Vietnamese cuisine is an endless supply of dishes and you could consume something different every day for weeks, without running out of choices! If you’re planning to visit Vietnam or in a Vietnamese restaurant and are wondering which is the next dish to try Let me assist you.
My cooking experience has been Vietnamese dishes on this blog for the past 13 years and have been eating Vietnamese food for the rest of my life. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to Vietnam only a handful of times, but I wish I could go back! I thought I’d inform you of the most adventurous eaters on the most well-known Vietnamese food items you need to be aware of to help you locate food you’ll enjoy.
In no specific order Here are the best and most well-known Vietnamese dishes you should be aware of.
Bun Bo Hue is a spicy beef and pork Hue soup
Pho is a popular and tasty staple however, don’t forget bun bo Hue which is a spicy soup made of pork from Hue, a Central Vietnamese city Hue in case you’ve never tried it. It’s a powerful soup made of pork, served featuring round rice noodles as well as many different meats.
Bun Bo Hue is loaded with flavor and aroma, as well as fresh herbs available to use however you want. The veggies are a wonderful ingredient to help cool the temperature as well as to enhance the taste.
In the classic Hue style, you’ll know this soup is hot! It’s typical to serve with sate as a side dish or spicy chile paste that you can use however you want for a kick of spice more.
Banh cuon – rice rolled sheets containing pork and mushroom
local takeaway local takeout: shrimp and pork banh cuon, served with vegetables
If you are craving Vietnamese food, but don’t need noodles or rice the banh cuon dish is a great option. Banh cuon is a steamed sheet made of rice flour, usually filled with pork and mushrooms or shrimp that is then drizzled with the traditional Vietnamese sauce to dip it in.
These little wrapped treats are fun to eat and the ingredients included with them give it an exciting and fresh feel as well: shredded cucumbers beans, bean sprouts, and fritted shallots, and more. They are usually served with cha lua or egg rolls that are fried too.
I usually order a portion together with my takeaway order of banh mi. I love eating banh cuon, and it was a delight when my mom would prepare the recipe. It’s quite labor-intensive. There’s only one restaurant near me that offers authentic banh cuon, so I’ll have a recipe to this recipe to share soon.
Beef pho and chicken pho
It’s impossible to avoid this soup, and with reasons that are good. Pho is an incredibly delicious warm, heart-warming Vietnamese rice noodles soup should be tried. It is offered in beef or chicken versions. It is served with the meat used in the broth. My favorite is shredded darker meat chicken meatballs, brisket, or tendon for beef Pho. Add onions and cilantro with a splash of lime and you’re ready to go.
Pho is what brought Vietnamese food onto the map in America and around the world. Pho, the word used to describe the soup given to the soup, but it actually refers to the specific type of noodles that are used in the soup.
In my mom’s restaurant to the late 90s, the pho dish was among of the most popular items that people ordered. However, I enjoyed it at home most, when mom would cook an enormous pot. When mom wasn’t cooking we were awestruck by Beef Noodle #1 in San Jose (which has since been shut down). Take a look at the chicken Pho recipe I learned from my mother.
Banh mi – Vietnamese sandwiches
If you’re looking to learn more about Vietnamese cuisine, then you must explore banh mi. Banh mi is also one of the most sought-after Vietnamese dishes, and its popularity growing. Banh mi sandwiches are the ideal for a quick snack, and there are numerous cold cuts, however, pork is the main ingredient the menu here.
I am a fan of this combo sandwich that lets you take advantage of a little piece of everything. Also, when you stumble across a store that serves just the right amount of mayonnaise pate, mayonnaise, carrot and daikon pickles with a perfect baked loaf, it’s as if all the stars aligned.
If you are able to taste anything that isn’t than the chain Lee’s Sandwiches make sure to test them out-there are a myriad of other fantastic restaurants that serve these delicious sandwiches. In my top spots, I usually buy a couple of extra sandwiches to bake later in the day. 300degF convection over 3 minutes after a cold start (after taking off the vegetables) is a fantastic way to use leftovers.
Vietnamese sandwiches aren’t available in your area? Look up the banh mi recipes I have and my recipes for grilled pork for it, too.
Ga xao sa ot – spicy lemongrass chicken
A strong kick of fish sauce and chilis makes this stir-fried chicken dish plenty of flavor. I like the lemongrass taste of this dish as well. Combine it with a big portion of rice and you’ll have a delicious dish. This recipe is among the three top Vietnamese dishes served at Mom’s old restaurant!
