Food in Vietnam is very diverse and Vietnamese cuisine has received and maintained many influences over generations. The food in Vietnam is partly even French or Chinese. So is Vietnamese food healthy?
10 delicious and healthy dishes of the Vietnamese cuisine
We have to admit that before our stays we knew little about Vietnamese food and only the well-known dishes like Banh Mi or the soup Pho were known to us. If you feel the same way, try the cuisine of Vietnam on a food tour in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi.
Otherwise, in this article we will introduce you to 10 Vietnamese dishes that you should definitely try in Vietnam.
1. Banh Mi
Banh Mi is one of the classics of eating in Vietnam. Every Vietnamese and certainly every visitor has eaten it at least once. We too are completely convinced of this delicious Vietnamese sandwich and have eaten one of them almost every day!
There are different types of Banh Mi, but the two most common are Op La and Thit. Op La is the Banh Mi variant filled with a fried egg. Thit again is the variation filled with many different kinds of meat and pâté.
In addition there is usually a chilli sauce and various herbs and vegetables in it. Sometimes there are also some chili pieces hidden, which make the whole thing a bit spicy.
Pho noodle soup is the next classic in Vietnamese cuisine and is popular with many travellers and locals alike. The soup is served in a clear broth with rice noodles and beef (Pho Bo) or chicken (Pho Ga). It is served with spring onions, soya, fish sauce, mint, chillies and sometimes basil, so you can prepare it as you like.
You can get the soup at least in the morning in many corners of Vietnam, as it is often eaten as breakfast. But also for lunch or dinner many restaurants offer it.
When visiting Vietnam you should definitely try it at least once.
3. Goy Cuon Tom Thit
Goi Cuon Tom Thit are fresh spring rolls, often referred to on menus as Fresh Summer Rolls. The spring rolls are almost transparent as they are made with rice paper. They are also absolutely healthy, as they are not even fried or similar.
They are filled with lots of mint, iceberg lettuce, glass noodles and fresh shrimp. This is rolled up in the rice paper and served with a peanut or chili sauce.
Absolutely delicious, although sometimes there is a little too much mint in it for my taste.
4. Com Tam
Com Tam means translated as broken, cooked rice and is often served in the Saigon area as Com Tam Sai Gon. The rice is then served with a grilled piece of pork. In Ho Chi Minh City this is often eaten as breakfast.
The broken rice is the main ingredient. This is rice that is broken during grinding – actually a very simple description.
In Vietnam it is definitely a very famous dish, which you should eat once in a while.
5. Banh Beo Tom
Banh Beo are savoury rice biscuits that are topped with dried, ground shrimps and spring onions, for example. They are served with fish sauce, which you can pour over the rice biscuits as you like. Especially the fish sauce from the island of Phu Quoc is known and loved nationwide.
Very tasty, we can only recommend it!
6. Banh Xeo
Banh Xeo is a Vietnamese pancake, also known as Vietnamese crepe. There are several ways to prepare it, so the pancake is sometimes very soft and sometimes very crispy.
It is prepared with eggs, rice flour, water and coconut milk. It is filled with various vegetables, meat and shrimps. In restaurants, pancakes are often served as a starter.
Conclusion: definitely try it!
7. Com Heo Quay Xao Cai Chua
This is one of the many rice dishes of Vietnam. It is served with fried, roasted pork with sour pickled cabbage, as I only knew it from the Khao Soi soup in Chiang Mai before. The meat was very tender and the whole dish very tasty.
8. Banh Canh Cua
Another noodle soup of Vietnamese cuisine. The noodles in this soup are sticky and soft and must rather be sipped from the chopsticks, otherwise they fall back into the soup. Translated the name Banh Canh Cua means “sticky, thick noodles with crab”.
Besides the noodles, the soup is enriched with thin striped pork, shrimp and crab meat. Lime and spring onions are served with it to spice up the soup a bit. However, the soup is somewhat thicker. A very popular dish in Vietnam.
9. Banh Cuon Nong
These are delicious steamed and rolled rice pancakes. The filling consists of meat and partly rice noodles. A little salad and pâté/sausage from pork is served with it.
Looks very tasty and so it tastes. We can definitely recommend you to try this once during your Vietnam trip. If you are very hungry, we would recommend this as a starter rather than as a main course.
10. Com Thit Kho Tieu
Com Thit Kho Tieu is often described on the menu as rice with pork and pepper. It tastes similar to the popular breakfast dish Com Tam. The meat is usually very tender and fried in a kind of pepper sauce. The rice is not broken like Com Tam, but otherwise this dish does not differ too much.
Of course, there is much more choice when it comes to eating in Vietnam and the cuisine has many more local specialties depending on the corner of the country. On our next visit to Vietnam we will certainly try new dishes again. Vietnamese cuisine is very diverse and should not be boring for your taste buds.