Vietnam is known for its green and serene surroundings. It is a famous tourist destination known for its street food. The traditional as well as street food is known in this country. Vietnamese dishes are largely influenced by French cuisines. Even Chinese cuisines have its own influence on the food here.
The essence of the culture of a country as a whole can be seen, or shall we say tasted in the street food. These cheap food choices offer us a window into the Vietnamese culture.
Here are few of the Vietnamese street foods to try
Traditionally, it is eaten as breakfast. This dish is the most famous Vietnamese dish. Rice noodles, herbs and broth are mixed and eaten with your choice of seasoning. Pho Ga (chicken) and Pho Bo (beef) are the only two options; there is no vegetarian option available.
This is the native noodle dish of Hanoi, known for its street food. It is a special street food treat made of rice noodles which are topped with pork slices, and herbs. The noodles are mixed with bean sprouts, lettuce. Some places also give deep-fried squared slices of noodles.
This dish is comprised of (Cha) fatty pork, (bun) white rice noodles, herbs and dipping sauce of our choice. The pork is grilled and topped over the noodles. Dipping is traditionally made of fish, it is a fish sauce. Fermented carrot or papaya are served with the sauce. The popularity of this dish and Vietnamese street food cannot be separated.
This sandwich is a fusion of French and Asian culture. French baguette; the classic French bread is given a traditional Vietnamese twist. The bread is made from a mixture of wheat and rice flour. It has a traditional Vietnamese filling. The filling is made from roasted pork, pate, pickled carrots. The topping is of fresh chilies, cucumbers, herbs. This sandwich is a perfect grab-and-go snack.
These are known as Vietnamese pancakes. Rather than being sweet, these are savory pancakes. Batter is made from rice flour. Coconut milk and turmeric are added for taste. The filling is made of pork strips, shrimp/squid, bean sprouts, spices, and spring onion. They are fried together, and then this crispy filling is stuffed in the pancakes. There is a traditional sauce as a side dish for this cuisine.
White Rose Dumplings
These dumplings are shaped as a rose, hence the name. Chinese culture is reflected through this dish. The dumplings recipe is a traditional Chinese dumpling dough recipe. The filling is of spicy minced pork or shrimp. It is stuffed into the translucent dough and is folded into a rose petal shape. These beautiful, delicious dumplings are topped with crisply fried shallot. Spicy, tangy, hot sauce is served as a dip.
Bun Bo Hue
It is a famous noodle soup made with beef broth. Lemongrass and shrimp paste are added to it for taste. Noodles are mixed with marinated beef, oxtails, pig’s knuckles and congealed pig blood. It is added to the soup.
It is another type of kind of Vietnamese pancake. The batter is made with the traditional Vietnamese pancake recipe, except it is not spicy. These pancakes are rolled, boiled and steamed. Onion and meat make its filling. They are served with fish sauce and veggies.
Com Tam Suon
It is a rice dish. A delicious combination of broken rice and grilled pork makes up this dish. This dish is served with fish sauce dressing. Sour cucumber pickles, green onion oil and spicy green chilies are added to the pork and rice for extra flavour. It is the only dish which can be eaten as breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Ca Kho To
It is a traditional dish. Catfish is dipped in sweet caramel sauce. It is generally served in a clay pot. The catfish is sliced and cooked into a gravy of soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, shallots and garlic. It has a delicious and fragrant aroma. In this country where street food is so famous and abundant, there are even some of the drinks one must try at these stalls along with the food dishes.
Ca Phe Sua Dua
This is a drink which is made from coffee. Iced coffee is mixed with condensed milk. It is different in taste than normal coffee. Its taste reflects the European tinge in the cuisines left behind by French people.
This is the Vietnamese version of tea. It is lemon tea, basically but with a Vietnamese twist to it. It is served hot like normal lemon tea.
Cha Phe Trung
It is a rich Vietnamese coffee. It is called Egg Coffee. A frothy egg yolk is placed at the base of the cup, over it condensed milk is poured. This is a unique kind of coffee one should try when in Vietnam.
These dishes and drinks are famous and available throughout Vietnam. Some of them are served in restaurants as well, but the taste of street food dishes is different than the ones served in restaurants. Try them and enjoy the essence of Vietnam.