Top 7 Delicious Vietnamese Dishes You Should Try in Vietnam
For a truly unforgettable culinary experience, sample some delectable dishes while in Vietnam. Start with the iconic Pho, a noodle soup with flavorful broth, fresh herbs, and your choice of meat. Next, try the spicy and fragrant Bun Bo Hue, a hearty soup with pork, beef, and various vegetables. For a light snack, there’s the traditional Banh Mi sandwich, made with a crunchy baguette filled with meats, herbs, and pickled vegetables. For something more substantial, the Bun Cha pork and noodle dish is sure to hit the spot. To satisfy your sweet tooth, indulge in the creamy custard center and crunchy rice flour exterior of the Che Banh Da dessert. And for those looking for something truly unique, the Bun Rieu crab soup is the perfect choice. With its flavorful broth and savory toppings, this dish won’t disappoint. Here’s our list of recommended dishes you should try in Vietnam.
Pho is a beloved dish in Vietnam, renowned for its fragrant and flavorful profile. It is a comforting dish often served for breakfast and is made up of rice noodles, tender slices of beef or chicken, and a broth infused with spices like star anise and cinnamon.
The broth is carefully prepared and simmered for hours to create the perfect balance of savory and sweet flavors. Served with a generous helping of aromatic herbs, bean sprouts, and a squeeze of lime, Pho is a satisfying meal enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Its popularity has spread across the globe, making it Vietnam’s most famous culinary export.
2. Banh Mi
Banh Mi is a unique and flavorful sandwich that combines the culinary influences of two distinct cultures. It is composed of a crusty baguette filled with various ingredients, such as grilled meat, pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and a spicy chili sauce. This delectable combination of flavors makes for a perfect, portable snack that is sure to satisfy.
The crunchy baguette perfectly contrasts the succulent, savory fillings, while the pickled vegetables add a tangy, acidic element that complements the spicy chili sauce. The combination of French and Vietnamese flavors creates a unique and delicious sandwich that is a favorite among many. Banh Mi is an incredibly versatile snack that can be enjoyed anytime, making it an excellent quick and satisfying meal option.
3. Bun Cha
Bun Cha is an iconic dish of Hanoi that has become a favorite among locals. The main ingredients are grilled pork patties and slices of succulent pork belly, charred to perfection to bring out the smoky flavor. The pork is served with vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, and a delicious dipping sauce.
Combining the smoky pork, the soft noodles, and the fragrant herbs creates a delightful and filling meal. The contrast between the crunchy herbs and the tender pork makes a unique and memorable flavor profile. The dipping sauce adds sweetness and acidity, balancing the dish’s flavors. Bun Cha is a perfect example of how the Vietnamese use simple ingredients to create a flavorful and satisfying meal.
4. Cao Lau
Cao Lau is a specialty dish from the charming town of Hoi An that will tantalize your taste buds. It is made with thick rice noodles, pork slices, bean sprouts, and crunchy rice crackers mixed and topped with fresh herbs. The dish is then drizzled with a delicious broth, creating a unique combination of textures and flavors.
The noodles are perfectly cooked, giving them a light and fluffy texture that pairs deliciously with the savory pork and crunchy crackers. The herbs add a subtle hint of freshness that complements the other ingredients. The broth adds a richness that perfectly rounds out the dish’s flavor. The combination of textures and flavors in Cao Lau is sure to delight your taste buds and leave you wanting more.
5. Mi Quang
Mi Quang is a visually striking noodle dish hailing from the central region of Vietnam. Its signature yellow hue is derived from the generous helping of turmeric blended into the broth. The thick rice noodles form the base of the dish, providing a comforting foundation for the array of toppings. These include succulent shrimp, tender pork, crunchy peanuts, and crispy rice crackers.
A medley of fresh herbs adds a bright and aromatic touch to the dish, while the turmeric-infused broth provides a fragrant and flavorful finish. All these components come together to create a vibrant and satisfying dining experience.
6. Goi Cuon
Goi Cuon, or Vietnamese spring rolls or fresh rolls, are a delectable and nutritious starter. These light and airy rolls, made with thin rice paper, are filled with succulent shrimp, savory pork, aromatic herbs, and vermicelli noodles.
Some even incorporate exotic fruits like mango or papaya, adding a sweet and juicy element to the rolls. This delightful appetizer is often served with a creamy and nutty peanut dipping sauce, creating a flavor combination that will tantalize your taste buds. Enjoying Goi Cuon is a great way to start a meal with a light and refreshing bite.
7. Com Tam
Com Tam, also known as “broken rice,” is a beloved dish in South Vietnam. A plate of Com Tam is typically composed of grilled pork chops, a fried egg, pickled vegetables, and a generous helping of fragrant broken rice. The pork chops are perfectly cooked, with a crisp outer layer and a juicy interior.
The fried egg is cooked until the yolk is set, providing a creamy contrast to the other ingredients. Pickled vegetables add a crunchy texture and a tangy flavor to the dish. Finally, the broken rice is cooked to perfection, fluffy and fragrant. Tender pork, crunchy vegetables, and fluffy rice create a hearty and satisfying meal. Com Tam is a classic dish enjoyed in Vietnam for centuries.
Visiting Vietnam is a must-do for any food lover. With a diverse range of dishes, from the spicy to the sweet, and the savory to the sour, there is something for everyone. From the simple yet flavorful pho to the fragrant and complex bun cha, each dish offers a unique insight into the country’s culinary culture.
Street food is a great way to experience the local flavors, with vendors serving various dishes from noodle soups to banh mi sandwiches. For a more formal affair, restaurants offer multiple options, from seafood to traditional Vietnamese dishes. No matter what you choose, you’re sure to be delighted by the flavors and aromas of Vietnamese cuisine.
With its rich and varied culinary heritage, Vietnam offers a unique and unforgettable culinary experience. So, when visiting Vietnam, be sure to taste these delightful dishes, as they provide a window into the country’s rich culinary heritage.