enjoying several styles of Hai San, including many sizes of crab, squid, monstrous shrimp, oysters, sea snails and even geoducks, preparation styles such as hot pot or grilled.
7. Quang noodle bowl - Mi Quang:
Touch the soil of Da Nang, the central hub of Vietnam. According to 2 food trippers, the local favourite is cheap and available everywhere. Mi Quang is one of them and made of a rice noodle with a choice of proteins like pork, chicken, shrimp, quail eggs, mussels and eel served in a soupy, beefy broth.
8. Banh Xeo - Crispy pancakes:
A Vietnamese style pancake was invented in Central Vietnam. A yellow pancake filled with a mix of ingredients including pork, shrimp and vegetables. Banh Xeo is often served in casual settings, visitors will sit on little chairs with a plate of Banh Xeo, dip them in a special pork liver and peanut sauce before crunching into the crispy treats. Banh Xeo can be found in any large city and it is a perfect meal for any time of the day.
9. Banh Cuon - Steamed rice rolls
Coming to Northern Vietnam, especially Ha Noi, visitors are able to see a crowded Banh Cuon stand in the morning where the staff, usually women, make the rice flour rolls to order by pouring the rice flour pancake mixture on special round griddles. These steamed rice rolls come filled with savoury pork and mushroom filling as well as a bowl of sweet dipping sauce. This is another great “off the map” meal choice for breakfast.
10. Cao Lau:
This is a must eat in Hoi An Ancient Town, affirmed 2 food trippers. Cao Lau in Hoi An has thick, firm, tonnarelli-like, rice noodles and crunchy, square, flat rice noodle croutons with typical ingredients like protein (often barbecued pork) and green herbs. Other popular options that visitors can have in Hoi An include white rose dumplings and banh mi sandwiches.