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Updated by Anne Joana on Aug 22, 2016
Headline for 10 Vietnamese Speciality Foods: Exotic Delights
Anne Joana Anne Joana
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10 Vietnamese Speciality Foods: Exotic Delights

Vietnamese cuisine is quite a delight; based on location and prosperity of the land the most special dishes are those crafted to suit the palates of kings and queens. Following are the 10 best.


Banh Phu – Husband and Wife Pie

This dish is a speciality in the area of Dinh Bang; belonging to the Bac Ninh Province and home to the Ly Dynasty. This dish originated here as a royal speciality and later followed the royal members when they moved to the province of Hue. The pies come in pairs as the name suggests; wrapped in dry brown coloured banana leaves. This sets off the bright yellow colour of the pies which is rice wrapped around a paste of green beans, coconut shreds and sugar. The sweetness symbolises the couples love.


West Lake Coot

Eurasian Coots are the staple ingredient in this dish; quite popular amongst the Vietnamese royalty. The Coots are believed to be a very healthy food and is also a favourite dish of the Emperor Tu Doc. It is a speciality dish amongst the residents of the West Lake.


Anh Vu Carp

Anh Vu Carp is a speciality of the Bach Huc Confluence in the Phu Tho Province. The meat is considered flavoursome, firm and white. The fish is considered the tastiest amongst fresh water fish with the lips being the tastiest part.


Longan and Lotus Seed

A personal pick of the royal family is this famous dessert. Lotus Seed Longan is a speciality dish from Hien town in the province of Hung Yen. The dish has a distinct sweet smell to it as well as juicy, thick and sweet meat. It is a premium dish even today and can be quite pricy.


Dong Kao Chicken

This too is a speciality dish from the Hung Yen Province. The Dong Kao chicken is a special breed of fowl that is bred in the verdant climes of the Khoai Chau district. As the bird is known to have enormous legs it is called by the term of 'elephant foot' bird. Similar in size and weight to turkeys the chicken is tough to raise and requires extra care. The meat of the bird is considered to be tastier the older the bird gets. The dishes created out of this fowls meat is known as Dragon Meat or Dragon Slow Cooked with Herbs.


Ngu Banana

This banana originated in the Nam Dinh Province; it was used as a royal gift by visiting dignitaries of the province. Still available to this date this fruit is small in size and has a wonderfully sweet taste and aroma. If the foodie in you is already hankering for a taste of these exotic royal dishes consider accommodation at an alternative to a Ho Chi Minh hotel. Serviced apartments in Ho chi Minh city are excellent alternatives; look for one located close to the eateries in the city centre. A refreshing change from a conventional hotel the likes of Somerset Ho Chi Minh City allow tourists to explore and indulge their taste buds at their own convenience.


Early Green Rice – Com Vong

A speciality in Thang Long, Com Vong or Early Green Rice was made as a speciality to the Emperor during the Ly Dynasty. Today you can taste this as snack from street kiosks; it can be eaten plain or with banana or as a sticky rice.


Ha Yen Shrimp Paste

This is speciality of the low lands and a favourite sauce like accompaniment to many dishes. The shrimps used in the dish are a special species that are a bluish green in colour. The paste is a yellowish colour and resembles thick honey.


Water Spinach

Although water spinach is considered a peasants food the fine variety grown in the Phuc Tho district are considered a delicacy worthy of the royal table. This type however is hard to come by as it requires a specialised growing process.


Swallow Bird Nest

The swallow birds nest created from the saliva of the bird is considered a royal delicacy that offers a unique flavour, as well as a high nutritional value. The off shore island of Kanh Hoa province is famous for harvesting the nests. It is freely available as nests are now harvested from farms specialising in raising the swallows.