When in Vietnam: Food Trip


Healthy but tasty. That is how I simply describe Vietnamese food. Asked about my favorite cuisine, I would probably say Vietnamese right away. After spending a few days in the busy Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, I totally fell in love with the food.

It's no doubt that there's a long list of delicious Vietnamese dishes. I can keep on writing about them until I give up drooling and craving for them (LOL), but here’s 5 of the most common that are pretty much available all over Vietnam:
1. Pho
Of course. It may sound redundant to still mention phở as a recommended Vietnamese dish with its popularity not only in Vietnam but all over the world, but I really have to. This bowl truly deserves a spot in the must-try in Vietnam. Phở is a noodle soup that usually consists of rice noodles, vegetables, herbs, and strips of beef or chicken meat. It's also served with bean sprouts, greens, coriander, and lemon on the side.

Even though I've tried eating pho in the Philippines, I must say that nothing beats the authentic. This is why I recommend trying pho when in Vietnam. For me, this noodle soup is like a comfort food, not to mention that the rich taste of the broth is something that can pump you up. 


2. Banh mi
This is Vietnam’s version of the British sub, the healthier version I should say. It's a long crunchy bun stuffed with lots of vegetables (carrots, cucumber, coriander, etc.), liver paté, and meat. I caught a lot of locals getting this every morning. They usually stopped by a small food stand to order bánh mì as takeaway.
A regular bánh mì costs 7,000 VND. Prices vary depending on where you buy it. Of course getting it at the street is the cheapest.

3. Banh xeo

This is a healthy pancake made up of rice flour, turmeric powder (which I think makes it smell good) and water. The bánh xèo I ordered had shrimp, meat, bean sprouts, and lots of vegetables. There is even lettuce and other greens on the side.

It's a heavy dish. In fact, when it was served to me, I totally got overwhelmed by its size! I ate it one evening after our Cao Dai temple and Cu Chi tunnel tour and I felt so full that I could hardly move after. Haha.


4. Cha gio
I'm not a huge fan of fried food but cha gio, also known as the Vietnamese fried roll, is an exception! It usually consists of minced pork, mushroom, chopped vegetables, and seasoning. I ate my fried rolls with vermicelli salad, a dry type of rice noodles (similar to pho but without the soup).
Surprisingly, despite being fried, this cha gio didn’t have that satiating oily taste. It must have been with the method of frying it or with the cooking oil that was used.

Aside from fried, goi cuốn (fresh spring roll) is another type of vegetable roll that I also find delicious. The stuffing is usually the same but instead of vinegar as dip, it's served with peanut sauce.

5. Ca phe sua da
I visited Vietnam in March, a month that is considered one of the driest. Going around Ho Chi Minh City was so hot that I usually ended up drinking something cold to stay hydrated.
One of my favorite coolers is ca phe sua da, better known as the Vietnamese iced coffee. The traditional one is served with a tall glass of coffee and a smaller glass of cold tea on the side.

I highly recommend this to drink in the morning. It will surely give the kick to keep you up for the whole day. As said, Vietnamese coffee is one of the strongest coffees in the world.

Have you been to Vietnam? Which local dish have you tried there? 



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