Bot Chien – the snack of the people in Saigon

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It is a big mistake if you miss Bot Chien during your Saigon food tour as it is one of the most famous must-eat dishes in Saigon.

Coming to Saigon, mentioning about Saigon cuisine, the visitors will easily think about Broken rice. However, Saigon food guides will show you the most well-known dish in Saigon which is Bot Chien or Fried rice flour cake with egg. The yellow square dough is mixed with fried eggs, accompanied with sauce has long become a familiar dish of Saigon diners. This delicious dish has contributed to the variety of Vietnam cuisine in general and Saigon cuisine in particular.

Bot Chien appeared in Saigon since the Chinese immigrated to Southern Vietnam. This is one of the popular food of many people, especially the young.

This-is-one-of-the-popular-food-of-many-people-helloVietnam

This is one of the popular food of many people

How to make Bot Chien?

Bot Chien is processed in many steps but not too fussy. First, the chef will take pieces of steamed cooked dough and slice it into the small square and thick pieces. Then pour oil coated pan surface and drop the dough into the pan.

When the fried dough pieces turn into yellow color, the chef smashes the egg and spread it onto the dough. Eggs should be spread evenly in order to avoid being bored while eating. Normally, the eateries add little green onions to add some green to decorate the dish. After flipping the two sides, the fried dough will be picked up and ready to serve diners.

Bot-Chien-is-processed-in-many-steps-but-not-too-fussy-helloVietnam

Bot Chien is processed in many steps but not too fussy

Drain the dipping sauce into the dishes and mix well, you can enjoy this dish. The fat of the egg, crispy aroma of flour, light sour of vegetable pickles with the tasty sauce will make Bot Chien become an unforgettable afternoon snack to the people and visitors from every corner of the country when visiting Saigon.

This dish is placed on a small plate, served with vegetables pickles and sauces. The sauce will be prepared depending on each chef, but usually, the main ingredients are diluted soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar. Sellers put the vegetable pickle on top of Bot Chien, and the sauce is filled in a small bowl.

You can easily find a Bot Chien eatery in Saigon

Bot Chien is usually prepared and served in smaller or more traditional restaurants, on strollers on the sidewalk. Saigon people always tell that Bot Chien in Ba Huyen Thanh Quan, District 3, Vo Van Tan, or Tran Dinh Xu – District 1 is delicious with reasonable prices from 15,000 to 25,000 VND.

Located on Vo Van Tan Street, District 3, this Bot Chien eatery has opened for 30 years. The ingredients for making a dish are prepared by the family every day. The flour is the decisive factor of the dish. The dough after frying should be soft, not sticky or tough. In addition to the two main ingredients are flour and eggs, the dish also includes scallions and greaves.

Like other restaurants in Saigon, Bot Chien at this address also added soy sauce and served papaya salad. Soy sauce in the eatery is aromatic, papaya is crunchy and not too sour. Pour the waving sauce on the plate and then scoop up small pieces of flour, eaten with papaya, you will feel the full flavor of the dish. The price for a meal is 26,000 VND.

The shop is open from 16:00 every day but from 17:00 there are crowded. You have to come before the open time in case there are too many people. In addition to the famous Bot Chien dish, the menu also includes dried beef salad, chives cakes, fried macaroni, taro, dumpling and many other delicious dishes,

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A dried beef salad dish price is about 20,000 VND a plate.

The spring roll is also a favorite dish of many customers. Each roll price is 7,000 VND. The Popiah in this restaurant is made from lettuce, cassava, sausage and dried shrimp, which is appreciated by many guests for the price of 4,000 VND per roll. The restaurant also serves a variety of soft drinks such as chives, orange juice, fresh milk, lemon, salt, fresh water, etc.

Bot Chien is really a delicious dish of many generations in Saigon. With Saigon food tour, you will have a chance to experience this tasty food. Furthermore, there are also many dishes in Saigon waiting you to explore. Don’t miss it.

4 street foods that you will never forget in Saigon Vietnam culinary tours

pho-dau-helloVietnam

Do you want to try having dinner at the side of some Saigon street? The following dishes as well as restaurants in Vietnam culinary tours will help you.

Broken rice

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Dumping ground broken rice

You should not miss broken rice when having Vietnam street food tours. It is a popular dish in Saigon cuisine. There are various street restaurants serving this but the most famous one is probably the “dumping ground” restaurant.

