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Jun 13, 2023 / 22:13

Top 10 Vietnamese street food voted by India gastronomic site

Renowned Indian food site Slurrp recommends a fascinating culinary adventure with the top 10 street foods in Vietnam.

According to Slurrp.com, Vietnamese cuisine is known worldwide for its vibrant flavors, fresh ingredients, and distinctive culinary traditions.

"From the soul-soothing pho and the fusion wonder of banh mi to the vibrant flavors of bun cha and the refreshing delights of goi cuon, savor the richness and diversity of Vietnam's street food scene," they wrote.

The food website recently suggested the 10 most delicious Vietnamese street foods that every visitor should enjoy when traveling to the beautiful country in the Southeast Asian region.

Pho (Vietnamese traditional noodle soup)

 A dish of Pho bo or noodle soup with beef at Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su. Photo: Bich Hoi/The Hanoi Times 

Topping the list is pho, described by Slurrp.com as a "national treasure of Vietnam" that "no exploration of Vietnamese cuisine is complete without mentioning the iconic pho".

Indeed, pho is an exquisite dish that has been popular in Hanoi since the middle of the last century.

The piping hot bowl begins with steaming beef shinbones in a giant cauldron until the gelatinous broth is concentrated, which takes about 24 hours. It is then spiced up with a dedicated balance of herbs, spices and salts.

When a diner places an order, the cook adds slices of raw, cooked, or sauté beef (depending on the order) to a bowl of broth on top of rice noodles, then sprinkles it all with sliced onion, chopped green onion, and fresh coriander.

Hanoi' Pho has a series of variations that can be divided into two main lines: Pho ga (Pho soup with chicken) and Pho bo (Pho soup with beef).

Some pho eateries are among the recently published list of The Michelin Guide, including Pho No.10 Ly Quoc Su, Pho Ga Nguyet (Ms. Nguyet's Pho with Chicken) in Hanoi, and Pho Hoa Pasteur in HCMC, among others.

Banh Mi (Vietnamese baguette with meat fillings)

A loaf of Banh Mi Huong Lan in Hanoi. Photo courtesy of the eatery

Banh Mi, the Vietnamese baguette sandwich, is a delightful culinary fusion of French and Vietnamese influences. The contrasting textures and explosion of flavors make banh mi an irresistible street food treat, according to Slurrp.com.

Considered a breakfast staple by many, banh mi can also be eaten as a midday snack or for dinner. The fillings are quite varied, consisting of different types of meats and vegetables. In the past, ham and pork liver paté were the only fillings. But today, diners can find options such as grilled pork, chicken patties, pickled vegetables, and even French fries. The choices are literally endless.

Bun Cha (Grilled Pork with fresh rice noodle)

 A portion of Bun Cha Hanoi. Photo: Yeu Bep Esheep

Originating from Hanoi, bun cha is a dish that perfectly showcases the art of grilling in Vietnamese cuisine.

To make this specialty of Hanoi, sliced pork and pork patties are well-marinated with a variety of spices such as fish sauce, liquid caramel, and garlic. The longer the marinating period, the more pronounced the flavor becomes. Afterward, the meat is grilled over hot charcoal until it turns a gorgeous golden-brown.

The harmony between the smoky flavors of the grilled meats and the refreshing ingredients creates a truly satisfying culinary experience.

Bun Cha can be easily found anywhere, from luxurious restaurants to street-side eateries. Two Bun Cha eateries in Hanoi suggested by The Michelin Guide are Bun Cha Dac Kim (Hanoi’s Old Quarter’s Hang Manh Street) and Bun Cha Huong Lien (Le Van Huu Street, Hai Ba Trung District).

Banh Xeo (Vietnamese pancake)

 The yummy dish of Banh Xeo. Photo: Nguyen Hao

Banh Xeo are crispy delights that will captivate any diner’s taste bud. Made from a rice flour batter infused with turmeric, Banh Xeo is cooked until golden brown and filled with a medley of bean sprouts, shrimp, pork, and herbs. The pancakes are then wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves and dipped into a savory fish sauce, adding textures and flavors to every bite.

