Many of you are tempted by our huge offer of Vietnam culinary tour, and today’s guideline takes you to one of the biggest street-food heavens in Saigon.
On the way into Ho Thi Ky Flower Market
Ho Thi Ky is a wholesale market providing flowers for either wholesale sellers or retail customers. This can be considered as the biggest flower market in Saigon, particularly District 10. The area is open all day long, yet its busiest time lasts daily from midnight (or even 11 pm) until very early in the morning of the next day, roughly 2 am or 3 am. These flowers are usually imported from Dalat, which is known as the heaven of blossoms in Central Vietnam. However, that is not all this market has. Another big thing that boosts the reputation of this place is how massive its food heaven is. Take a look below as I listed down my five favorite dishes you can find throughout Ho Thi Ky market.
Though not seen as other iconic Saigon food such as Broken Rice, Pho or Banh My, Snail Noodles still has its own charm that not many people can resist. A hot bowl of the dish contains tough noodles, articulate harp shell, and ark clam which are all pre-boiled, along with some pieces of pork-pie and meat-ball soaked in a huge pot of lightly-sweet and tasty broth. You only need to pay for around VND 30.000 for a bowl. They are usually open from 3 pm until night-time.
A flavorful hot snail noodles soup
Prahok fermented fish paste
Following the small alley of Ho Thi Ky Market deeply into the back hidden behind it, you will catch sight of our famous Cambodian Market. Right at a few steps just outside the market, you can immediately feel the smell of their classic Prahok fermented fish paste, which is long known as a specialty of the Khmer community. Besides vermicelli noodles, the main ingredient of this cuisine is snakehead fish meat and distinctive broth created in a secret and unique recipe. Without the iconic smell of the fermented fish paste, diners are hard to wholeheartedly enjoy the full “aura” of this delicacy. With only around VND 30.000, you can come at these stores after 6 pm and let you self-explore.
The dish gives you an authentic taste of Khmer cuisine
Cambodian sweeten pudding (sweet soup dessert)
Right in the same Cambodian Market on the main path, lies a reputed sweet soup eatery named Cô Có, or commonly known as Cambodian sweet soup stall. The place has been there for over 40 years and captured many lovers of sweetness with her own-created recipe influenced by a strong Angkor style. You can pick from dozens of desserts made out of banana, egg, white cow-pea, jujube fruit, and way many more. Just less than VND 15.000 is the normal price for one portion.
This shop has been here for nearly half a century
Pan-fried scrambled egg rice cake
The small shop named Phung is the most famous food-stall with its iconic pan-fried scrambled egg rice cake. A plate of it is a big temptation not because of its delicious flavor only but also comes from its self-made soy-sauce. Beyond, you can give it a go to another big thing here which is fried sweet rice pasta, easily spotted out by little short strands especially made in a very Cambodian way, along with scrambled egg and bean-sprouts. The average price range is VND 20.000.
Such a simple but sophisticated dish
Stir-fired balut with tamarind sauce
Last but not least, I chose this Asian sensation as my biggest love not because you can hardly ever find it elsewhere outside of Asia, but as is something representing for how edible Asian food can be. You must have known of Balut when visiting The Philippines, and over here in Vietnam, Balut becomes Hột Vịt Lộn that has a literal meaning of “an unhatched baby duck egg”.
It tastes better than you thought it was
Stir-fired “Hot Vit Lon” with tamarind sauce is pretty famous to our youngsters, especially big foodies as these duck eggs are always fresh and ready to be cooked on-site, which keeps them always hot when served. In addition, the tamarind sauce here is sour and sweet all at once that gives a very neutral tasty flavor. Other than that, you can freely have it stir-fried with chili oil, garlic, butter or even roasted with salt! VND 20.000 is a very reasonable price for this food.
I definitely advise you to come visit this place at least once in your life whenever you have a chance to stop over Saigon, and you will be amazed by our truly local life.