The best of Vietnamese cuisine
There vietnamese cuisine, it’s my own Proustian madeleine. Years spent around the table of my dear family with the menu: the crumbled meatTHE caramel porkTHE Spring RollsTHE fried riceTHE spring rollsTHE nem chuaTHE bun chaTHE nougat etc… And yet, I waited a long time before planting my chopsticks in a Vietnamese street stall.
Probably for fear of being disappointed, I preferred to eat in neighboring countries (Malaysia, ThailandSingapore, Hong Kong, Bali etc…) as apreparatory appetizer and postpone my encounter with this idealized country. To set foot in Vietnam was to go from dream to reality. The shock or the fall could annoy me forever with my past. Now, I can safely say that I found one of the best cuisines in the world there and that reality felt like a daydream.
The best of Vietnamese cuisine
As in many countries, each region has its specialty. Something to feast on and make your taste buds explode while visiting the country from North to South.
National dish: Pho
Pho (pronounced “fire”) is traditionally a beef soup with rice noodles. Of course, there are a multitude of variants, variations and adaptations across the country. It is the national dish that Vietnamese people eat for breakfast. You can find them everywhere for less. A chain of restaurants Pho 24 also offers it in major Asian cities.
The Vietnamese sandwich: Banh Mi
Very popular, the Banh Mi would come from the word “sandwich bread” in French. A legacy of a colonial past, it combines Vietnamese ingredients with a French baguette. Pork, chicken, fish, egg, it can be seasoned with a spicy sauce.
Hanoi specialty: Bun Cha
My favorite dish in Vietnam is Bun Cha. Rice vermicelli with grilled pork in a broth to die for, all to compose to taste with aromatic herbs and salad. Just divine!
The specialty of Hue: Banh beo
Impossible to miss this dish when visiting Hue. Small steamed rice cakes stuffed with different fillings (shrimp, pork, bean paste, etc.)
Hoi An specialties: Cao Lau and Wonton
Cao Lau dates back to the 17th century and is the result of various culinary influences. This soup is made with noodles, crackers, meat, lemon and mint.
The Wonton is a small crispy crepe decorated with small vegetables with a sauce that is just exceptional.
Vietnamese Fish: Ca Nuong La Chuoi and Calamari
Fish cooked in a banana leaf turns out to be tasty thanks to this cooking which does not dry it out. With a small salad to decorate it, it is a delight.
Vietnamese salads: Bo Bun and Green Papaya Salad
Having long become a classic of Asian restaurants in France, the Bo Bun is no longer presented. A mixture of noodles, spring rolls, crunchy vegetables and meat, it is a complete dish with multiple flavors. The green papaya salad is refreshing, ideal for a lunch between two visits.
Vietnamese omelet: Banh Xeo
Very light, the Banh Xeo is perfect on hot days with these little rice flour pancakes filled with vegetables, meat and soy.
Nems and spring rolls
Classics of Vietnamese cuisine, “springrolls” are available in cold or fried versions. A starter to share with others or to keep for yourself…
The particular dish of Hanoi: Bun Dau Mam Tom
Bun Dau Mam Tom is fried tofu, rice noodles and the famous fermented Mam Tom sauce with a secret recipe. It’s hard for us Westerners to be tempted by this foul-smelling purple liquid, fortunately the sellers offer an alternative with Nuoc Mam.
Lovers of thrills, here is the coffee that far exceeds the full-bodied espresso.
Make your market
Vietnamese markets are teeming with ingredients and conical hats. A real panorama of the diversity of Vietnamese cuisine to observe without moderation.
I still have many other dishes to try, the opportunity to return again and again. Next time, I’ll bring back photos of the special desserts that I haven’t yet dared to taste.