*Warning: This post will make you hungry*
Vietnamese cuisine is endless and extensive, and even though I grew up eating Vietnamese food all my life and I thought that I have eaten everything there is. My last trip to Vietnam really humbled my taste buds because there are still so many amazing dishes that I have yet to try. There were traditional dishes that were reinvented by talented chefs but there were some I’ve never had before. Nowadays, whenever you mention Vietnamese food, most people will only list pho or banh mi, but there is so much more diversity in Vietnamese cuisine. Get ready for a flavorful guide!
Sweet and Sour Hot Pot
Also known as Lau chua or canh chua, this hot pot is filled with all the goodness of the land and freshwater. From freshly picked greens to sweet fish fillets to tasty shrimp and squid, this dish is the heart and soul of Southern Vietnam. Every household has their own recipe and it is essentially a stable yet most underrated dish in Vietnamese cooking. A chef’s talent can usually be determined by how they season the broth, which needs to be well balanced between the sweet, sour and salty.
You can eat it with rice noodles called bun or you can have it with instant noodles (just the noodles). The broth for the hot pot is much more flavorful compared to the normal canh chua soup since you do cook the ingredients as you go and it’ll make the broth tastes more mild.
Best for a large group of friends at get-togethers or fancy family meal. You can find it at most Vietnamese restaurants, so give it a try!
Udon Noodle Crab Soup
One of my favorite types of noodles is Vietnamese udon noodle, it is different from the Japanese udon noodle because of its softer texture and has a transparent look. The crab soup is made with pork bone and blue crab. When you order them, it will usually come with a whole blue crab and a big piece of crab cake. The broth is decedent, clean, yet filled with amazing flavor.
It may looks simple but it is actually super filling. You will definitely wants a second bowl.
Vietnamese Crepes filled with coconut heart
I’ve been eating Vietnamese crepes all my life and this is by far the BEST crepes or banh xeo I’ve ever had.
Typically, banh xeo is filled with bean sprout or sliced cabbage, but this banh xeo is filled with thinly sliced young coconut hearts. They are so tender, sweet and has an amazing aroma. The filling is coconut hearts, ground pork, chives, and shrimp. One serving comes with two banh xeo, a plate full of lettuce leaves and herbs, and fish sauce. You can make wraps using the leaves with a piece of banh xeo in the middle or you can just enjoy it by itself dipping in fish sauce. The outside is crunchy and crispy, and I guarantee you can probably finish an entire serving by yourself.
Noodle and Shrimp Paste Tray
This dish is for my adventurous eaters, frankly because of the smell from the shrimp paste may be too strong for some but the flavor is amazing!!!
It only gained popularity in Ho Chi Minh City in the last couple of years, and now there are so many restaurants serving up this dish as a specialty dish. It comes on a tray filled with rice noodles pressed into blocks, organ meats, fried tofu, fried shrimp cake, fried squid cake, and top with a handful of herbs. This dish is great to eat with a small group of friends or family, but you can also get your own plate and select the specific side dishes for yourself.
How to eat:
- Combine the shrimp paste with key lime, sugar, and chili pepper.
- Start dipping and enjoy!
For more of my endless eating adventure, head over to Sweet & Sour Vlogs for my travel videos of Vietnam.
Thank you for reading ^.^