Vietnam is a country of vibrant culture and cuisine, and its popular Vietnamese dishes are a must-try for food enthusiasts, whether you’re a local or a tourist. From the famous Pho to Bun cha, there are plenty of dishes to indulge in during your Vietnam travel. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the Vietnamese dishes that you shouldn't miss out on.
1. Pho - One of the most famous Vietnamese dishes to foreigners
Pho, one of the most popular Vietnamese dishes, has a young history dating back to the late 19th or early 20th century. Now, pho is known worldwide and has been featured on various food websites as one of the best Vietnamese dishes to try. Pho is an essential part of Vietnamese cuisine and can be found everywhere, from street vendors to upscale restaurants.
- Beef or chicken
- Beef or pork bones and seasoned with spices like cinnamon, anise, ginger, and cloves to make the broth
- Rice noodles
- Red onion, green onion, onion
2. Bun cha (Vietnamese grilled pork noodles)
Bun cha is one of the popular Vietnamese foods that has been a part of Hanoi's culinary legacy for generations. To enjoy it properly, locals suggest pairing it with fresh greens and dipping the vermicelli in the sauce before adding the meat. In 2016, even US President Barack Obama and chef Anthony Bourdain enjoyed a bun cha dinner in Hanoi, putting the dish under the international spotlight.
- Grilled pork rolls
- Fresh vegetables and green papaya, carrots, and bean sprouts
- Dipping sauce
3. Xoi (Sticky rice) - A popular Vietnamese dish for breakfast
When it comes to what to eat in Vietnam, the answer is simple: try Vietnamese sticky rice. It can be enjoyed for breakfast or any other meal and comes in both savory and sweet options. The Xoi Ngu Sac, which means five-colored sticky rice, is one of several must-try variants of Xoi Ngot (sweet sticky rice), especially for those intrigued by its vibrant colors.
- Steamed glutinous rice (or sticky rice)
- Peanuts, mung beans, black beans, and seasames
- Pork or chicken
4. Goi cuon (Fresh spring rolls)
Vietnam's cuisine is diverse and rich, with every region having its own special dishes. Among the popular Vietnamese dishes, fresh spring rolls stand out with their variety of ingredients and sauces. Whether you prefer meat or vegetables, there is a spring roll for everyone. It's easy to eat and perfect for any meal of the day.
- Sweet and sour fish sauce or soy sauce
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5. Bun bo Nam Bo (Southern Vietnamese beef noodle soup)
Vietnam is a country of wonders where travelers can explore countless attractions and indulge in rich cuisine. Despite its name, it originates from Hanoi and was first sold in the 1980s by a woman named Can. Originally known for her Bun Cha, the restaurant's owner started adding beef to satisfy customer requests, and thus, Vietnamese dishes with noodles, Bun Bo Nam Bo, were born.
- Grilled beef
- Bean sprouts and roasted peanuts
- Sweet and sour fish sauce
6. Com tam (Broken rice) - Among the most popular Vietnamese dishes with rice
Saigon's broken rice is a beloved dish that originated as a cheap meal for workers and students. Despite its humble origins, it has become a signature dish in Saigon and all over Vietnam.
Broken rice is usually served with a variety of popular Vietnamese dishes, such as grilled pork, fried eggs, and pickled vegetables. The dish was originally served on a tray with chopsticks, but as foreigners began to flock to the city, it was presented in a more western-style layout with a spoon and fork.
- Grilled pork or grilled ribs
- Grilled spring rolls
- Dipping sauce
- Fried eggs
7. Banh cuon (Steamed rice rolls)
Vietnamese rolls are a must-try for food lovers; each region in Vietnam has its own unique version of this delicacy. Recently, Traveler, a popular Australian travel website, included Vietnamese banh cuon in its list of the top 10 most attractive dishes in the world.
Each region in Vietnam has its own version of the rolls, such as the Thanh Tri rolls in Hanoi, the Phu Ly rolls in Ha Nam, and the Cao Bang rolls, each with unique flavors and characteristics. Whether it's with grilled meat, bone broth, or simply dipping in sauce, classic Vietnamese dishes are a treat for any food lover.
