Every country has a diversified array of dishes to offer – culture, history, and environment have a fascinating way of creating something new to tickle the taste buds and to fill an empty stomach.
Vietnam’s unique cuisine has a sprinkle of influence from different countries that have previously occupied the country. It is also interesting to know that Vietnamese cuisine follows a significant five-element philosophy that corresponds to earth, water, fire, wood and metal – wherein sweet represents (earth), salty (water), bitter (fire), sour (wood), and spicy (metal).
An infusion of well-balanced meals that will surely satiate one’s desire for culinary masterpieces. If you are heading to Vietnam (or planning to) and are off on a food tour, here are the Top 5 Street Food in Vietnam that the locals love!
1. Bánh tráng trộn (mixed rice paper)
Yes, you read it right! Mixed rice papers. This is widely offered in almost every street stalls and restaurants that you may find in Vietnam, it’s a well-known dish that every local love; most Vietnamese students would usually have a bite for 1-2 servings a day.
The highly recommended snack – Bánh tráng trộn is a combination of a special Vietnamese salt known as Muoi Tom, the juice of ‘kumquat’ (an orange-like fruit affiliated to citruses), quail eggs, crispy fried onion, Vietnamese scallion, peanuts, green mango (cut into strings) and jerky. This yummy treat is best paired with a bubble milk tea.
2. Bắp xào (stir fried corn – with tiny shrimps, green onion, butter, and chilli powder)
Bắp xào (bahp sow) is a common dish to find on the streets of Vietnam and can be enjoyed in two different types of corn – Vietnamese corn which is chewy like sticky rice and American corn which is the typical yellow and sweet corn. It is sauteed corn seasoned with spices, green onions, butter and shrimps. The result? An explosion of taste – of sweet, spicy and briny.
3. Chè (sweet/dessert soups)
After a satisfying hearty meal, we know you’d crave for something sweet and we have you covered! Chè is a popular street food that Vietnam vendors offer. The term chè refers to a variety of traditional sweet porridge (or soup) that can be best served hot or cold, you will find assorted types of beans have been added to make this dessert. It is cooked in coconut milk that brings more flavor to the dish and can be mixed with sweet potatoes, taro and different kinds of beans.
4. Bột chiên (fried rice cake with eggs)
Fried rice flour cake – bột chiên is a Chinese-influenced pastry that can be spotted on the streets of Vietnam. This dish is composed of cubed rice cakes with fried eggs and some greens served with a tangy special soy sauce on the side. The rice cake is crispy on the outside and feels soft and slightly chewy on the inside if you’re someone who likes some crunch you might want to try the fried macaroni version (nui chiên) which is as good as the bột chiên!
5. Bánh tráng nướng (Vietnamese rice paper pizza)
Craving for pizzas? You’ve come to the right place. This dish originated from the cold highland city of Da Lat where Vietnamese locals take delight in going out in search of hot food at night. This dish has won the hearts of the many and is now a famous snack that has been flooding the streets of Vietnam- it is called grilled dry pancakes or ‘Bánh tráng nướng’. It is similar to that of a regular pizza but with a twist – instead of the typical dough, this one uses rice paper and grilled. It is then topped with shrimps, eggs, butter and some cheese and sausages; a whole new level of pizza!