Goi Cuon (fresh spring roll)

Goi Cuon is a refreshing Vietnamese street food perfect for hot summer days. Rice paper wrappers are filled with a delicate balance of fresh herbs, vermicelli noodles, shrimp or pork, and a hint of aromatic mint leaves. These healthy and light rolls are often paired with a peanut dipping sauce for a delightful combination of flavors and textures. Originating in the southeastern provinces, these delicious dishes are available outside the territory of Vietnam and can be found in most Vietnamese restaurants around the world.

The fresh yet delicious dish of Goi cuon. Photo: Ngoc Chau

Com Tam (Steamed Broken Rice)

Com Tam is another popular dish that originated in Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City, according to Slurrp.com. Traditionally made from broken rice grains, com tam is served with a variety of accompaniments, including grilled pork chops, shredded pork skin, pickled vegetables, and a fried egg on top. This hearty and flavorful dish is a staple of Vietnamese street food culture and provides a fulfilling and satisfying meal.

 The dishes of Com Tam is prepared by Nguyet Anh. Photo courtesy of the cook

Bun Rieu (Fresh noodle soup with rice-field crab)

Bun Rieu is a Vietnamese crab noodle soup that will leave diners craving more. The dish is widely available in Hanoi. The flavorful broth, made from tomatoes, crab paste, and a variety of spices, is combined with soft vermicelli noodles, succulent crab meat, and delicate tofu.

Topped with fresh herbs, shredded lettuce, and a squeeze of lime, bun rieu is a true culinary masterpiece showcasing Vietnamese cuisine's diversity. The best bun rieu can be find on Tran Xuan Soan Street of Hai Ba Trung District in Hanoi.

 A Hanoi's specialty: Bun Rieu Cua. Photo: Tuyet Mai

Banh Canh (Tapioca Starch Noodle Soup)

Banh Canh is a thick, chewy noodle soup that offers a unique and satisfying culinary experience. Made from tapioca flour, Banh Canh noodles have a distinctive texture and are served in a flavorful broth with a variety of toppings, such as pork, shrimp, and quail eggs. This comforting street food dish is a must-try for noodle enthusiasts.

 A dish of Banh Canh. Photo: Banh Canh O Son

Mi Quang (Noddle Soup from Quang Nam Province)

The beautiful yellow noodles of Mi Quang trace their roots to the central province of Quang Nam in Vietnam.

The turmeric-infused yellow noodles are topped with a medley of fresh herbs, peanuts, crispy rice crackers, tender slices of pork or shrimp, and a drizzle of rich broth. It is served with toasted Vietnamese sesame rice crackers, fried shallots, cilantro, perilla and lettuce.

The dish is delicious and has a distinctive aftertaste, but it's not as popular in Hanoi. One of the few restaurants in Hanoi that serves it is Quan An Ngon on Phan Boi Chau Street, Hoan Kiem District.

 Mi Quang- A wonderful dish from the central part of Vietnam. Photo: Mi Quang Nom

Che (Vietnamese sweet soup)

According to Slurrp.com, the delightful sweet soup in Vietnam comes in a variety of flavors, colors, and ingredients. “From the popular Che Ba Mau with its layers of colorful beans, jellies, and coconut milk to the refreshing Che Chuoi featuring bananas in coconut cream, Che offers a tantalizing end to any street food feast,” it wrote.

In fact, che is so popular in Hanoi that it can be eaten almost anywhere, sitting on tiny plastic chairs in the stalls of small hawkers or eateries on some corners of the streets of the Old Quarter or even in high-end restaurants.

Nobody knows where the sweet soup is originated from. However, it was specifically mentioned in some folk songs years ago and served as a traditional dish to worship the ancestors on many special occasions, such as the Lunar New Year or the Mid-autumn Festival.

Dinner can opt for the best sweet soups in some decade-old shops in the city, such as Che Muoi Sau at No 16 Ngo Thi Nham Street in Hai Ba Trung District; Che Bon Mua (Che Four Seasons) at No.4 Hang Can Street in Hoan Kiem District; Che Xoan at No 29 Hang Giay Street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter area, and others.

 Che san or cassava sweet soup- a specialty of Hanoi. Photo: Huong Nguyen