Top 5 Unique Vietnamese Foods You Should Try (Part 1)

It is not an exaggeration to say that Vietnam is a food paradise with hundred of unique and delicious dishes around the country. If you are food lovers, then this beautiful country a must-visit place in the world. Today, we will show you list of Vietnamese Foods which will greatly enrich your travel to Vietnam.

1. Pho

No dish in the country can compete with Pho in term of popularity. The delectable food is a great example of the cuisine in Vietnam. As a result, hardly any list of Vietnamese foods does not include Pho.

A bowl of Pho contains 4 parts: soup, meat, noodle, and other ingredients (sauce and spices). The first factor that makes Pho delicious is the broth. It makes from chicken or beef bones added with other spices such as toasted ginger, cinnamon, star anise to create aromatic. Salt and fish sauce are also added in the process.

Meat is the next important ingredient which can either be chicken meat or beef (not both). The former one is often divided into two types: drumstick (dark meat) and breast (white meat). Most Vietnamese prefer drumstick and it is also more expensive the breast. Beef consists of 5 types: sliced well-done steak (bo chin), sliced rare steak (bo tai), flank steak (nam), fatty brisket (gau), tendon (gan). Each type serves separately, but you can ask to mix all of them in one bowl. 

Vietnamese Food 1
Pho with Chicken Meat

Next, we must have noodle or literally Pho in Vietnamese in this enticing dish. Pho noodle is made from rice, one of the basic and abundant ingredients in Vietnam. It is wrong if you think the noodle in Vietnam is the same as the one in foreign countries as because of production reason, people use Chinese noodle instead. 

One important thing you need to know is that Pho is a little bit different depends on the region. Northern Pho (Hanoi) often has sweet (from bones) and clear broth, crispy meat yet not tough. Southern Pho (Sai Gon) has the sweetest from spice (sugar) and bones, more fat than Pho Hanoi.

Vietnamese Food 2
A Typical Bowl of Pho

2. Bun Cha

Long before President Barack Obama enjoyed this dish in Vietnam, Bun Cha has been the most familiar food for the citizen of Hanoi. This dish is often served at lunch and presented in every corner of the city. With popular price and availability, you should try this tasty food once in your life, especially if you travel to the capital of Vietnam.

When you try Bun Cha, two things you can notice immediately are the sauce and pork. The sauce is basically fish sauce along with vinegar and sugar. Nonetheless, you should not be tricked because it is the hardest thing to make. The key here is the balance between all ingredients which must not too salty, not too sweet, and not too vinegary. The making of grilled pork seems easy enough, but still requires a little skill because the meat must first be marinated. 

Vietnamese Food 3
Bun Cha with Fried Spring Roll and Herbs

Tasting the rice vermicelli along with hot pork and sauce is the best thing during cool weather. You will be recommended to try Vietnamese fried spring roll and herbs with Bun Cha as well to have the full experience of the dish. 

3. Banh Cuon

Out of all Vietnamese cakes, this one must be the most common which surprisingly is not because of the cheap price and simple preparation. Banh Cuon represents the one-of-a-kind essence of Vietnam’s cuisine and perhaps even more than Pho.  You will be amazed to find out all the richness found in just one small dish.

Vietnamese Food 4
Common Breakfast of Vietnamese

To begin with, Banh Cuon used fermented rice batter as one of the main ingredients. The cook uses a cloth to cover a pot filled with boiling water and spread the batter on it. They must be diligent and skillful enough to make the rice sheet as thin and round as possible. Then, they will take the sheets out and stuff them with shallots, mushrooms, cooked ground pork, and sometimes vegetables. Pick a slice, dip in the fish sauce, have a bite of Cha Lua (Vietnamese pork sausage) and you will feel a little wonder in the mouth.

The best way to enjoy Banh Cuon is taking it when it is still hot. You will ruin half of the experience if you let it cool.

Vietnamese Food 5
Making Banh Cuon in the Morning

4. Banh Mi

In recent years, Banh Mi, which is not originated from Vietnam, has gained enough popularity to become one of the best foods in the country. The Vietnamese sandwich can be considered to be the combination of Vietnamese style and French style. Due to the availability, it is really simple for you to grab one and enjoy by yourself.

Vietnamese Food 6
One Delicious Banh Mi Ready to Serve

Banh Mi is not as simple as it looks like, although the preparation is quite easy. The ingredient varies from places to places but still contains basic ones such as bread, meat, ham, pork. The best parts of Banh Mi must be the crispy bread and the combination of all ingredients in just one bite. Nevertheless, all the flavors should be balanced, as it is one of the main principles in Vietnamese food, to make the diner feel comfortable and keep eating. 

5. Banh Xeo

Banh Xeo is another special food which you can try in many cities in Vietnam. Tourists may believe that it is the same pancakes as Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancakes) and Korean Pancakes. Despite the name, Banh Xeo is a completely unique food and one of the most well-known dishes in the country. 

Vietnamese Food 7
A Secret World inside Banh Xeo

When you first look at the Banh Xeo, perhaps all you can see is the fried pancake in the shape of half-moon which made from rice flour, water, and turmeric. However, when you slice it, a food world will open before your eyes. There are various ingredients stuffed into the cake, which is pork, bean sprouts shrimp and green onions. One bite of Banh Xeo dipped in the sauce will surely melt your heart.