Vietnam TravelThe Food of Vietnam: 7 Must-Try Dishes

Kaylin1 year ago26
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Referred to as the “rice basket” of Southeast Asia, it’s no surprise that rice plays a big part in Vietnamese cuisine. In fact, rice is such a staple that there is even a saying in Vietnam that goes, “If you haven’t eaten rice, then you haven’t eaten.” Here are 7 must-try dishes when you’re in Vietnam.

1. Pho

One of the most popular dishes in Vietnam, pho is a rice noodle soup that is typically served with either beef or chicken. The soup is made by simmering beef or chicken bones in water, which gives the broth its signature flavor. Pho is typically garnished with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and chili peppers, and is served with a side of lime.

2. Banh Mi

banh mi

photo: Ben Lei

Banh mi is a delicious Vietnamese sandwich that is perfect for any occasion. The sandwich is made with a French baguette and typically filled with pickled vegetables, cucumber, cilantro, and either pork, chicken, or tofu. The sandwich is then usually garnished with chili peppers and mayonnaise. Banh mi is a great option for those who are looking for a tasty and healthy meal. The sandwich is relatively low in calories and fat, and it is also a good source of protein. Additionally, banh mi is easy to make and can be enjoyed either as a quick snack or as a full meal. Whether you are looking for a new lunch option or simply want to try something different, banh mi is definitely worth a try!

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3. Bun Cha

Bun cha is a Vietnamese noodle dish made with rice vermicelli noodles, grilled pork, and a dipping sauce made of fish sauce, sugar, and vinegar. The dish is often served with a side of fresh herbs and lettuce leaves. The rice vermicelli noodles are typically soft and chewy, while the grilled pork is slightly charred and deliciously savory. The dipping sauce provides a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and salty flavors. When combined, these elements create a truly distinctive and delicious dish. Bun cha is typically enjoyed as a light meal or snack, but it can also be served as a main course. No matter how it is eaten, bun cha is sure to delight the taste buds.

4. Goi Cuon

Goi cuon, also known as Vietnamese spring rolls, are a light and healthy appetizer that is perfect for summer parties. The spring rolls are made with shrimp, pork, and vegetables, and are wrapped in rice paper. The spring rolls are then dipped in a Nuoc Mam Cham sauce, which is made of fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and chili peppers. The Nuoc Mam Cham sauce gives the spring rolls a sweet and sour flavor that is irresistible. Goi cuon are best served cold, and can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve.

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5. Com Tam

com tam

photo: Thu Nguyen

Cơm tấm is a traditional Vietnamese dish made with a mixture of rice and broken rice. The rice is cooked in water to a soft consistency, and then the mixture is broken into pieces. It’s served with fried fish or meat, and usually garnished with green onions, crushed peanuts, and chili paste.

6. Nem Nuong

Nem nuong is a Vietnamese dish that consists of grilled pork meatballs. The pork is usually marinated in a mixture of lemongrass, fish sauce, sugar, and garlic before being grilled. Nem nuong is often served as an appetizer or main dish, and can be eaten alone or wrapped in lettuce leaves with dipping sauce. Nem nuong originated in central Vietnam, but it has since become popular throughout the country. The dish is traditionally made with ground pork, but other meats such as chicken or beef can also be used. Nem nuong is typically cooked over charcoal, giving the meatballs a Smoky flavor. Nem nuong is usually served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce made from chili peppers, vinegar, and sugar. The dipping sauce can be used to add more flavor to the meatballs, or it can be eaten on the side. Nem nuong is a popular dish in Vietnam that is perfect for any occasion.

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7. Banh Canh

banh canh

photo: JAN N G U Y E N

The banh canh is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup. The ingredients in the broth are usually pork, fish sauce, and some kind of meat (chicken or beef). The broth is flavored with the spices: cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom pods, fennel seeds, ginger slices and green onions. The noodles are cooked in boiling water until they float to the surface. They are then rinsed under cold water and drained well. Banh Canh is served with fresh herbs like mint leaves or cilantro sprigs as garnish. It can also be served with shredded lettuce on top of it.

There you have it! These are the 7 must-try dishes when you’re in Vietnam! Bon appetit!

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BlueGem135
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BlueGem135

Vietnam’s intriguing cuisine is a treasure trove of tantalizing dishes. From the fragrant Pho to the delectable Banh Mi, these captivating culinary delights will awaken your taste buds and leave you yearning for more. Don’t forget to explore Bun Cha and Goi Cuon for an unforgettable gastronomic adventure.

Firednight134
Guest
Firednight134

I couldn’t possibly overlook Bun Cha and Goi Cuon! They’re both marvelous additions to Vietnam’s remarkable cuisine. Believe me, you’ll be amazed by the flavors! 😋 And speaking of food adventures, I recently stumbled upon a hidden gem in Hanoi.

DaNangDays
Guest
DaNangDays

You can’t overlook Bun Cha and Goi Cuon! By the way, enlighten me further about the undiscovered treasure in Hanoi!

