Here at The Dragon Trip we have two South East Asia Tours that include many of the main highlights of Vietnam – our 31-day South East Asia Tour and our 20-day Vietnam to Cambodia Tour. Both trips give travellers the opportunity to get stuck into the Vietnamese culture and eat traditional food and mingle with the locals.
Vietnamese cuisine features a combination of five fundamental tastes, spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet and is best known for its bright, fresh and healthy ingredients. There is nothing complicated about Vietnamese food, it’s the simplicity of each dish and the fresh ingredients that makes people fall in love with South East Asian cuisine.
Here are our 6 favourite Vietnamese dishes that you need to try, both sweet and savoury!
1. Bánh mì
Bánh mì is the Vietnamese word for bread. It’s a type of baguette that is split lengthwise and can be filled with different types of ingredients. However, the traditional Bánh mì is made up of fresh pickled vegetables, cilantro (coriander) and a cold meat of your choice. It is seasoned with pate, mayo a handful of fresh chillies. A perfect go-to light snack when you’re feeling a little peckish.
Phở, pronounced ‘fuh’ is probably one of Vietnam’s most popular dishes. This hearty dish is a flavoursome soup that consists of meat, a variety of vegetables and a chilli sauce. The standard bowl of Phở contains slices of beef, beef meatballs or beef flank mixed with bean sprouts, fresh herbs, onions and lime wedges. Even though this dish is primarily eaten at breakfast time it’s very easy to get your hands on at any time of the day!
3. Bún chả
Bún chả originated from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, a main highlight on our 31-day South East Asia Tour. It is made up of Vietnam’s famous juicy pork meatballs served over a plate of rice noodles seasoned with fresh herbs along with a citrus flavoured dipping sauce. A great healthy dish that is perfect for a delicious lunch or dinner.
4. Chè Chuối
This sweet Vietnamese dessert is very popular in Vietnam and is made up of chopped bananas, tapioca pearls and hot sweet coconut milk. A particular type of banana is used for this dish called huối sứ and these are well known for their sweetness. This dish is finished off with a handful of peanuts and sesame seeds, which adds a savoury element and as a result helps create a nice balance between sweet and savoury.
5. Bánh xèo
Bánh xèo is a type of pancake that is often referred to as a ‘sizzling pancake’ because of the sound it makes when the mixture is poured into the hot pan. It is packed with ingredients such as shrimp, pork and bean sprouts and is meant to be eaten with your hands.
6. Chè Sương Sa Hạt Lựu
This dish is know as the ‘rainbow dessert’, a fun colourful dessert that is great for those hot summer days in Vietnam. It is normally served in a long tall glass and includes combination of agar jelly, pomegranate seeds, mung bean paste and coconut milk. In Vietnam this dessert is known to help refresh your body and therefore provide you with a good source of energy.