Vietnamese cuisine is made with fresh ingredients, not oil or dairy. It is one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. Common ingredients include fish sauce and soy sauce, rice and noodles, fresh herbs and fruits, and other proteins.
It’s actually the perfect combination of fresh and light food, which doesn’t make you feel deprived, but still provides enough nutrition.
Pho (pronounced like fuh) is a soup that brings people together. This delicious soup is similar to chicken noodle, but so much better! It is full of flavor. There are many Vietnamese dishes you can try.
People are familiar with fried spring rolls, but goi cuon is a lighter and more nutritious alternative.
Fresh spring rolls are thin vermicelli noodles made from pork, shrimp, lettuce, and other ingredients. They are tightly wrapped in translucent rice paper. They are often dipped into a peanut or fish-sauce sauce because of their mild flavor.
Cao lau is an essential dish to try when visiting the ancient cities of Vietnam. This Hoi An noodle dish features pork, crispy rice crackers, spices, fresh herbs, and lettuce.
There is a little broth left in the bowl. This makes the dish stand out from other Vietnamese noodle dishes.
Bun Bo Xao
Bun bo xao, a Vietnamese noodle salad, is considered an appetizer.
The dish is served in layers and includes rice noodles, vegetables and beef marinated in lemongrass, roast peanuts, crispy shallots and fresh herbs like mint, lemon, basil and cilantro.
Com tam is also known as broken rice and can be served with a fried egg or grilled pork, prawns or beef and fresh and pickled veggies.
This is a very popular breakfast and lunch option, and it’s also extremely affordable. It is sold at VND 20,000 in street markets or food stalls. This is less than 1 USD
Banh mi, a French-Vietnamese sandwich popular in Vietnam, is great for quick fixes.
The sandwich is served on a baguette which, while it may look similar to French bread, has a sweeter flavor. Vietnam’s introduction of the sandwich’s foundation bread in the middle 19th century, when Vietnam was part French Indochina, was a significant change.
Pickled vegetables, butter, soy sauce and cilantro are all found between the baguette. This sandwich is full of delicious variations.
Pho is undoubtedly the most loved Vietnamese dish.
There are two options for meat: beef (Pho Bo) or chicken (Pho Ga). Apart from the meat, a bowl of pho typically includes rice noodles (for whom the dish is named), bean sprouts and lime wedges.
You can make your broth more flavorful by adding chili sauce or jalapenos. However, I have found that the best broths don’t require any additional ingredients.
This noodle dish, which originated in Hanoi, is one of the most loved in the capital!
Grilled over charcoal, small patties of seasoned pork or pork belly are made. You can choose from a range of sauces to accompany the dish.
The meat is served with herbs and cha gio (deep-fried rice paper roll)
Banh Xeo, a Vietnamese savory crepe, is made with rice flour and turmeric powder. It is then stuffed full of pork, shrimp, and bean seeds.
To give it more tang, many people wrap it in lettuce and dip in fish sauce.
Bun Bo Hue
This sweet and spicy soup, sometimes referred to by the name bun bo, is great for cold days!
Beef broth is made with lemongrass, shrimp paste and sugar. It is then added to a bowl full of rice noodles, various meats, lime juice, and herbs. This dish is the perfect mix of sweet, salty and spicy.
This dish, also known as “bawkhaw”, is the Vietnamese equivalent of French boeuf Bourguignon.
It is made up of beef shanks and tendon, which are then stewed in a lemongrass and five spice flavored broth. Before you eat the meat and vegetables, you dip a piece banh mi bread in the sauce. It can also be made with noodles, known as mi bokho.
Bonus: Vietnamese Coffee + Breakfast
Vietnamese coffee is very different from Western coffee.
It is sweet because it is usually served with sweetened condensed dairy milk. Fresh milk, sugar, and cream are unnecessary.
The typical Vietnamese breakfast is likely to include noodles (pho), or sticky rice (xoi). If you are craving eggs in Saigon, you can order com Tam. Banh bao, a Vietnamese bun similar in taste to dim sum, can be found in some parts of the country. It is a great breakfast option that you can grab and go.
A Quick Guide to Ordering Vegetarians
You can use “toi anchay” to inform someone you are vegetarian while you’re visiting Vietnam.
You can use “khong thit” to avoid eating meat. However, that does not mean that a dish is vegan. There will likely still be some meat sauce or a broth made from meat. These are especially difficult to avoid in street markets.
Tofu is also a common protein in Vietnamese cuisine, so it will be a popular choice for most people!
Pho Chay can be ordered as a vegetarian, tofu pho. However, more tourist destinations will prefer a vegetable broth over a meat broth.