Food is a bit part of any vacation, it is the perfect chance to try new dishes and indulge in what a new country has to offer.
Foodunites people and communities, you could say food is a universal language. Every community and country in the world needs food, food is the one thing we all have in common and the one thing we all understand.
If you are handed a dish of rice, you do not need to communicate, no words needed just a nod of the head and asmile of appreciation and you have already communicated. You do not even need to speak the same language.
Vietnam is known for many glorious things. It offers over 2000 miles of diverse coastline, thousands of ancient and magical temples, green, lush rainforests and most of all is incredibly friendly people.
Vietnam also offers you the chance to taste some of the worlds best and healthiest cuisines. The exotic names alone are enough to tempt your tastebuds into wanting to savour their unique and fresh flavours.
You can enjoy a range of different types of food; from french inspired dishes to traditional dishes produced using local and seasonal ingredients.
A country located in the tropics, with plenty of arable land, Vietnam produces tonnes of important food crops. Food crops which are exported all across the world. Vietnam are actually the second largest exporter of rice.
We want to share with you our top 10 favourite dishes to ensure you indulge in whilst on your Vietnam tour.
1. A country full of sauce - Known as mắm
You will be able to indulge in 30 kinds of sauces; from fish, shrimp, crab to frog and egg to name a few. Sauces are typically added to broth and rice dishes, all will be freshly madewith locally sourced ingredients.They are a true traditional way of eating in Vietnam, Mam Tom is the countries favourite (Shrimp Paste). See how many you can try on your visit and choose your favourite.
2. Get sticky with ‘Xoi'
Xoi is a sweet or sticky rice andis typically eaten for breakfast. The rice is cooked long and slow until soft and it sticks together in a sticky lump. Varying ingredients are added and Xoi is often topped with thinly sliced pork or chicken. Xoi dishes will vary throughout Vietnam, each region will prepare and eat it in a different way. In Hanoi, you will be able to tuck into 'Xoi com' known as 'green sticky rice'. The rice would have been coloured using natural ingredients, and is made with coconut milk and panda leaves. Natural, fresh and healthy.
3. Banh Mi - The Vietnamese Baguette
The French introduced the traditional baguette throughout their rule of Vietnam and it has been embraced and eaten throughout the country ever since. Visit any city, town or village on your Vietnam tour and you will be able to tuck into this locally baked bread. Typically sold by street vendors and eaten with anything and everything, each region will have their own unique style of eating and baking Banh Mi.
4. Cá Kho Tộ - Vietnamese Caramelized & Braised Catfish
Kho translates to ‘braise’ and is a popular way of cooking in Vietnamese cuisine. in which The exquisite and very common catfish is braised on low heat in a mixture of fish sauce, sugar and water or a water substitute such as coconut juice. The resulting dish is salty and savoury and utterly delicious. The Vietnamese serve the dish with steamed rice.
5. Pho - Soup
or Soup as it is recognised in English, is the most well known dish in Vietnam and is one of their oldest, traditional food dishes. There are hundreds of varieties of Pho available all throughout Vietnam. Pho is typically made using dried noodles, thinly sliced fried potatoes and flavoured using various different cuts of pork. Pho will also be finished off with roasted duck and other ingredients the chef may choose to use. Pho should be sipped slowly, devouring the smell and taking your time to enjoy all the lovely flavours.
6. Bánh Xèo - Sizzling Pancake
Bánh Xèo takes its name for the loud sizzling sound it makes when the rice batter is poured into hot oil.The savoury fried pancake made of rice flour, water and turmeric powder. Healthy and warming spices give it a delicious flavour. The pancake is stuffed withvegetables or meat. Healthy, fresh and delicious. A great breakfast option.
7. Bánh Cuốn- Flat spring rolls
These light spring rolls are made from a thin, wide sheet of steamed fermented rice batter filled with a mixture of cooked seasoned ground pork, mushroom and minced shallots. It will typically be served with a fish sauce for dipping. It is a light dish, and is generally eaten for breakfast everywhere in Vietnam.
8. Gỏi Cuốn - The most famous dish!
Gỏi cuốn is Vietnams most famous dish.Spring rolls are packed with greens, coriander and various combinations of minced pork, shrimp or crab. They are often served with a bowl of lettuce and fresh locally sourced mint. A southern variation of the dish has barbecued strips of pork wrapped up with green banana and star fruit, and then dunked in a rich peanut sauce! Truly delicious at anytime of the day.
9. Bánh Chưng - Sticky rice cakes
These sticky rice cakes eaten during the lunar new year celebration of Tet, which is a very big deal in Vietnam. If you are visiting in February you will be able to celebrate the festivities. The dish is like unwrapped a parcel of deliciousness. Unwrap the sticky rice cakes from their outer leaves and enjoy the prize inside. The glutinous rice bundle is tightly packed and complimented with fatty pork and mung beans.
10. Goi - Vietnamese Salad
Goi also know as saladin Vietnam. Do not fear there are no lettuce leaves in Goi.A pile of thinly sliced green papaya or mango, lotus root, cabbage or pomelo all locally grown and picked are combined to make a succulent, fresh salad. Choose your favourite sauce and you will be taken to food heaven.
Food of Plenty!
Eating our in Vietnam is both safe and healthy. Your Vietnam tour operator will be able to help you choose the best places to enjoy local food in each destination you visit on your tour throughout the country.
Food unites people, so why not sit with the locals and take time to enjoy their amazing friendly company and delicious, fresh food.
Choose Vietnam for your holiday adventure; a country full of beautiful culture, beautiful people, exotic cuisine and scenery beyond your imagination. Read our Vietnamese Food and Drink.
Read more: 10 Exotic Foods To Try in Vietnam