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News » Vietnamese cuisine

Popular Vietnamese dishes

Popular Vietnamese dishes include:
Hu tieu kho, dry rice noodle dish
  • Bun rieu (Bún riêu) – noodle soup made of thin rice noodles and topped with crab and shrimp paste, served in a tomato based broth and garnished with bean sprout, prawn paste, herb leaves, water spinach, and tomato chunks.
  • Com hen (cơm hến) is a popular dish for the low-budgeted customers in the city of Hue and the vicinity.
  • Banh Canh, a thick rice noodle soup with a more basic broth. Often includes pork, crab, chicken, shrimp, spring onions and freshly sauteed onions sprinkled on top.
  • Mam: fermented fish in various styles.
  • Bo kho (Bò kho): Vietnamese beef and vegetable stew, often cooked with warm, spicy herbs and served very hot with French baguettes for dipping.
  • Prawn paste cake (Cha tom): (a variant of the Chao tom, eaten often with Com tam)
  • Canh Chua: Vietnamese sour soup - typically with fish, pineapples, tomatoes, herbs, beansprouts, when made in style of a hotpot, it is called Lau Canh Chua.
  • Bun Mang Vit (Bún Măng Vịt): Bamboo and duck noodle soup.
  • Nem Nguoi (Nem Nguội): A Hue dish and a variation of the Nem nuong meatballs, these also come from Central Vietnam. They are chilled, small and rectangular in shape, and stuffed with vermicelli. The reddish meat is covered with peppers and typically a chilli. Very spicy, eaten almost exclusively as a cocktail snack.
  • Bun Oc (Bún Ốc): Vermicelli with snails (sea snails similar to the snails in french cuisine).
  • Banh Bot Chien (Bánh Bột Chiên): A Chinese influenced pastry with many versions all over Asia, the Vietnamese version features a special tangy soy sauce on the side.
  • Paté Chaud: A French inspired meat-filled pastry. Characterized by flaky crust and either pork or chicken as the filling.
  • Cha-lua:  sausage made with pork, potato starch and fish sauce.
  • Cao lầu: A Hoi An dish, made of specially burnt flavoured egg noodles topped with meats.
  • Chao ga: A chicken and rice porridge.
  • Banh trang: These are large round flat rice crackers which when heated enlarges into round, easily shattered pieces. They can be eaten separately, although it is most commonly added into the vermicelli, noodle dishes e.g. in cau lau, mi quang...Many 'banh trang' that exists include the clear sesame seed ones, prawn-like cracker with dried spring onions, sweet milk etc...
  • Banh Mi Thit: (Bánh mì kẹp thịt) Vietnamese baguette, French bread containing paté, Vietnamese mayo, different selections of Vietnamese cold cuts and deli (a large variety, most commonly with ham, head cheese, and a Vietnamese bologna), pickled daikon and carrot, cucumber slices. Often garnished with coriander, black pepper. This food is common everywhere in Vietnam as a favorite of factory workers and school kids and eaten for any meal of the day, commonly breakfast and lunch. There are a wide variety of banh mi (with different meats) and many shops have popped up across North America serving primarily Banh mi.
    • Breakfast Banh mi: stuffed with scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs and canned sardines, or the more popular version eaten widely for breakfast in Vietnam: Eggs fried sunny-side-up with onions, sprinkled with Soy sauce and eaten with a fresh (and sometimes buttered) baguette.
  • Bò 7 Món:  Vietnamese seven courses of Beef. A less popular version is the Ca 7 Mon (Cá 7 Món) - or, seven courses of fish.
  • Banh bao(Bánh bao) Steamed bun dumpling that can be stuffed with onion, mushrooms, vegetables, etc. Banh bao is an adaptation from the Chinese baozi to fit Vietnamese taste. Exclusively vegetable banh bao are also available. Vegetarian banh bao are popular food in Buddhist temples. Typical stuffings for banh bao include slices of marinated "xa xíu" (from Chinese cooking) meat, tiny boiled duck eggs or quail eggs, and pork.
  • Banh Chung (Bánh chưng) Sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves and stuffed with mung beans, fatty pork and black sesame seeds, traditionally eaten during the Lunar New Year (Tet)
  • Bánh tét: same ingredients as banh chung but in cylindrical form and wrapped in banana leaves. It is served during Tet.