The hot lemongrass-infused chicken is delicious to cook in large batches and to heat over the next few days as well.
Ca kho to – ‘claypot braised catfish
Ca kho To is a well-loved braised fish dish that is known for its rich caramelized fish sauce, which is a glazy sauce made of fish. It’s thick. It’s rich and super powerful. If you’ve never tried fish sauce before, this is the way to go about it.
If you’re into chilis, this dish can be quite spicy because there’s a lot of force to hold to. Naturally, this sauce will require you to serve the fish with plenty of rice.
Banh xeo is Vietnamese crepes with savory flavours
Do you know of an recipe that has fried crispiness that doesn’t have a large following? Banh xeo are Vietnamese sweet crepes that are typically packed with pork slices shrimp, shrimp, bean sprouts and mung bean.
Break off a small piece that is wrapped “crepe” wrap it with the herbs and lettuce. Then, put it into fish sauce. They’re a hands-on food that is fun to eat in a group as it’s a meal that is interactive.
It is great to make in larger quantities to ensure that the batter rest time is worth it. Also, since you’ll need to purchase a variety of herbs to consume with this, you shouldn’t let the entire batch that you buy to go waste. Popularity of Banh xeo is growing but I’m thrilled to be seeing it!
Goi cuon – fresh spring rolls
Another very traditional and well-known Vietnamese dish can be described as the goi cuon. They are spring rolls that are packed with rice noodles, fresh herbs and lettuce usually with a mix of shrimp and pork all wrapped up on rice paper sheets.
Gỏi cuốn served with: Peanut Sauce for (Gỏi Cuốn) Spring Rolls
The spring rolls are enjoyable and simple to eat up to 4-5 at once and especially if you’ve got delicious hoisin/peanut dip sauce. The rice paper turns hard or stale when it’s been refrigerated. Reheating is difficult because there are fresh vegetables inside. Therefore, only buy or make enough food to eat next day.
Banh cam – fried sesame balls
Banh cams are crispy snacks that can be found in food stores, and retail around 2-4 for $1 depending on whether you purchase smaller or larger sizes. They are crispy, deep-fried rice flour-based snacks, coated in sesame, with crunchy and crisp texture.
Inside, you’ll find a sweet and soft mung beans filling that matches the outer shell’s texture. These little guys are addictive to eat and make a wonderful dessert to make for a gathering with family.
It’s not a good idea to have a proper banh cam unless you’ve eaten fresh ones, either at a shop or if you create the banh cam yourself. They’re fine reheated just a few hours old however, they possess an enchanting flavor that isn’t able to last for long in the fryer!
Banh chung is a sticky rice cakes with a savory flavor.
Food vendor food vendor Sapa selling the steamed (left) and deep-fried (right) banh chung
If Lunar New Year rolls around and you begin to see banh chung everywhere. This isn’t something you could purchase at restaurants, but these delicious sticky rice cakes are sold at the storefronts of supermarkets, supermarkets and Viet take-out places all over.
These are banana leaf-wrapped blocks of sticky rice with an mung bean and a fat pork centers. They totally bring me back to my childhood. Slice off rectangular pieces from these, and then serve them with the cha lua. My preferred method is to fry them in a pan to crisp them up (or with a waffle maker!) to get a crispy, brown outside.
Goi – salads
Green mango salad and shrimp, with crushed peanuts with fish sauce, shrimp chips
Vietnamese food is loaded with fresh veggies So you can bet that salads made straight from scratch are likely to be a hit too. One of the most popular is one that is a fresh green mango, made containing shrimp peanuts, peanuts, a lot of seafood crackers, and herbs and is seasoned using fish sauce.
Another salad you might see could be spinach salad topped with beef Jerky. Fresh green papaya has an enticing flavor and crunch, and this salad is delicious with a few hints with flavor and flavor caused by the smoky beef jerky as well as the soy sauce-based salad dressing.
If you’ve not eaten enough yet, Vietnamese spring rolls are actually salads too, but they are salad rolls if you translate the word Bò bía.
Com tam – broken rice
broken rice, pork chops and pork shreds on Com Tam Ba Ghien, Saigon, Vietnam
Com Tam literally translates to broken rice, however it is the name given to this entire meal. It’s a popular and affordable Vietnamese dish that tastes like an authentic home cooked meal to me. I used to eat it frequently in restaurants, especially for late-night dinners when the majority of establishments are been closed.
