Top 5 Unique Vietnamese Foods You Should Try (Part 2)

In our first post, we have mentioned several outstanding Vietnamese foods. Now, let us continue as we move to the Central and South of Vietnam to find out our next five most desired foods in the rest of the country.  

Top 5 Unique Vietnamese Foods

6. My Quang

When you travel to the dreamy and poetic old town of Hoi An, My Quang is certainly one that people suggest you. Although originating from the region, you can enjoy this dish in many parts of the country. It will be a pity not to try My Quang, the harmony of beauty and flavor and quintessence of Central Vietnam.

My Quang  is probably the most unique Vietnamese noodle in Vietnam because there is no set rule for making My Quang. First of all, noodle in My Quang is bigger than Pho’s noodle or rice vermicelli but in some places, there is still big and small rice noodle mixed together.  Its color is also diverse since sometimes people use turmeric to make the noodle yellow. The meat can be pork, chicken or even fish and beef. My Quang is enjoyed along with vegetables, boiled egg, banh trang (rice cracker), Vietnamese steamed pork sausage and so on. 

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My Quang with Rice Crackers

Slipping the warm soup, tasting the meat and combined with the sound of crunching Vietnamese rice crackers is a wonderful experience for any food lover when traveling to Vietnam.

7. Banh Dap

This is a rather odd choice in the list since Banh Dap is not as famous as other dishes. However, it does not mean that it is any less delectable than others. Banh Dap is a traditional food in Hoi An (and also a few other provinces in central Vietnam) and really easy to prepare. Although it is a type of street-food, Banh Dap remains a strong choice in the list.

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Stacks of Banh Dap

The name is a combination of “Banh” (rice cracker) and “Dap” (Crush) which is kind of funny yet accurate way to describe the preparation of the dish. There are thin circular rice crackers and steamed rice cakes added with melted lard and mung beans. We make Banh Dap by stacking the cakes onto rice crackers, folded the rice cracker in half and then using our hand (or equipment) to crush all of them. This allows all the stacks to stick together and now you can taste this wonderful dish with Mam Nem (fish sauce in Central Vietnam) and grilled pork.

If you wander around and encounter this special food, it is advised to rest for a while and have a little snack. 

8. Cao Lau

Cao Lau is also a specialty in Hoi An and is one of the must-try food when you travel to Vietnam. This dish is thought to be derived from Chinese and Japanese, however, the special flavor can only be found in Cao Lau. 

Cao Lau has no soup which immediately makes it stand apart from other Vietnamese dishes in the list. The noodle is also the quintessence of the dish unlike Pho and My Quang. Through many complicated processes such as soak the rice into water and ash, cooked a few times, we will have dry, soft Cao Lau noodle. Other ingredients include pork, fried lard, vegetables, and sauce. You will mix them and enjoy every ingredient in a bowl of Cao Lau.

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A Tempting Dish

9. Bun Bo Hue

Bun Bo Hue always satisfies the appetite of the tourists anywhere in the world with the particular flavors of the royal court. It is obvious that Bun Bo Hue is the signature of the former capital and remains one of the most well-known foods in Vietnam.

Bun Bo Hue or Bun Bo contains various ingredients like rice vermicelli, beef, chili sauce, basil, shrimp sauce, and so forth. At first glance, Bun Bo seems to be a mix between My Quang and Pho, but that is not a correct way to describe it. One bite of the dish can make you feel hungry right at the moment. The sweetness of the broth comes from simmered beef bones with lemongrass, sugar, and fermented shrimp sauce. The chili oil added to make strong spiciness in the food. The easily noticeable aromatic smell of lemongrass lingers around. Finally is the salty flavor which comes from fish sauce and shrimp sauce.

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The Richness of Hue Cuisine

Even though you can find Bun Bo Hue in many provinces in the country, you should visit Hue to have the true taste of this dish.

10. Hu Tieu

If Pho is the signature of the North, then the South has Hu Tieu as people often say. Hu Tieu developed in the 50s of the 20th century in Vietnam and keeps being the choices of food for local people and foreigners. There are so many types of Hu Tieu but the few of the most well-known ones are Hu Tieu Nam Vang, Hu Tieu My Tho, Hu Tieu Sa Dec. 

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The Famous Food of Southern Vietnam

Hu Tieu Nam Vang can be both dry or soup, depend on the diners. Nevertheless, the main ingredients are the same which are minced pork, shrimp, pork offal, prawns, and other spices such as lemongrass, sugar. The soup is made from beef bones simmered with water.

Hu Tieu My Tho is one variant from My Tho province (Vietnam) and a bit different than Hu Tieu Nam Vang. The difference in Hu Tieu My Tho is the noodle which is dry, small, tough, and crispy. 

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Dry Hu Tieu 

Hu Tieu Sa Dec is also a delicious dish that you should try once. The noodle is big, soft, and a little tough and has milky color. Traditionally, the broth uses natural spices and ingredients bringing the exclusive flavors.

 There are still so many other wonderful dishes in food paradise so if you are interested, plan your next holiday in Vietnam to explore the rich cuisine of the country.