Vietnamese dishes always leave a lasting impression on the traveler. Known for its finesse and diversity, as well as for its exotic flavors and scents, Vietnamese cuisine ensures a delicious trip for the taste buds. It is also said to have well-balanced nutritional qualities, which explains the thinness of the Vietnamese! We propose you a culinary journey to meet the best typical meals in Vietnam. Here is the list of the 10 best popular Vietnamese dishes.
We explain you the specificities of each local specialty like the Hanoi Bun Cha or the delicious Bun Bo hue. We have also made some video recipes so that you can prepare these delicious Vietnamese dishes at home!
Pho - rice noodle soup
In Vietnamese gastronomy, pho is considered as the symbol of the country, it is the national dish. This dish originates from Hanoi, the capital of the country, it represents the traditional values of the city.
In Vietnam, you can find it everywhere in street restaurants at very affordable prices. After ordering, you sit down on one of the typical small plastic stools and all that's left to do is to enjoy.
Today, pho has spread all over the world. You have the opportunity to discover this dish while staying in your country. However, to really understand the subtleties of this dish and the variations of its recipes, you have to take the time to taste various pho. It is during a trip to Vietnam that you will have the best opportunity to appreciate this dish and to observe the way Vietnamese people savor it.
The recipe seems simple: it is a soup made of beef broth and fresh rice noodles. However, what is exceptional and refined is the sublime combination of spices such as ginger, roasted onion, anise and cinnamon. Finally, one should not forget the aromatic herbs of the country such as coriander, basil and chives.
In order to taste the pho, amateurs can adjust their bowl to their taste palette by adding chilli, lemon or vinegar.
The average price for pho in Hanoi is about 40 dongs, that is to say 1.5 $
There are many ways to cook it, so if you want to try to prepare this dish, discover our pho recipe. We show you a simple way to prepare it.
Banh mi - the Vietnamese sandwich
The "Vietnamese sandwich" is one of the 10 best sandwiches in the world. It is an essential part of Vietnamese street food. It is recognized as one of the 11 best "street-foods" by the prestigious National Geographic. Its secret is not confidential at all: its bread is a Vietnamese-style baguette, filled with slices of grilled pork or Vietnamese pâté, pickled carrot and green papaya. Last but not least, we add some Vietnamese coriander.
The filling is in fact modifiable: everyone can have his version of banh-mi. You can find them in every street corner in Vietnam, and they are often of excellent quality. But the banh-mi paradise is in Ho-chi-minh city, and in Hoi an!
Among the Vietnamese take-away dishes, this one is the most suitable for delivery, no problems with leaking sauces!
Contrary to what some people think, the nem is of Vietnamese origin and not Chinese! The "nem" is a traditional Vietnamese dish that is well known by westerners but also very popular with locals. It is an ideal dish to share with family or friends. You can eat it every time you enter a Vietnamese restaurant.
Also presented in the form of a roll, the difference with spring roll is that egg rolls are eaten fried and of course, with nuoc-mam sauce.
Its filling contains different ingredients mixed together like meat, soy, herbs, onions, salt and pepper. The whole thing is then made of a very thin rice cake. The nem is in fact the most popular dish in Asian restaurants in France and also in Europe. If you want to know everything about the Vietnamese nem, we dedicate a complete article, click on the link below.
Bun Cha - rice noodles and grilled pork
Another Vietnamese dish that counts is undoubtedly the bun Cha, whose attractive smell is recognized in all the streets of Hanoi at lunch time. Its composition is made of fresh rice vermicelli accompanied by grilled pork. The meat is bathed in a special sauce whose main ingredient is nuoc-mam. The Vietnamese raw vegetables which are carrots and papaya add an extra soul to the dish.
Originally, the pork was grilled over charcoal on bamboo stalks which then infused the pork with their unique smell. Nowadays, due to the lack of convenience, bun-cha is only found in a few corners of Hanoi.
Cha ca - marinated fish sautéed with herbs
The recipe for Cha ca dates back more than 130 years. It was invented by the Doan family in Hanoi who served the special dish to troops during the French colonial rule.
Cha Ca is a dish of river fish marinated with a mixture of turmeric, garlic, shallots, galangal (similar to ginger root), salt, sugar and fish sauce. After marinating the fish for at least an hour, it is usually grilled in advance and then fried in oil when ready to be eaten.
It is worth remembering that fish holds an important place in traditional Vietnamese meals with so many appealing recipes handed down from our grandmothers. This popular ingredient is, this time, honored at the table thanks to the unsuspected culinary refinement of Hanoians.
With its complex preparation and its "rituals" to savor it, the dish is supposed to express the elegance and culinary creativity of the capital's inhabitants. This dish is served all day long and in all districts at a modest price of 30,000 to 40,000 dong.
Bún bò Nam Bộ - rice vermicelli with beef
Here is another delicious dish made of Bun (Rice vermicelli). In Vietnam, Vietnamese people love rice vermicelli and Bun Bo Nam Bo is one of the most famous bun dish. It is distinguished by its delicious flavor and nutritional capacity. Indeed, the components of vegetables, noodles and beef ensure you the full energy for the whole day!
This recipe originates from the North of Vietnam, the "beef rice vermicelli" is more easily found in restaurants in Hanoi. Quite light and very refreshing with its many herbs, Bun Bo Nam Bo is undoubtedly one of the favorite Vietnamese dishes of travelers. It is very balanced in its flavors and textures, with melting beef and crispy roasted peanuts and shallots.
Cooking Bun Bo Nam Bo is not that complicated and all the ingredients are available in France. You can follow our typical recipe explained by My and Nhan to prepare it!