Com Tam is usually eaten with protein such as a barbecued pork chop or Bun thit nuong and is served with dishes like egg rolls or egg cakes that have been steamed. It’s served with vegetables like slices of cucumber, tomatoes as well as pickled cabbage and even onions in oil to go with the meat and vegetables.
In most cases, you have the option to include bi on top of the rice, which is made of the skin and shredded pork-you do not see this feature in other Vietnamese food items.
Chao ga – chicken rice porridge
homemade chao ga w/ sides: cilantro, onion, chile paste, fried ‘cruellers’, salted duck egg
A delicious and simple rice porridge dish can be described as what Vietnamese call”chao ga. The rice porridge recipe that each Asian culture is known to have. I’m certain that these countries have come across this recipe since it’s a straightforward and cost-effective method to use up what they have in their pantry and because it’s delicious.
It’s possible to make it with half or a whole chicken, fill with cheap rice, and you can also stretch out a pot further by using any amount of water you’d like. There are some places who make this, however you can prepare chao ga yourself at home-it’s the kind of food we cook using leftover turkey following Thanksgiving!
Cha ca Thang Long – Herby turmeric fish with noodles
Cha ca Thang Long during my visit to Hanoi
The Cha ca Thang Long is a little pleasure for me because it’s not a typical food, and it’s even more enjoyable when you have an entire group to enjoy this. It’s a fish that has an delicious marinade that is aromatic, with its bright yellow hue resulting from turmeric. The fish is cooked quickly in a pan, with plenty of dill and onions, as well as a neutral olive oil, soaking up the deliciousness of the vegetable and marinade.
When the fish is finished and the heat is off, they turn it on the low setting or shut off the heat, and it’s now waiting for the whole group to take a dive! Take a bite and add it to a small bowl. Add the peanuts, noodles along with any herbs, as well as sauces to taste and mix in bites of noodles and fish. This was one of the most enjoyable and delicious meals we enjoyed in Vietnam!
Bun cha – grilled pork patties served with noodles
A delicacy of Hanoi Bun cha is a typical Vietnamese dish made of barbecued pork patties and slices of pork with vegetables and noodles. It’s a tasty dish that looks like bun thit nguong however with some distinctive distinctions.
The meat is usually ground pork patties that are served in a warm variant of the sauce for dipping fish and, instead than having the vegetables or noodles included in the bowl they are served as a separate dish.
For those who followed Anthony Bourdain’s travels and ate this dish, it’s the one Tony as well as former president Obama enjoyed at the end of 2016 in Hanoi. The Hanoi trip and television episode has since propelled Bun Cha Huong Lien to the spotlight, even before I got the chance to visit Hanoi in the latter half of 2020.
Rau muong – morning glory
Rau muong, also referred to by the name of morning glory kangkong, or on choy is a plant that grows throughout Southeast Asia and seen lots of different cuisines in the region. The tropical plant is something I ate throughout the day at dinner.
For almost every home cooked dinner, there’s rice or a meat dish as well as an entrée of soup or vegetables. We had a basic food side of cooked rau mong often and I was awestruck by it. This vegetable cooks extremely quick, it’s than blanching. There was a large platter of it, along with a large bowl of the water that was left over that was left over from the boiling process to remove the taste as well as a “soup” afterward.
Of course, there will be a huge bowl of dipping sauce this to divide into your personal dip bowl. A more lemony and watered-down variant of nuoc cham is perfect with boiling morning glory.
Chè a hot liquid and cold desserts (Vietnamese Sweet Soup Dessert)
tri-colored che shaved with coconut milk, ice Mung bean, red bean and pandan jelly
Che is a broad name for the most popular type that includes fluid Vietnamese Desserts. The selection is quite wide however the most well-known Che being the Che ba mau (three-color dessert). Che can be served iced refrigerator temp, room temp or hot, with each being served in distinct manners (e.g. there isn’t a hot Che ba mau).
As a dessert, the desserts are sweet. Che is typically served with coconut milk or a type of syrup that is flavored. While on a recent trip Vietnam we stumbled across stores that translate che into English to be “sweet gruel,” which can get the message through, but is the most offensive way to describe these sweets.
Yes, they are heavy and soupy. Like one of my favorite: che bap (less popular in shops). The taro version is more well-known in the che shops. If you are in the O’C’s Little Saigon, make sure to visit my top place: Thach Che Hien Khanh or Bambu.
