Vietnamese food is gaining a gaining a lot of popularity for its simple yet distinct flavors. With a mix of French and Central Asian influence and variations across the country, you’ll constantly find yourself hungry for more. And after you’ve tried these 5 Vietnamese delicacies, learn to make them yourself by booking an authentic Vietnamese culinary class!
1. Phở bò (Beef Noodles)
Filipinos will easily recognize this Vietnamese delicacy, with the popularity of restaurants like Nam Nam. Phở typically consists of soup, beef, and noodles. Depending on whether the Phở comes from Hanoi or Saigon, there are differences in noodle width, broth sweetness and spice. Southern Vietnamese usually have Phở for breakfast, along with their famous coffee.
2. Bánh mì (Vietnamese Baguette)
Or what you can call ‘The Vietnamese Baguqette.’ The classic version of Bánh mì normally consists of Vietnamese cold cuts, cheese, together with vegetables such as carrot or cucumbers. Some places offers a vegetarian option where its made with tofu.
The Bánh mì has many variations. There’s a vegetarian variation where it is made with tofu instead of cold cuts, which you can usually find by the Buddhist temples during special religious events. When eaten for breakfast, it typically has fried eggs and onions, with a sprinkling of soy sauce. Another popular variation is the Bánh mì kep kem, a dessert street snack commonly stuffed with scoops of ice cream, topped with crushed peanuts. If you’re touring Ho Chi Minh, you’ll find Bánh mì near every major tourist spot.
3. Ăn ốc (Seawater Snails)
The name not only refers to the actual snails, but the pastime associated with it.Ăn ốc or ‘snail eating’ is an integral part of Vietnamese culture: It is typically eaten with a round of beers, as friends or colleagues gather and socialize after the work day or the weekend.
A wide seafood selection is normally displayed at the front of the food stall or restaurant, and you can choose from snail shells, cockles, clams, as well as shrimps and crabs. After picking out your shells, you can decide to have it either grilled, sautéed, or coated in salt and chili.
4. Gỏi cuốn (Spring Rolls)
The spring rolls can be served in two ways: freshly wrapped, or deep fried. Whichever way they are served, they usually have rice noodles, vegetables, cooked pork and cooked prawn meat. Integral to the dish is the dip sauce, which is made of sweet soy sauce mixed with chopped, roasted peanuts.
5. Bánh canh (Big Noodles)
This is another Vietnamese dish that has variations across the country. At its most basic, it’s a noodle dish. In Southern Vietnam, it’s served with pork knuckles or crab. In in Central Vietnam, on the other hand, serves it with snakeheads. Sometimes the broth is a Vietnamese-style coconut soup. Whichever version you get to taste, be sure to add a bit of chili and lime!