  • Banh xeo (Bánh xèo) Crepe made out of rice flour with tumeric, shrimps with shelves on, slivers of fatty pork , sliced onions, and sometimes button mushrooms, fried in one or two teaspoons of oil, usually coconut oil, which is the most popular oil used in Viet Nam. It is eaten with lettuce and various local herbs and dipped in Nước chấm or sweet fermented peanut butter sauce. Rice papers are sometimes used as wrappers to contain banh xeo and the accompanying vegetables.
  • Bun Bo Hue (Bún Bò Huế) – Spicy beef noodle soup originated from the Royal Hue City of Central Vietnam. Beef bones, fermented shrimp paste, lemongrass, lots of dried chilies give its broth the distinctive flavors. Often served with mint leaves, bean sprouts, lime wedges, shredded banana blossoms and shredded rau muong.
  • Com tam (Cơm tấm) – Grilled pork (either ribs or shredded) plus a Vietnamese dish called bi (bì) (thinly shredded pork mixed with cooked and thinly shread pork skin) over broken rice (what the words "com tam" actually mean in Vietnamese) and sweet and sour fish sauce.. The rice and meat are served with various greens and pickled vegetables, along with a prawn paste cake, trung hap (trứng hấp) and grilled prawns.
  • Spring rolls aka Egg roll (Nem rán or Chả giò) – deep fried flour rolls filled with pork meat, yam, crab, shrimp, rice vermicelli, mushrooms ("wood ear " variety) and other ingredients. The spring roll goes by many names - as many people actually use (falsely) the word "spring roll" while referring to the fresh transparent paper rolls (discussed below as "Summer Rolls") that are dipped in water to soften and then rolled up with various ingredients. Traditionally these rolls are made with a rice paper wrapper but in recent years Vietnamese chefs have changed the recipe to use a flour based wrapper rolls.
  • Summer rolls aka Spring rolls (Gỏi cuốn) also known as Vietnamese fresh rolls. They are rice paper rolls that often include shrimp, herbs, pork, rice vermicelli and other ingredients wrapped up and dipped in Nước chấm or peanut sauce. Spring rolls almost constitute an entire category of Vietnamese foods, as there are numerous different kinds of spring rolls with different ingredients in them. They include:
    • Bi cuon: (Rice paper rolls with the bi (bì) mixture of thinly shredded pork and thinly shredded pork skin tossed with powdered toasted rice, among other ingredients, along with salad)
    • Bo bia (Bò bía): Stir fried jimica and carrots, Chinese sausage, shredded scrambled eggs, all wrapped with vermicelli noodle in a rice paper roll. Dipped into a spicy peanut sauce (with freshly roasted and ground peanuts).
    • Ca cuon (Cá cuốn): A roll with fish and spring onions.
    • Bo la lot (Bò lá lốt): not strictly a spring roll, but rather spiced beef rolled in pepper leaf (la lot)and grilled.
  • Bun thit nuong (Bún thịt nướng): One of the more popular (and simple) Vietnamese dishes, basically a combination vermicelli plate, a kind of vermicelli counterpart to Cơm tấm . Grilled pork (often shredded) and vermicelli noodles over a bed of greens (salad and sliced cucumber), herbs and bean sprouts. Also often include a few chopped up egg rolls, spring onions, and shrimp. Served with roasted peanuts on top and a small bowl of Nước chấm .
  • Bun Cha Gio (Bún Chả giò): Slighltly similar to Bun Thit Nuong, except this very simple vermicelli Vietnamese cuisine boasts a couple of spring rolls served with chilli fish sauce and greens.
  • Nem Nuong (Nem nướng): grilled meatballs, usually made of seasoned pork. Often reddish in color due to food coloring additive and with a distinct taste, grilled on skewers like kabobs. Ingredients in the marinade include fish sauce.
  • Chao tom: Prawn paste/cake on sugarcane.
  • Goi (Gỏi): salad. Many varieties with the most popular including:
  • Goi Du Du (Gỏi đu đủ): Vietnamese papaya salad typically with shredded papaya, shrimp, slices of pork, herbs, and with a more vinegar-based rendition of Nước chấm .