Popularity of Vietnamese coffee is on the rise and with good reason. This coffee is extremely strong and packs a scrumptious punch. It’s definitely a delight. When you’re at our home Vietnamese espresso is carefully drip-brewed with the darker French roast, one cup at a go using an iron filter known as an Phin (pronounced “feen”).
Then , a sweet and thick condensed drink is then added to meet your preferences and then mixed to mix. The coffee is served in hot form, however, because it’s extremely strong it can be added to large glasses of crushed ice , and consumed in a slow manner while the ice melts.
It’s so potent that it’s replaced my usual twice daily espresso cortado / latte routine. Learn how to prepare Vietnamese egg coffee (Cà phê Trứng Hà Nội) at your home!
Nuoc cham – Vietnamese dipping sauce
Nuoc Cham can technically be described as a food item and is not a pure fish sauce, neither. It’s a sauce for dipping. This is it’s thedipping sauce that you must learn about. Master this sauce for fish and you’ll no longer be at in the sway of what a restaurant will serve you, as it could completely alter the taste of food.
It’s actually a sauce for dipping that which is used in various Vietnamese dishes, such as noodles and grilled pork and banh xeo, suon nuong (grilled pork chops) as well as for rolls of all sorts including fresh spring rolls frittered spring rolls, and salads as well.
Bo kho bokho Vietnamese stew made of beef
The tender, fall-apart pieces of slow-cooked meat, served with rich chunks of carrots, and delicious braise sauce, ideal to serve with a fresh bread loaf of Vietnamese bread.
Bo Kho is a comfort food and it’s a simple and palatable stew for newbies to taste. I love putting on Thai basil in this dish and then dipping small pieces of beef into a pastey salt pepper, lemon juice mix.
Bun thit nuong cooked pork with rice noodles
This is one of the Vietnamese recipes that provide feelings of happiness to me, for whatever reason. It’s fresh and light with bright flavors from the pickles and the lemony fish sauce. It’s a great contrast to the delicious crispy pork that has been caramelized.
It is also a must to have an abundance of herbs and vegetables element that is typical of Vietnamese dishes. These make a great addition to the different flavors within this meal. Although it is usually presented in a way that is organised, I like mixing all the ingredients together and then dip the pork in a sauce before every bite. Extra points for grilling your pork in the kitchen at home.
Bun Thit Nuong is among the dishes which creates a the attention of Chipotle eating in a restaurant to me, for whatever reason. It is possible to have alternative choices of meats, substitute rice for noodles, choose your own herbs, and make some sauce variations. It’s something like a much better version of the Flame Broiler. Why is this not available already? !
Pate So – meat-filled puff pastries
They are flaky, buttery rich cakes stuffed with chicken or pork which taste delicious straight after they’ve been baked. They are clearly labeled with all kinds of French influences, it has been incorporated into Vietnamese food, and is generally sold at restaurants that sell sandwiches or other snacks.
I like having some of these along with the aroma of a Vietnamese tea, or after eating the banh mi. Pate is great fresh, but if you prepare or purchase it take a few extras to cook since they’re delicious the following day!
Ca ri Ga — Vietnamese chicken curry
Vietnamese Chinese chicken curry is a dish I enjoy cooking at home, and I’ve seen it being sold in the street in Vietnam often. It’s made specifically with chicken, and is loaded with carrots and potatoes, as well as a fairly liquid broth designed to be eaten with a crusty baguette , or perhaps pouring over rice.
The curry sauce in the chicken gives it a ton of flavor, and it keeps the chicken in good condition as well. The Asian Curry paste which has plenty of fresh lemongrass stalks in the cooking pot will make this recipe different from other curries.
If you haven’t spotted it, “ca ri” is an Viet version of “curry”! Because of its relative lack of popularity, you won’t see it in many eateries, however it’s an excellent dish to try and can be made at home. I like having a large pot that can last for a whole week.
(Suon nuong) Vietnamese pork chops
Another one of those simple to cook dishes to try if you’re someone who is new to Vietnamese food. The pork chops are usually consumed with broken rice (com tam) however, you can also serve it with regular rice, too!
The marinade is stuffed with flavors like garlic, lemongrass and shallots. In addition, the chops are soaked in fish sauce, soy sauce to make them super delicious and remain moist when you cook them. Grilling will caramelize the pork for a wonderful finish that will keep your taste buds wanting to try more of this traditional Vietnamese recipe!