Vietnam travel offers every tourist a gastronomic wonderland. Among the many famous dishes here, Vietnamese hot pot stands out as a delightful and communal way of dining. These aromatic and flavorful pots are celebrated across the country, with each region adding its own unique twist to this beloved tradition.
1. Lau de - Vietnamese goat hot pot
Ninh Binh offers a delightful culinary gem in the Vietnamese food list known as lau de, or Vietnamese goat hot pot. Ninh Binh's goat meat is tender and flavorful. This Vietnamese hot pot is cherished for its nourishing qualities, making it a perfect choice during colder seasons.
To achieve the perfect tenderness, the goat meat is slow-cooked over low heat with constant skimming to maintain a clear broth. An insider tip is to add coconut milk to enhance the flavor. Also, infusing lemongrass and turmeric into the meat not only removes gaminess but also imparts an aromatic taste. Goat hot pot is typically served with noodles, accompanied by an array of fresh greens and Vietnamese herbs.
2. Lau vit om sau - A traditional Vietnamese hot pot
Originating from Hanoi, lau vit om sau is a popular traditional Vietnamese food. This Vietnamese hot pot features a unique ingredient - dracontomelon fruit, known for its sour yet subtly sweet flavor. Dracontomelon trees line the streets of Hanoi and are in season during summer. For this hot pot, duck meat is infused with dracontomelon fruit, braised in a pot with water, vinegar, coconut milk, garlic, and the fruit itself, resulting in tender meat immersed in a creamy broth. The flavor profile combines sourness, sweetness, and savoriness, making it ideal for hot summer days and comforting weekends.
3. Lau rieu cua - Vietnamese field crab hot pot
Lau rieu cua primarily features crab, mostly field crabs and sometimes also sea crabs, along with various other seafoods. A variety of fresh greens compliments the flavor palette. The highlight of Vietnamese field crab hot pot is undoubtedly the golden crab roe, made from crab meat and crab egg brick. The colorful and fragrant broth is irresistible. When paired with Hai Phong-style rice noodles, water spinach, banana blossoms, and more, it becomes a symphony of flavors. Fortunately, you don't need to travel to Hai Phong to enjoy this delicacy, as it is available in many places across Vietnam.
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4. Lau mam - Vietnamese hot pot with fermented fish sauce
When indulging in a Mekong Delta classic like lau mam, the key is to incorporate an abundance of seasonal riverbed greens like cu neo, cang cua, bac ha, and more. The broth derives its bold and complex flavor from various fermented fish sauces. What makes Vietnamese fermented fish hot pot special is that there are no strict rules about the ingredients; it completely depends on personal preferences and the season. This leads to diverse and uniquely flavored variations, making lau mam a culinary gem of the region.
5. Lau ga la e - Vietnamese chicken hot pot with “e” leaves
La e, or e leaves, a lesser-known herb with a tangy, slightly bitter, and crunchy taste, has made its mark in Vietnamese cuisine. Preparation is straightforward with a focus on selecting plump chicken and young e leaves to enhance the aroma. Originally a specialty of Phu Yen Province, this Vietnamese hot pot has since spread to Central and Southern Vietnam, earning popularity in places like Da Lat and Saigon. People love to enjoy this hot pot in the chilly climate of Da Lat, as it adds an extra layer of warmth and satisfaction.
6. Lau bo nhung dam - A must-try Vietnamese hot pot
Lau bo nhung dam is a famous Vietnamese food, where thin slices of raw beef are dipped into a boiling broth enriched with vinegar, coconut milk, lemongrass, and spices. The cooked beef is then wrapped in rice paper with fresh vegetables, herbs and dipped in a tangy, spicy sauce made with fermented fish sauce. This Vietnamese hot pot delivers a balance of sour, sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. The vinegar adds a refreshing tang to the broth while the coconut milk contributes sweetness.
7. Lau ca duoi - Vung Tau stingray hotpot
Vung Tau is famous for stingray hotpot, which draws diners by the tender, succulent stingray meat which becomes soft as cartilage when cooked. The rich and fragrant broth, typically served with rice noodles, pairs perfectly with an assortment of greens such as water spinach, banana blossoms, and peppermint. Today, you can find this dish in various places as it has become a beloved Vietnamese hot pot. Whether you are enjoying it on a cool evening by the seaside or sharing it with friends, the allure of stingray hotpot makes it an irresistible choice.
