Food glorious food!
A huge part of travel isn’t just about seeing different sights and enjoying mind-blowing experiences, it’s also about trying different types of foods and sampling the cuisine that hails from the part of the world you’re visiting. Some are weird and wonderful, which maybe you don’t fancy trying again, and some are delicious and true hidden gems, so it’s certainly worthwhile just jumping straight in and giving traditional cuisine a try.
Vietnam is becoming increasingly popular as a place to visit nowadays, and the great thing about it is that it’s still so untouched in terms of culture and traditions. With that in mind, you can expect a plethora of different dishes and snacks to try, some certainly a little out there, but some downright delicious.
Basically, Vietnamese food is based on the staple of rice, in whatever guise, as well as noodles and a lot of fish sauce and seafood itself. Throw in some pork, and some tropical fruits to give extra oomph and flavour, and you will find a taste sensation that is truly Vietnam.
Give these few ideas a try.
Pho is the national dish, and is sold everywhere. The great thing about this is that it’s cheap and available as a street food on the go. It comes in different forms, but the general straightforward version consists of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and either chicken or beef.
This is another common staple food and is basically a noodle soup with variations. This is also food you can grab on the street, and what flavour you go for depends on your particular preference. A common flavour involves shrimp and tomato, but you can also find soups with weird and wonderful ingredients, such as pork trotters.
This vegetable is hugely popular, and you’ll find it everywhere as a snack or dish. It is known as a dragon bean and it is a strange looking creature, which tastes a little like asparagus. The general jist is to fry it up in a wok with spices, garlic, and fish sauce, and serve as a starter, or sometimes as a main dish.
Another trusty street food, seen pretty much everywhere. Cha ca is chunks of fish, usually seasoned with spices such as garlic and ginger amongst many others, and griddled on a hot pan. This is particularly popular as the fish you will get is as fresh as it comes.
Another very popular choice, and quite a healthy one too. Banh Xeo is basically a pancake rolled up, but the outer is either rice paper or lettuce, rolled up into a cigar shape with pork, bean sprouts, herbs, and shrimp inside. You can either eat it as it is, or dip it in a sauce – the choice is yours.
This is probably the most recognisable of all the Vietnamese dishes on offer. Nem Ran is basically a spring roll, with a recognisable crunchy outside shell, filled with vegetables, which you can either eat as it is, or again, dip it in a sauce. Usually served as a starter, or a snack.
These are just a few of the many different Vietnamese dishes you should try on your next visit.
Photo Credit: s tsui