These Vietnamese traditional dinner dishes are a must-try whether you’re visiting the country for a vacation or staying permanently!
Xoi – Sticky Rice
Known as “Xoi”, or “glutinous rice”, “sticky rice” in English translation. This dish is found in most Southeast Asian food stalls or even at fancy restaurants.
In Vietnam, this is generally served during breakfast and dinner to provide you with a bit of an added boost of energy.
This dish comes in a variety of mixes (from slithers of chicken, or pork to fried or preserved eggs), but almost always with a scattering of dried shallots on top.
The most common combination includes chicken meat, sausage and scallion oil.
Chao – Porridge
One of the Vietnamese traditional dinner dishes that is not only popular in the country but in most Asian countries is rice congee. This dish has evolved through the years with added ingredients to enhance a simple bowl yet, every version is just soothing.
Most rice congee are paired with meat for added flavor.
Cháo is the name for Vietnamese rice congee, and though there are many different types, with pork and pig organs (cháo lòng) being extremely popular. Another version of chao that has won the hearts of food lovers is cháo vịt, congee made with duck.
A good ol’ bowl of Chao is available in most places that you’ll be exploring in Vietnam. It may entail a little bit of walking around the streets but you’ll surely spot dozens of both restaurants and roaming street food stalls that sell Chao, especially the pork organ version.
Ca Kho To (Caramelized Fish in Clay Pot)
Ca Kho To is a caramelized fish that is distinguished by its sweet-savory gooeyness from sugar and fish sauce.
These features are a result of having the fish within clay pots. The clay pots thick walls retain heat and moisture, helping to soften and caramelize meats when braised.
It is also one of the most popular rice dishes in Vietnam.
Cơm Tấm/Broken rice
Known as the broken rice, Cơm Tấm is usually broken into small pieces from 2 – 3. This Vietnamese traditional dinner dish is a popular dish in the south at par with the traditional “pho”.
Although it is originally meant to be eaten as a dinner, it has evolved into being served anytime and anywhere of the day.
The main ingredient of this dish is a very cheap kind of rice – broken rice, going with grilled pork, shredded pork skin, fried egg and fish sauce as well as cucumber, pickled vegetables, it touches all your senses.