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8. Lau tha - A famous Vietnamese seafood hot pot in Phan Thiet
Lau tha, or seafood hot pot, is a humble yet highly sought-after dish that represents the abundance of ingredients in Phan Thiet Mui Ne, the sunny coastal city. The dish's unique presentation involves arranging ingredients, including Vietnamese seafood, shredded eggs, vegetables, and noodles, inside banana blossoms that sit atop a green tray. It's said that lau tha harmonizes the five elements - metal, wood, water, fire, and earth - corresponding to the five tastes - spicy, sour, bitter, salty, and sweet. This culinary masterpiece embodies Vietnam's philosophy of gastronomy.
9. Lau ca keo - Vietnamese rafter fish hot pot
Southern Vietnam, with its numerous rivers and canals, is home to a delightful ingredient - "ca keo" or rafter fish. This fish serves as the star ingredient in a variety of delectable dishes, including lau ca keo, or rafter fish hot pot. What sets this Vietnamese hot pot apart is the irresistible combination of succulent fish meat and flavorful broth.
Rafter fish is sliced into bite-sized pieces, marinated with spices, then stir-fried with an assortment of vegetables. Some cooks even deep-fry the fish, creating an enticing crispy texture. The fish meat is lean and tender. The broth's bright red-yellow hue not only enhances the dish's visual appeal but also elevates its flavor profile.
10. Lau ech - A tasty Vietnamese hot pot
If you are a fan of spicy food, lau ech, or frog hot pot, is a Vietnamese hot pot that should be on your radar. Hailing from Hanoi, this dish is one of the popular Vietnamese dishes, providing warmth on cold winter days and a spicy kick on hot summer nights. Lau ech is typically savored at specialized eateries due to its intricate preparations.
The frogs are meticulously cleaned, gutted, and chopped into bite-sized pieces. They are then marinated with spices and stir-fried alongside bamboo shoots. Some variations even involve deep-frying the frogs for extra crispiness. While frog meat boasts a tender texture, bamboo shoots add a satisfying crunch. This Vietnamese hot pot is typically served with water spinach, balancing the heat and introducing a dose of greens to the meal.
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11. Lau vit nau chao - Vietnamese duck and fermented bean curd hot pot
Lau vit nau chao is another delectable hot pot to savor on chilly days. Hailing from Can Tho, this dish combines tender duck meat with creamy fermented bean curd to create a rich broth. Duck meat is cut into bite-sized pieces and marinated with spices and fermented bean curd. This bean curd, made from soybeans, has a strong, pungent aroma but a mild, creamy taste. It is further enhanced with water, sugar, lime, and chili to create a dipping sauce that adds extra flavor to the duck meat. The duck and taro are first fried to release their fragrances before being boiled to create the broth. The hot pot simmers until the duck meat is tender. Diners can customize their bowls with rice noodles, vegetables, and fresh herbs to their liking.
If you want to try these appetizing Vietnamese hot pots, consider planning a trip to Vietnam. Some notable cities in Vietnam include Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long. You can discover a captivating tapestry of culture, natural beauty, and urban vitality in these enchanting destinations.
For an unparalleled travel experience, it is recommended that you indulge in the world-class accommodations offered by Vinpearl's hotels and resorts. Each property boasts a host of luxurious amenities and impeccable services, ensuring your stay is nothing short of extraordinary. From exquisite dining options to rejuvenating spa treatments, Vinpearl leaves no stone unturned in delivering the utmost in comfort and hospitality.
Besides, make sure to set aside the time to discover VinWonders, a system of entertainment complexes available in Hanoi, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, and Hoi An.
Vietnamese hot pots are a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Vietnam. Each hot pot tells a unique story rooted in regional traditions and showcasing the creativity of Vietnamese cuisine. Whether you are a fan of goat meat, seafood, or unique ingredients like e leaves or fermented bean curd, there's a Vietnamese hot pot waiting to delight your taste buds. Exploring these hot pots not only offers a gastronomic adventure but also a deeper understanding of the flavors of Vietnam.