  • Goi Hue Rau Muong (Gỏi Huế rau muống): a salad dish originating from Hue (Central Vietnam), including water spinach (Rau Muong).
  • Mi xao don (Mì xào dòn): Crispy deep-fried egg noodles, topped with a wide array of seafood, vegetables and shrimp in a delicious gravy sauce.
  • Ga xa (Gà xả): Lemongrass chicken. Lemongrass beef and other meats are also popular variations.
  • Bo luc lac (Bò lúc lắc): Beef cut into cubes and marinated, served over greens (usually watercress), and sauteed onions and tomatoes. Eaten with rice.
  • Sup mang cua (Súp măng cua): A creamy bamboo-crab soup. Served typically as a first dish at banquets.
  • Banh Cuon (Bánh cuốn ): Rice flour rolls and/or pancakes sometimes stuffed with ground pork and onion. They are eaten in a variety of ways with many side dishes, including one out of a million kinds of Cha (Chả), which are Vietnamese meats spiced and flavored in a multitude of ways -often ground to a paste and cooked.
  • Chao (Cháo): Rice congee. There are also a variety of different broths and meats used, including duck, chicken, etc.
  • Vietnamese hotpot: a spicy variation of the Vietnamese sour soup, with many vegetables, meats and seafood, as well as some spicy herbs. Also called lau (lẩu).
  • Banh beo (Bánh bèo): a central Vietnamese dish consisting of tiny and round rice flour pancakes, each served in a tiny round dish. They are topped with minced shrimp and other smaller ingredients. Dipped in Nước chấm .
  • Com chien Duong Chau : a Chinese fried rice dish, name after a region in China. It's a well-known dish in Vietnam.
  • Mi bo vien (Mì bò viên): Chinese influenced egg noodle soup with beef balls, shrimp, and (sometimes) won tons.
  • Bun cha Hanoi (Bún chả Hànội): Similar to Bun Thit Nuong, Bun Cha Hanoi comes from the Northern capital of Hanoi. The difference being that the pork meat is ground and marinated, then rolled into balls, grilled and left in a bowl of Nước chấm along with pickled vegetables, daikon and carrot. The meat balls are especially savoury, having truly soaked in the sauce. It is eaten with vermicelli and greens.
  • Banh Hoi (Bánh hỏi): A special Vietnamese noodle that is extremely thin and woven into intricate bundles. Often topped with spring onion and a complementary meat dish.
  • Thit heo quay (Thịt heo quay): BBQ pork, often eaten at weddings (and with Banh hoi)
  • Thit vit quay (Thịt vịt quay): Roast duck, eaten over rice.
  • Com ga rau thom (Cơm gà rau thơm): Vietnamese mint chicken rice. Rice cooked in chicken stock and topped with a mint (and other herbs) fried chicken (which is shredded). The rice has a unique texture and taste which the fried mint garnish enhances. Served with a special herb sauce on the side.
  • Cafe sua da (Cà phê sữa) – strong coffee most often served with sweetened condensed milk at the bottom of the cup to be stirred in. A Vietnamese favorite.
  • Banh bot loc (Bánh bột lọc): A Hue food, consisting of tiny rice dumplings made in a clear rice flour batter, often in a small, kind of flat tube shape. Stuffed with shrimp and ground pork. It is wrapped and cooked inside banana leaf, served often as Vietnamese hors d'oeuvres at more casual buffet-type parties.
  • Mi quang (Mì Quảng): A very popular yet extremely complicated noodle dish. Also originating from Quang Nam,  Mi Quang varies in its preparation and features very sharply contrasting flavors and textures in (if prepared properly) a shallowly filled bowl of broth, noodles, herbs, vegetables, and roasted rice chip (banh trang).
  • Pho (Phở) – beef noodle soup (Phở bò) it is a beef noodle soup with a rich, clear broth achieved from hours upon hours of boiling meat and different herbs. There are many varieties of pho, with different selections of meats (most commonly beef and chicken) along with beef balls. Pho is typically served in bowls with spring onion, (in pho tai) slices of semi cooked beef (to be cooked by the boiling hot broth), and then of course the broth itself. The use of vegetables and various herbs is common in the southern region.



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