“An com Chua” is a friendly greeting that poses a mundane “have you eaten?” attest to the fact that indeed nourishment is key to Vietnamese. Genuine Viet cuisine is unforgettable and very distinct. The food is famous because of its mix of tastes and range of flavors. The moderate use of fresh herbs makes this food special and the balanced sour, sweet, and hot flavors is just irresistible.
Here are the 7 most famous and must-try Vietnam dishes;
Pho Bo [Pronounced ‘Fuh’]
This is a Vietnam’s staple dish and no list can be complete without its mention. Pho is a distinctive noodle soup that is flavorful and fragrant. The soup is made primarily for breakfast but can also be enjoyed during any time of the day. The three major aspects of an outstanding pho are soft noodles, clear stock, and fresh herbs.
This traditional Vietnamese soup is made by combining a light chicken or beef broth and other additional flavors like cinnamon, fish sauce, radish, fresh ginger, and cloves. The broth is then rounded out by adding fresh herbs, vegetables, rice noodles, and slivers of chicken, beef or pork.
Pho has grown to become a great cuisine not only in Vietnam but also in the world. It is tasty, cheap and is readily available in street stalls and all high-end restaurants.
Goi Cuon [Spring Rolls]
This is the most famous Vietnamese dish a fact that can be attested by its deliciousness. The spring rolls are equally delectable as the traditional egg rolls but no frying is involved in their preparation. The rolls are translucent and are packed with coriander, greens, and minced pork combined with crab or shrimp.
Spring rolls vary from place to place and the southern variation is one of the most delicious of all. This variation is made by wrapping barbecued pork strips with star fruit and green banana, the rolls are then dunked in peanut sauce to give your taste buds a ride of a lifetime.
Com Tam [Broken Rice]
When you visit South Vietnam, you will have the best opportunity to enjoy com tam because it is one of the dominant dishes there. The dish is very popular and it is mostly enjoyed in the morning, however, the dish can also be eaten at any time during the day.
Com tam is a simple dish that is usually served with grilled marinated chops of pork meat. The broken rice is then topped with thinly shredded pork plus pork skin and other customary ingredients which include; pickled vegetables, tomatoes, thinly sliced cucumber. The dish is also served along with egged pork meat loaf, grilled prawns, and fried eggs. When served dry the dish is usually accompanied by fish sauce in a separate small bowl on the side.
Banh Mi [Baguette Sandwich]
This dish has attracted a strong fan base not only in Vietnam but also all around the world. It is well- known and very famous along with the noodle soup (pho). Banh mi is unique because of its crispy and light baguette, but that is not all this dish is made with unique Vietnamese fillings which bring a variation of flavors making it amazingly delicious.
The fillings (freshly made omelet and the pate) are the reasons the baguette sandwich is delicious. The baguette fillings are then combined with greens making it so delectable that people around the world cannot resist imitating this dish.
There are different varieties of Banh mi in Vietnam, the north stick to bread, fat carbohydrates, margarine, and pate. But in the south Banh mi is made by combining fried eggs, sausage, pickled vegetables, cold cut, cheese, chili sauce and fresh cilantro. Both local and international tourist wait in lines just to get this popular dish from Banh mi stores.
Banh Xeo [Sizzling Cake]
This is a big savory cake that makes a sizzling noise when being cooked, hence the name sizzling cake (banh xeo). This is a typical Vietnam cake, it’s a crepe bulging that is crispy and is made with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts. The cake is then garnished with fresh herbs to give it an authentic Vietnamese dish flavors.
The locals enjoy this sizzling cake by rolling up its manageable slices in lettuce leaves or rice paper and dipping it in a special sauce. Every bite sparks the desire for another because the taste of this cake is irresistible.
Xoi [Sticky Rice]
This is a very popular dish across south East Asia and can be found in both local food stalls and high-end restaurants. In Vietnam this dish is most enjoyed in the morning because it gives an added energy boost.
Also known as the glutinous rice, xoi, is made by combining sausage, chicken meat and scallion oil. One of the most conspicuous ingredients of xoi is the dried shallots which are scattered on the top.
The dish is very popular in Hoi Chi Minh city and can be found on several food vendors.
Thit Nuong [Grilled Pork]
Thit nuong is one of the best grilled dishes in Vietnam, especially central Vietnam. This dish is made by grilling marinated pork meat which has been rolled up in rice paper.
The marinade is what makes this dish to be unique. The mixture is made up of a combination of lemongrass, chili, salt, fish sauce, and sugar. The chops of pork meat are then mixed with the marinade using hands to ensure that they are well coated before being grilled.
When the pork is ready, the typical Vietnam herbs are added together with some greens making the dish very delicious.
Being at the heart of the Vietnamese culture, food is a key aspect that can make you consider extending your stay in Vietnam. One fascinating thing you need to consider is that some dishes are dominant and very popular in particular cities in this country. To have the best of every dish you can touring different cities like Hue, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An and have tastes of their dominant Vietnam dish.
Kanisha is a renowned blog writer and founder of the FortunateKitchen blog. This blog specializes on food related topics, from ways of making exquisite dishes to food preparation basics. As a self-taught chef, kanisha is driven by passion and curiosity for food blogging. She is on course with her mission to educate readers, besides playing roles as a mom.