Street food lovers in Viet Nam do not miss banh trang nuong (baked rice pancake with full toppings) and pizza hu tieu (full topping on crispy noodle base) as the dishes bear the creativity of Vietnamese people.
Baked rice pancake with full toppings
Baked pancake with full toppings. Photo from Instgram of eat.withthy
The dish is popular in Da Lat, Nha Trang and HCM City and other localities throughout the country.
Cool nights in Da Lat can be warmed up beside a brazier with baked rice pancake on top. The dish has been indispensable at night markets in the mountain city.
Named Vietnamese-style pizza as its appearance looks like a pizza from Italy, its top can be filled with various kinds of toppings of various colours such as pork liver paste, eggs, dried beef, sausages, slated shredded meat, onion, cheese and chilly sauce.
“Though Vietnamese-style pizza is sold only in the streets while Italian pizza is served in luxurious restaurants, they have the same value in terms of taste and lure,” said visitor Mai Thanh from Ha Noi while trying baked rice pancakes in Da Lat Night Market. “I think the reasonable price of the baked pancake makes it attractive as well.”
Culinary expert Nguyen Bac said that Italian pizza and Vietnamese-style pizza have their own values in terms of culture and culinary art.
“We cannot confirm which dish tastes better,” he said. “We can just say baked pancake with the appearance like Italian pizza is delicious.”
After covering the pancake with some oil, the seller puts all the toppings on top of the pancake and then bakes it on a brazier.
Depending on the size of the pancake and the thickness of the topping layer, each pancake has its own time to be well-baked.
When it is well-baked, the seller will put chilly sauce on top and fold the pancake. The crispy pancake will blend well with the fragrant toppings, which contain all the tastes of salty, sweet, spicy, and fatty.
It's a popular street food in Da Lat. Photo phongnhaexplorer.com
“The more I eat it, the more I like,” said local Nguyen Dinh Nghiem in Da Lat.
Nghiem said the dish can be found at Da Lat Night Market, and in the daytime at 112 Nguyen Van Troi and Banh Trang Di Dinh Shop at 26 Hoang Dieu Street.
“You can find at a small shop at any corner and lane in Da Lat a gathering of a group of diners enjoying the dish,” he said. “So, it’s a kind of a local delicacy you should try in Da Lat.”
Hu tieu pizza
A popular delicacy in the southern province of Can Tho, hu tieu pizza was initiated by a traditional noodle restaurant a few years ago, and has become more and more popular as a local delicacy.
If you have a chance to visit Can Tho, stop by Sau Hoai noodle shop to see the traditional process of cooking local noodles. With 40 years in the trade, the shop has produced various kinds of noodles to sell in the province and in other neighbouring localities.
The Sau Hoai pizza hu tieu (full toppings on a base of crispy noodle) has been granted a patent by local authorities.
Since the shape of the dish is like that of Italian pizza, it takes the name of pizza. The chef should be skillful enough to create a crispy noodle base.
Crispy noodle pizza. VNS Photo Hien Hoa
Tapioca starch is used to make the noodle, which is then poached in boiling water. The steamed noodle should be formed into a circle before being fried deep in boiling oil until it gets light brown and crispy.
The toppings include stew pork, fried egg and fatty coconut milk. The final pizza should be topped with some onion, coriander and roasted peanuts.
“The dish is a perfect flavor of the western region of Mekong Delta,” noted visitor Ngo Thai from Ha Noi. “The crispy noodle matches well with the salty, sweet and fatty toppings.”
Both Vietnamese-style pizzas can stun even foreigners with the creativity of Vietnamese people, who make delicious dishes at reasonable prices.
Try once to see the endless creativity of Vietnamese people!
Pizza hu tieu Sau Hoai, a patented brand name in Can Tho Province. Photo thanhnien.vn