With unique flavour and history, broken rice (cơm tấm), kebab rice noodles (bún chả) or rice noodles with fried tofu and shrimp paste (bún đậu mắm tôm) have become dishes that attract a lot of tourists when coming to these two cities.
Top ten delicious dishes you should try if you come to Hanoi and Saigon
Broken rice (cơm tấm): In the old days, broken rice is the most favourite breakfast of people from all walks of life in Saigon. Nowadays, this food can be eaten any time in a day from early morning to lately night. Although it can appear in air-conditioned restaurants, but to some people, to enjoy this food by the right way, it should be tasted at some street corners or some alleys with the delicious odour of grilled ribs spreading in vaporous smoke. The piece of delicious grilled meat is eaten with a piece of soft egg meatloaf, tough ‘bì’ vermicelli (thinly shredded pork mixed with cooked and thinly shredded pork skin) and these all mixed with fish sauce. People who used to eat this food can’t forget its flavour.
Kuy teav on roadside vendor (hủ tiếu vỉa hè): Kuy teav is no longer strange to any gourmet in Saigon, especially young people. The clear and soothing soup with the simple eating space are two things that make tourists who’ve ever eaten this dish always remember its flavour. Kuy teav stall ,which is over 30 year old at the roadside of Nguyen Thai Hoc street, serves the strange big wonton. This stall is always a place attracting the most tourists. Photo: Phong Vinh
Bánh mì Hòa Mã (Vietnamese sandwich): To many people, Bánh mì is a fast food which is suitable for the busy life of Saigon. With the flavour is strange but not too much special, Hoa Ma stall has saved itself the memories of Saigon land for years. The serving that the most people often choose is a-span long bread eaten with a pan full of hot and aromatic foods. Inside this pan, there are plenty of attractive ingredients such as: fried eggs, cold cuts, hotdog, grilled fish, Vietnamese pork roll,… those all are fried and used when being hot with bread and together with little sliced onion.
Porridge with meatball from beef (cháo bò viên): this food is easy to eat and suitable for any time within a day. You can eat this food any time when you are hungry. Tam Hoi food stall which is over 20 year old is a place that you can’t miss when visiting to Saigon. The bowl of porridge bringing to tourists is impressive with the green of onion, the yellow of finger-shaped soufflé batter, the brown of ox blood and the pure white of porridge. Dipping the delicious meatball into hoisin sauce, chewing a piece of it, then you’ll feel tough, crispy, delicious that all gradually seep through your throat. Photo: Phong Vinh
Mì cay muối ớt (spicy noodles with salt and pepper): Mì cay muối ớt has appeared in Saigon for 40 years and charms many tourists by its unique flavour. Due to the sweet of minced beef, crispy of piece of beef and pureed shrimps, eggs,.. together with the bowl of hot soup, these all blend together to make the unique flavour.
Phở: Phở is a delicious food. It’s easy to eat and nutritious. It’s sold at many places, but there is no where can have the special flavour as Hanoi. Hanoi has a lot of famous traditional stalls which serve Phở. Phở Lý Quốc Sư used to be concerned on an international newspaper, then it has became an reliabble address when tourists want to try this food at Hanoi. In addition, there are Phở Thìn at Lo Duc street, Phở Tư Lùn at Hai Ba Trung street or Phở Bát Đàn. Every stall is over tens of years and have its own recipe but still keeps the traditional flavour of phở.
Kebab rice noodles-Hanoi (Bun cha Hanoi): when talking about the most delicious foods of Hanoi, people often mention kebab rice noodes as a popular dish of several generations of Vietnam. The dish is simple, but its flavour is special and tasty that make us eat it again and again. When eating the dish, people often use a plate of rice vermicelli with a plate of herbs including salads, basil, coriander, perilla that are all washed clearly. In addition, the dipping sauce is a deciding factors which make the dish perfect. Recently, Bun cha of Huong Lien restautant has reached out to the world because it is visited by President of America-Obama.
Bun moc: Bún mọc (Bún mộc) is another good choice for you when visiting to the capital. The dish is simple but delicious due to the soup and ‘mọc’ (meatball). Pork’s leg is mixed with sliced peziza to be meatball. Although it has a simple name, the recipe is complex, close and subtle. This dish is an interesting food featuring Hanoi cuisine. The price for a serving is 1 USD to 1,5 USD.
Rice noodles with fried tofu and shrimp paste (bún đậu mắm tôm): Whatever it’s rainy or sunny, you can find this dish in Hanoi, from restaurants to roadside vendor. A full serving includes rice noodles, fried tofu, fried pork rolls (chả cốm) and vegetables. Nowadays, many places serve egg rolls, pig’s tripes or fried pork sausage that all make the dish look more attractive. Especially, a perfect ‘Bún đậu mắm tôm’ can’t miss shrimp paste. Depending on every place, shrimp paste have different tastes. Bun dau Hang Khay is a place that you should not miss if you want to taste this dish in Hanoi.
Bún riêu ốc: The soup of this dish is the main factor that make it delicious. The sauce is pleasant to taste with a gentle aromatic of ‘nếp cái’ (a kind of large-size-grained glutinous rice) which is used to make vinegar, and the spicy flavor of chilli. Besides the delicious soup, shellfishes are processed carefully so that they don’t smell fishy and their meats are soft, crunchy and fatty. The food stall in an alley of Dong Xuan market is a place that you should visit to. ‘Bún ốc’ is eaten with vegetables. The fatty flavor of shellfish with the sweet and sour soup will leave you much impression in your discovering Hanoi cuisine trip. Photo: Phong Vinh