- Rice flour
- Minced pork
- Wood ear
- Fish sauce
- Crispy fried onions
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8. Bun dau mam tom (Rice vermicelli with fried tofu & fermented shrimp paste)
Bun dau mam tom is one of the most popular Vietnamese dishes in Vietnam, with its perfect combination of vermicelli, deep-fried tofu, and fermented shrimp paste. For those who are not used to the pungent flavor of shrimp paste, fish sauce with chili and lemon extract can be used as a substitute.
To enjoy the dish properly, you need to prepare the dipping sauce carefully and try different topping options. Don't miss out on trying one of the top Vietnamese dishes during your trip to the s-shaped country.
- Fried tofu
- To prepare the dipping sauce, mix fermented shrimp paste with cumquat juice, sugar, and sliced chili.
- Fresh herbs and vegetables, such as fish mint, perilla leaf, and cucumber.
9. Banh Mi - One of the signature Vietnamese dishes
Banh mi is a signature Vietnamese dish that has gained recognition worldwide. On March 24, Google honored the popular dish with an animated doodle in more than 10 countries.
Banh mi's journey started with the French bringing baguettes to Saigon, where locals turned them into Vietnamese bread with a crispy outside and a spongy inside. The Hoa Ma shop of Mr. Hoa and Ms. Tinh added meat and pate to create the Banh mi, which has since become a popular fast food across the country.
- Banh mi
- Fried eggs
- Pork bologna
- Canned fish
10. Banh xeo (Crispy pancake)
"Banh xeo" is a traditional Vietnamese dish that has a unique name derived from the sound it makes when the batter is poured into the hot pan.
There is no official announcement about where it originated, but it can be found in almost every region of Vietnam. There are two distinct types of banh xeo: small pancakes popular in the central region and big pancakes loved by many in the south.
This simple yet delicious dish is perfect for the rainy season and is a must-try among popular Vietnamese dishes. Crispy Vietnamese pancakes are known for their rustic feel and close-to-home taste, blending everything together to give people a feeling of peace.
- Crispy pancake dough
- 1 chicken egg
- Radish and carrot
- Purple onion
- Bean sprouts
>>> Read more: Vietnamese Fruits: List of TOP 20+ exotic fruits you must try in Vietnam
11. Popular Vietnamese dishes with noodles? Mi Quang
If you ever visited Da Nang or Quang Nam, you might have tasted the soulful dish of the region, Mi Quang. Made from rice flour and gardenia seeds, they have a unique flavor and texture.
Raw vegetables add freshness, and a big green chili adds spice. It's no wonder that this dish is likened to the "soul" of Da Nang and Quang Nam cuisine. For those who love traditional Vietnamese dishes, quang noodles are a must-try.
- Snakehead fish
- Pork bone broth
- Roasted peanuts and herbs
12. Com rang (Fried rice) - A classic Vietnamese dish
Ready to experience the delicious flavors of Vietnamese cuisine? Look no further than the epitome of Vietnamese dishes: Vietnamese fried rice. Savory, fresh, and bursting with taste, this dish perfectly embodies Vietnamese cuisine. Whether you're a fan of Vietnamese food or planning a Vietnam travel adventure, don't forget to try these popular Vietnamese dishes.
- Bowls of cooked white rice
- Bulb of purple onion
- Green onion
- Seasonings: fish sauce, salt, pepper, seasoning powder, and oyster sauce
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Vietnamese cuisine is a must-try for anyone who loves the delicate balance of flavors and spices that come together to create unforgettable dishes. With a variety of delicious dish options, Vietnamese cuisine truly has something for everyone. So why not take a chance and try one of these popular Vietnamese dishes today? Whether it's pho, banh mi, or bun cha, you won't be disappointed. Let's spread the love for these delicious dishes and enjoy the mouth-watering flavors that Vietnamese food has to offer!
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