HueCitadel
Guest
HueCitadel

Vietnamese cuisine is truly an exciting culinary adventure with its flavorful and vibrant ingredients. From the iconic banh mi sandwich filled with a mix of delicious meats, pickled vegetables, and spicy chili peppers, to the fragrant bowl of bun cha noodles adorned with grilled pork and a tasty dipping sauce, Vietnam offers a mouthwatering variety of dishes that are both delicious and good for you. And let’s not forget about the delicious goi cuon spring rolls, filled with shrimp, pork, and fresh vegetables, wrapped in delicate rice paper and served with a delightful sweet and sour fish sauce-based dipping sauce. It’s a captivating journey through the world of food that everyone deserves to experience. So, why not explore the diverse and enticing flavors of Vietnam’s culinary offerings?

HoaMai18
Member

Vietnamese cuisine is a true masterpiece that tantalizes all the senses. The combination of fresh herbs, aromatic spices, and colorful vegetables creates a flavor explosion in every dish. From the iconic phở to the humble cơm tấm, every bite is a journey through Vietnam’s rich culinary history.

amandagibbs
Guest
amandagibbs

Vietnamese cuisine is just amazing! The flavors are so vibrant and the ingredients are always so fresh. I can’t believe how many must-try dishes there are, from the delicious pho to the crispy banh mi. And let’s not forget about the heavenly bun cha! I’m definitely adding all of these dishes to my food bucket list.

Starlight32
Member

@amandagibbs I completely agree! Vietnamese cuisine is a true delight for the senses. The combination of flavors and textures in dishes like banh xeo and ca kho to is simply unforgettable. I can’t wait to try them all!

VpopFrenzy
Member

Vietnamese cuisine is a true culinary delight with an abundance of flavors and textures that tantalize the taste buds, making it hard to pick just one must-try dish from this amazing culture.

foodie_girl
Member

As a food lover, I absolutely enjoyed reading about the must-try dishes of Vietnam and can’t wait to indulge myself in the flavors of pho, banh mi, and bun cha during my next visit to Vietnam.

NhaTrangNavigator
Guest
NhaTrangNavigator

Exploring new flavors and culinary experiences can truly be an adventure! Embrace the journey of discovering diverse cuisines. Remember, each bite tells a story of culture and tradition. What dish are you most excited to try first on your culinary exploration?

MelodyHunter
Member

I apologize for my ignorance of Vietnamese food before reading this post. The descriptions and pictures of the dishes made my mouth water, but I wish there were more suggestions for vegetarian options.

SonLaStorm
Member

@MelodyHunter I must say, the article did a great job of highlighting the diverse and flavorful cuisine of Vietnam. However, as a vegan, I was disappointed to see the lack of options for plant-based eaters.

Dreemweaver09
Guest
Dreemweaver09

Exploring the diverse flavors of Vietnam through its delicious cuisine is an amazing way to experience the culture of this beautiful country!

Caphezilla
Member

taste and texture that everyone should experience. I recently had the chance to try Banh Mi for the first time and it was absolutely delicious!

CoastalBreeze
Guest
CoastalBreeze

Oh dude, I totally feel you! Banh Mi is one of those dishes that just nails it, right? The mix of flavors and the awesome balance between the crispy baguette and the tasty fillings is just out of this world. I’m stoked you got to try it and dug it! Have you tried any other Vietnamese dishes? I’d love to hear your take on them!

film_buff
Member

5. Phở – a type of noodle soup with beef, shrimp, and vegetables

6. Tôm tấm – a type of savory steamed bun filled with pork, shrimp, and vegetables

7. Bánh mì – a type of Vietnamese sandwich made with bread, a filling of your choice, and a dipping sauce”

FarEastExplorer
Member

I’m not a big fan of Vietnamese food, but I can appreciate a good bowl of pho. I’m not sure what it is about the soup, but it just doesn’t do it for me. I much prefer the noodle soup. It’s a lot more flavorful and filling.

mlemmlemz
Guest
mlemmlemz

@FarEastExplorer

I don’t really like Vietnamese food either. I think it’s really bland and not very exciting.

stevienguyen
Guest
stevienguyen

– Pho is a popular Vietnamese noodle soup that is hearty and filling.

yogi88
Member

I’m not a big fan of Pho. I find it to be too greasy and heavy.

DalatDreamer
Member

I love Vietnam! Everything there is so tasty and delicious! I recommend try the following dishes when you’re there:
-Pho
-Banh mi
-Bun Cha
-Goi Cuon
-Com Tam
-Nem Nuong
-Banh Canh

vietzone
Member

Vietnamese food is like a love letter to my stomach. 💌❤️ Time to hit the noodle jackpot and indulge in every dish on this list.

TrueBaby
Member

These are all amazing and worth trying. Even though I felt a bit underwhelmed with some of the dishes, I am glad I tried them. I think I just got so spoiled with pho that nothing else impresses me quite as much. 

tricky
Guest
tricky

I especially appreciate the emphasis on traditional dishes that truly represent the country’s food culture. I can’t wait to try some of these must-try dishes on my next trip to Vietnam!

TBH23
Member

The first time I had banh canh in Vietnam, I can’t remember the place I had it but it reminded me so much of ramen. Like a lot of people compare pho and ramen but banh canh seems more like ramen to me than pho!

DeLaCruz
Guest
DeLaCruz

I love the food of Vietnam!