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TOP 15 must-try Vietnamese rice noodles for an explosion of flavors

05/01/2024 6.990

Vietnamese rice noodles are an essential and beloved part of the country's rich culinary culture. From the iconic pho to lesser-known delicacies like mi Quang and bun bo Nam Bo, these 15 dishes below are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Vietnamese rice noodles

Vietnamese food is renowned for its vibrant flavors and fresh ingredients, and one of the quintessential components of this culinary culture is Vietnamese rice noodles. From north to south, you will find a wide range of rice noodle dishes that highlight the country's diverse regional flavors. Whether you are a fan of hearty broths, fragrant grilled meats, or delicate soups, there is something on this list to satisfy your palate.

1. Mi Quang - Vietnamese Quang-style noodle

Mi Quang is one of the most well-known Vietnamese rice noodles originating from the central region of the country. This dish features vibrant yellow turmeric-infused noodles, which are topped with an array of enticing ingredients. Succulent shrimp, tender slices of pork, earthy mushrooms, and crunchy peanuts all come together in a harmonious symphony of flavors and textures.

This dish is further elevated with the addition of aromatic herbs, such as mint, cilantro, and basil, adding a refreshing element to each bite. To crown it all, the dish is bathed in a savory broth, made from simmering pork bones and aromatic spices, infusing each component with a rich and comforting essence. 

Vietnamese rice noodles

2. Bun cha - Vietnamese rice vermicelli with grilled pork

Bun cha is a beloved Vietnamese rice noodle dish that originated in Hanoi and has gained popularity throughout the country. This dish consists of grilled pork patties and succulent slices of grilled pork belly, which are served alongside a bowl of vermicelli rice noodles and a plate of fresh herbs and vegetables.

The smoky and charred flavors of the grilled meat perfectly complement the light rice noodles. To add an extra dimension of taste, the dish is typically accompanied by a dipping sauce made with fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and chili.

3. Bun bo Hue - Vietnamese Hue beef noodle soup

Originating from the royal city of Hue, bun bo Hue is a tantalizing Vietnamese rice noodle soup that showcases the region's culinary heritage. This dish features a rich beef broth infused with lemongrass, shrimp paste, and an array of aromatic spices. The highlight of the dish is the succulent beef and pork slices, accompanied by thick rice noodles that absorb the flavorful broth. 

Bun bo Hue is typically garnished with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and chili oil, adding layers of freshness and richness to the soup. With its bold and complex flavors, Bun bo Hue is a must-try for those seeking a satisfying and spicy Vietnamese soup experience.

Vietnamese rice noodles

4. Cao lau - Among the most popular Vietnamese rice noodles

Hailing from the enchanting town of Hoi An, cao lau stands as a unique and flavorsome Vietnamese rice noodle dish. This local specialty offers a delightful blend of textures and flavors. The noodles used in Cao lau are thick and chewy, with a slightly smoky flavor obtained from being cooked with water from a specific well in Hoi An. 

The dish is topped with succulent slices of pork, crunchy bean sprouts, fresh herbs, and crispy croutons. The final touch is a drizzle of savory broth, made from a secret recipe combining local spices and soy sauce. Together, these elements create an irresistible medley of textures, flavors, and aromas that make cao lau an essential part of any culinary adventure in Hoi An.

Vietnamese rice noodles

>>> Discover different variations of Vietnamese noodles to fill you up during your trip!

5. Bun rieu - Vietnamese rice noodle soup with crab

Bun rieu is a popular Vietnamese rice noodle dish that will delight seafood lovers. This dish consists of soft rice vermicelli noodles, along with a variety of ingredients such as tofu, pork, and different types of seafood, including freshwater crabs or shrimp. The soup is characterized by its broth made from crab paste, tomatoes, and aromatic herbs.

The broth is simmered to perfection, infusing the noodles and ingredients with its savory essence. Garnished with fresh herbs, lime, and chili, each spoonful of bun rieu offers a harmonious blend of tangy, savory, and spicy flavors. Whether you are a fan of seafood or simply seeking a delicious and satisfying bowl of noodles, bun rieu is a must-try Vietnamese dish that will leave you craving for more.

Vietnamese rice noodles

6. Bun bo Nam Bo - Southern Vietnamese beef noodle soup

Bun bo Nam Bo is among the delightful Vietnamese rice noodle dishes that originate from the southern region of the country. This dish is a harmonious combination of tender beef slices, fresh vegetables, fragrant herbs, and rice vermicelli noodles. The beef is marinated in a blend of lemongrass, garlic, and spices, then stir-fried to perfection, creating a succulent and aromatic component to the dish.

Bun bo Nam Bo is served with cool rice noodles and crisp vegetables. It is commonly paired with a slightly sweet fish sauce dressing that enhances the flavors of each bite.

7. Bun dau mam tom - Vietnamese rice noodles with shrimp paste and fried tofu

Bun dau mam tom is a famous Vietnamese dish that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. It features crispy deep-fried tofu, rice noodles, fragrant herbs, and a pungent shrimp paste sauce known as mam tom.

What makes this dish truly special is the harmonious interplay of textures and tastes. The crispy tofu provides a satisfying crunch, while the fresh herbs add a refreshing touch. The highlight of this dish, mam tom, is an acquired taste known for its strong and distinct aroma. It is a bold condiment that perfectly complements the other elements. Bun dau mam tom offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience, allowing you to delve into the rich culinary heritage of Vietnam.

Vietnamese rice noodles

8. Pho - Vietnamese flat rice noodle soup

Pho, the treasured Vietnamese rice noodle soup, has gained worldwide recognition for its simplicity and depth of flavors. This dish features a flavorful broth infused with fragrant herbs and spices, accompanied by Vietnamese flat rice noodles and thinly sliced beef or chicken. It is often served with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime, and chili for an extra burst of flavors.

