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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for 20 Vietnamese food to try before you die – Taste of Vietnam
Joanna James Joanna James
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20 Vietnamese food to try before you die – Taste of Vietnam

The incomparable taste and texture of Vietnamese food comes from the harmonious blend of spices and herbs present in almost all dishes. Here are 20 sublime dishes to try in Vietnam.


Cao Lu – thick noodle soup

This is a dish you are likely to find at many Hoi An restaurants for it is the city's signature concoction. Made out of thick rice noodles and oodles of savoury pork slices tossed with fresh greens, bean sprouts and crunchy crackers. They serve the dish with crunchy crackers and a light sauce. If you've booked accommodation at a Hoi An resort such as the Anantara Hoi An Resort, you'll probably get this dish as an option for lunch or dinner.


Banh Cuon – steamed rice rolls

These thin steamed rice rolls are filled with ground pork, a special kind of mushrooms (minced), minced shallots and minced jicama. They serve it with a side dish of pork sausages, cool slices of cucumber and steamed bean sprouts laced with tangy fish sauce.


Bun Cha – chilled noodles

Chilled vermicelli noodles is served with grilled pork and a dipping sauce laden with thinly sliced raw papaya. You'll also get a bowl of crispy, fresh herbs to go with the noodles.


Banh Xeo – savoury pancakes

These savoury pancakes are made with a rich batter made with rice flour, turmeric, shrimp, and slices of pork, white onions, green beans and bean sprouts. They serve a bowl of fresh herbs along with the pancakes. Think basil, spearmints, ambarella and lettuce.


Pho – beef noodle soup

Steaming noodles tossed with scallion, white onion, fresh chili, various crunchy herbs, and pepper, is served with a broth that varies from region to region. Don't forget to squeeze the lime wedges into your noodle soup before slurping those noodles.


Mi Quang – Quang style noodles

This rice noodle dish is loaded with pork, hard boiled quail eggs, chicken, shrimp with a bit of turmeric to add colour and flavor. They garnish the dish with sliced banana flower, water mint, peanut, bean sprouts, Vietnamese coriander, and lettuce. Sesame rice crackers add the final crunch to the dish.


Banh Mi – baguette

Inspired by the French baguette from the days of European colonizers, Vietnamese baguette is savoury and delicious. You get pork slices, pork belly, pickled carrot, coriander, cucumber, daikon radish and jalapeno pepper in the baguette. Mayonnaise adds a creamy tang to the lot.


Com Tam – broken rice

This steamed rice made with fractured rice is presented with omelette, sautéed vegetables, prawns, daikon and fish sauce. Some chefs use grilled pork and pork skin in place of omelette.


Goi Cuon – Spring rolls

These thin spring rolls are filled with pork, shrimp, vermicelli noodles, chives, bean sprouts and basil. The roll is made with rice paper.


Bun Ho Hue – Noodle soup

This soup balances spicy, salty, sour, and sweet flavours all in one spectacular dish. It is a slow dish cooked with beef bones and shank simmered with slices of fragrant lemongrass. They load the dish with lots of other spicy, sweet and savoury ingredients.


Banh Mi Bo Kho – Beef stew

This comfort food is made of tender beef tendons (after simmering for long). Chefs add handfuls of fresh herbs, carrots bean sprouts, and spicy chili to it. Lime and pepper enhance the flavour profile.


Xoi – sticky rice

This sticky rice is a go-to breakfast option for locals. It could either be sweet or savoury depending on your preference.


Bun Dau Mam Tom – Noodle tofu dish

Rice vermicelli is paired with fermented shrimp paste and fried delicious tofu. Locals add red chili pepper, pork belly, sliced cucumber herbs and a dash of lime.


Goi Ngo Sen Tom Thit – Lotus stem salad

This is a great appetizer packed with pork, shrimp, laksa, carrot, shallot fried deep, peanuts and of course lotus stems.


Oc – assorted snails

Snails are a delicacy in Vietnam as in France. There are numerous varieties of snails. You should ideally go snail tasting with a local guide.


Bun Thit Nuong – Vermicelli noodles

Chilled vermicelli noodles is topped with rich and flavourful marinated pork, sausages, fermented daikon radish, carrot and then sprinkled with fresh herbs, unmistakable bean sprouts, chili, peanuts and laced with fish sauce.


Canh Chua – Sour soup

This sour soup made with seafood, okra, tomatoes, pineapple, and bean sprouts. The broth is made with tamarind includes taro stem, caramelized garlic, plenty of herbs chili and shallots.


Banh Canh – soup cake

This is a noodle dish concocted out of tapioca and rice flour. Chefs load this dish with crab meat or pork knuckle soup along with shrimp. The sides include wedges of lime, chili, scallions, shallots, and fish sauce.


Che – Pudding

This authentic Vietnamese dessert is made with mung beans, tapioca, black eyed peas, red or green jelly and tropical fruit (ripe jackfruit, sweet mango, and coconut cream).


Ca Phe Sua Da

iced coffee with milkTraditionally Vietnamese coffee is made with condensed milk. If you go to any street vendor selling iced coffee, they will filter the coffee right in front of you with an aluminum filter.