Best Vietnamese Noodle Dishes
Vietnam is home to some of the finest noodle dishes in Asia. If it’s your first time to travel to the country, it can be overwhelming.
The streets are flooded with a variety of this dish. To help you distinguish which is which, here’s a list of best Vietnamese noodle dishes to start you with your food trip.
One of the best Vietnamese noodle dishes in the country is Pho. It is also the most well-known of all Vietnamese noodle dishes in the country.
In the morning, expect to see numerous stalls prepping fresh ingredients – broth, meat, veggies – for a bowl of Pho.
First time travelers believe that Pho is actually for breakfast, however, Pho can actually be eaten any time of the day.
Pho is perfected by mixing rice noodles, broth topped with herbs such as bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, onion and mint.
Food lovers can choose from among various beef cuts like tai (rare beef slices), bo vien (beef meatballs) and nam (well-cooked beef). You can also change beef for chicken for a more soothing broth.
Although Pho is widely cooked across the country, there are distinguishing characteristics of the broth from north and south.
Pho served in the southern part is sweeter and richer. Whereas the Pho of the north is plain and clear.
Bun bo Hue
Originated from central Vietnam, Bun bo Hue’s signature ingredients are pig and beef bones.
These are boiled together with lemongrass, sugar, annatto and shrimp paste.
Vendors would usually add a variety of stuff such as sliced brisket, crab balls and pork pie.
However, for some adventurous foodies, a few cubes of pig’s blood can add so much flavour into this dish.
When served, the dish is garnished with a tangle of vegetables like lime, scallion, cilantro, banana blossoms, mint, basil, and Vietnamese coriander.
However, if you don’t fancy hot and spicy food: the original version in Hue packs much more of a punch than the bun bo Hue served in Saigon or Hanoi.
Furthermore, many vendors in Saigon make the broth a little sweet to fit local tastes.
A Ho Chi Minh local’s favourite breakfast and dinner are Hu Tieu. This noodle dish is available in almost all of the streets in the city.
From market stalls, roadside vendors, and restaurants, this simple dish is as popular as Pho in Hanoi. The seller immerses the noodles in boiling water quickly, places them into a bowl then fills it with clear, soothing broth which is made from pork bone, dried squid, sugar, and fish sauce.
Hu Tieu also has various toppings that can be added on to the dish such as minced pork with bean sprout, while others can be more time-consuming with duck, seafood, meatballs, and prawn. You have the liberty to choose your toppings and spices depending on your taste.
Aside from the typical bowl of broth, this dish also has a dry version. It is slightly chewy and comes with a stronger soy sauce. The toppings may include pork, pork ribs, pork offal, shrimp, squid, wonton dumplings, fried garlic, fried shallots, and scallions. But minced pork is a must-have ingredient.
Bun thit nuong cha gio
Bun thit nuong cha gio is Ho Chi Minh’s speedy solution to Hanoi’s pho noodle soup.
This dish is made of rice vermicelli and fresh vegetables such as bean sprout, diced cucumber, pickled radish, and chopped lettuce.
It is topped with lean grilled pork, fried crab spring rolls and crushed peanuts and pickled daikon and carrot.
Bun thit nuong cha gio is preferably eaten during midday. Vendors carefully choose meat with the right ratio of lean meat and fat before marinating to make sure the meat does not get too dry after being grilled.
Make sure to add a sprinkle of nuoc mam (fish sauce) – the perfect pair to Bun thit nuong cha gio.
A lifetime is not enough to taste all the banh canh available in the country. Every bowl has different toppings such as crab, fish cakes, shrimp, pork meat, snakehead fish, or beef balls with a lot of chopped onion and herbs.
Banh Canh are thick and are made from mixing rice and tapioca flours. The flour is rolled by hand and cut into long strands which are similar in appearance, but not in substance, to udon. Noodles then are thrown into the boiling pork bone broth to cook for a couple of minutes before serving.
Tapioca flour helps thicken the soup, giving it a distinctive gelatinous texture which is different from other noodles in this list.