The combination of aromatic broth, tender noodles, and the interplay of textures and flavors make it a timeless classic. Whether enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Pho is a culinary masterpiece that has become a symbol of Vietnamese culinary heritage.

>>> Check out the top 10 restaurants in Hanoi for a delectable taste of pho rolls!

9. Bun thang - A flavorful Vietnamese rice noodle bowl

Bun thang is a traditional noodle soup from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. The dish features thin rice noodles, tender shredded chicken, sliced omelets, dried shrimp, and fragrant herbs, all delicately arranged in a bowl of clear broth. The broth is prepared by simmering chicken bones and dried seafood, adding a subtle richness to the dish.

Bun thang is typically garnished with spring onions and Vietnamese coriander and served with lime wedges on the side. The combination of these ingredients creates a delightful symphony of flavors that will enchant your taste buds.

Vietnamese rice noodles

10. Bun oc - Vietnamese snail noodle soup

Bun oc is one of the must-try dishes to fully immerse yourself in the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. This dish features a combination of escargot, also known as sea snails, cooked in a rich and aromatic broth made with a variety of herbs and spices. The snails are tender and juicy, providing a chewy texture to the soup.

The broth is infused with flavors from lemongrass, ginger, shrimp paste, and tomatoes, creating a complex and satisfying taste. Served with fresh rice noodles and garnished with fragrant herbs, lime wedges, and chili, bun oc is a comforting dish that will awaken your senses.

11. Hu tieu

Hu tieu is another delicious Vietnamese specialty made with Vietnamese rice noodles. This noodle soup typically features thin, translucent rice noodles served in a flavorful broth made from pork bones and various aromatic spices.

This dish can be enjoyed with different toppings, including tender slices of pork, shrimp, squid, and ground pork. Hu tieu is often served with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and lime wedges, adding a refreshing and vibrant touch to the dish. With its delicate flavors, hu tieu is a popular street food in Vietnam, offering a fulfilling culinary. experience.

Vietnamese rice noodles

12. Banh canh - Vietnamese thick noodle soup

Banh canh, a cherished Vietnamese delicacy, promises a deeply satisfying culinary journey. Unlike other Vietnamese noodle soups, banh canh features thick and chewy rice noodles that are similar in texture to udon noodles. This dish is typically served in a flavorful broth made from pork bones, seafood, or chicken, resulting in a rich taste.

Banh canh can be enjoyed with a variety of toppings, such as shrimp, crab meat, pork, or fish cakes, providing a delightful combination of flavors and textures. Whether enjoyed as a main meal or a hearty snack, banh canh is a must-try dish for rice noodle lovers.

13. Banh da cua - Vietnamese red noodle soup with crab

Banh da cua is a delectable Vietnamese rice noodle dish that showcases the culinary excellence of Vietnam’s coastal region. The noodles, made from rice and featuring a reddish-brown color, take center stage in this flavorful creation. They are served in a fragrant and tasty broth made of simmered crab meat, shrimp, and aromatic spices. 

This dish is typically garnished with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and lime, which add a refreshing element to every spoonful. With its incredible blend of flavors and the delicate sweetness of crab meat, banh da cua is a true treat for seafood enthusiasts.

Vietnamese rice noodles

14. Banh tam

Originating from the southern region of Vietnam, banh tam is a beloved rice noodle dish that captures the hearts of food enthusiasts. This dish consists of thick rice noodles generously topped with grilled pork, sliced pork rinds, an abundance of fresh herbs, roasted peanuts, and a drizzle of fragrant coconut milk sauce. With each bite, you will experience a delightful interplay of textures, and a harmonious blend of sweet, savory, and nutty flavors. 

15. Banh hoi

Banh hoi is a popular choice among both locals and tourists due to its refreshing and light qualities. It features delicate bundles of thin rice vermicelli and is accompanied by an array of flavorful grilled meats, fresh herbs, vegetables, and a delicious Vietnamese sauce for rice noodles.

The texture of banh hoi is wonderfully soft and slightly chewy, providing a delightful contrast to the vibrant flavors of the toppings. This dish is often enjoyed as a shared meal, where diners can create their own rolls by wrapping the banh hoi and toppings in fresh lettuce or rice paper.

Vietnamese rice noodles

To fully immerse in the rich cuisine of Vietnam, besides savoring Vietnamese rice noodle delights, you should also try other Vietnamese dishes such as Vietnamese broken rice, Vietnamese fish cake, Vietnamese sticky rice, Vietnamese bread, Vietnamese fried rice, Vietnamese summer rolls, etc.

During your Vietnam travel journey, it is also essential to explore the country's breathtaking natural landscapes. Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Ha Long Bay are all renowned destinations, boasting stunning beaches, historic sites, natural wonders, and cultural heritage.

When planning your trip, it is crucial to carefully research and select a suitable accommodation for each location. For a truly luxurious experience, consider Vinpearl, a leading hospitality brand in Vietnam. With lavish rooms and an array of amenities such as swimming pools, kids' playgrounds, babysitting services, dining options, bars, gyms, and more, Vinpearl caters to your every need. 

Furthermore, Vinpearl’s properties are thoughtfully designed to blend harmoniously with the surrounding nature, allowing you to immerse yourself in Vietnam's stunning beauty while enjoying unparalleled world-class services.

Vietnamese rice noodles

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Vietnamese rice noodles showcase a harmonious blend of aromatic herbs, savory broths, and perfectly cooked noodles. The 15 must-try Vietnamese rice noodles above promise an explosion of flavors that will transport you to the vibrant streets of Vietnam. So, on your upcoming trip, don't miss the opportunity to savor these delectable dishes and experience the culinary magic that Vietnam has to offer!

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