You should not be afraid of its name because it is just a funny joke made by the locals and regular customers of the restaurant. The owner here is Ms.Bay, who never gave her famous business a name. And her restaurant is accidentally located behind Xom Chieu Market, where people take out the trash. That is where the name “dumping ground” restaurant is given.

Different from that, it is situated on a wide sidewalk and always carefully cleaned. Instead of using glass storage cabinets like other restaurants, Ms.Bay arrange the dishes on two tables.

You will find a great number of common Vietnamese foods to come with broken rice, such as ribs, roasted lean and fat meat mixed, fried chicken, and cuttle-fish stuffed with meat. The rice here is steaming hot, soft, and sweet-smelling.

This is why “dumping ground” restaurant is very crowded every day. Although the price here triples other restaurants, no customer has complained a word because it is equal to the quality of the food.

  • Address: 77 Le Van Linh Street, District 4

Tieu porridge

tieu-porridge-helloVietnam

Tieu porridge

Among all of the Chinese foods in Saigon, Tieu porridge is always regarded as the most attractive and exclusive one. Due to the unique recipes and flavors of the dish, there are fewer than 10 restaurants in the city. The one in Ban Co Market is definitely the best restaurant that numerous tourists would love to come.

It impresses diners because of not only its wonderful taste but also its price. One miscellaneous dish here can cost 77,000 dongs ($3.38). However, its quality is precisely more than what you expect. Besides common ingredients like pig organs, you will find various other ones in the dish, such as cuttle-fishes, fishes, minced meat, and mushrooms.

Especially, each dish always tastes greasy thanks to the buttery flavor of eggs. Only when customers order does the cook start heating the porridge. After it is ready, other ingredients are added and allowed to get well done. This is the reason why porridge dishes here are so popular and the restaurant is visited by a large number of connoisseurs every year.

  • Address: 51/33 Cao Thang Street, District 3

Pho

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Pho dau

Pho can be an excellent option if you want to begin your Vietnam-food-tour day. The dish has also been spread worldwide and appeared in the offer of different restaurants around the globe. Nevertheless, only in Vietnam and particularly in Saigon can you experience a brand new flavor.

There is one Pho restaurant which has been well-known for its one of a kind dishes. It is Dau Street Restaurant, located in a small alley on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street. Pho here carries many traditional traits of both Northern and Southern Vietnam.

In over 55 years, the restaurant has never been quiet. Southern citizens come here to try a different taste from their every-day-food. And Northern citizens living in Saigon visit the restaurant to remind themselves of the traditional flavors of their homeland. Although one dish can cost 90,000 dongs ($3.95), the customers have never bargained or complained.

You will not find bean sprouts or vegetables coming with Pho in Dau Restaurant. There are only some green onions to make the dish more attractive. The first thing that you can notice when Pho is served is the clear and sweet odor of its broth.

The noodles are also small, soft, but still tough. The beef is sliced thinly and done in a turn. Looking at the fat in the outer edge of each piece of beef, you will not be able to resist.

  • Address: Number 288, Alley 288, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 3

Mixed rice paper

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mrvien mixed rice paper

Culinary tours in Vietnam will be disappointed if you don’t try a mixed rice paper. It is an excellent dish for brunches and dinners. The best restaurant in Saigon that you can come and enjoy mixed rice papers is definitely Mr.Vien’s restaurant.

Some years ago, it was famous for being the only place in Saigon where you needed to take a number to have your dish. And because the street was so small, the restaurant was often crowded and caused traffic jams. Now, you cannot find that scene anymore. In fact, you can get your mixed rice paper in less than a minute after ordering.

Mr.Vien, the owner has made all dishes in advance so that customers do not have to spend so much time waiting. A mixed rice paper in Mr.Vien’s restaurant is filled with numerous ingredients, including rice papers, sour mangoes, fried purple onions, peanuts, dried beef, tiny shrimps, quail eggs, mayonnaise sauce, and beef sauce.

Everything is placed in a box. And the only thing you have to do enjoy the dish is spraying beef sauce and mixing all ingredients up. It is a perfect harmony of sourness, sweetness, greasiness, and spiciness. Having traditional recipes, Mr.Vien has created the best-mixed rice papers in Saigon.

The last reason making his restaurant an ideal destination in Vietnam culinary tours is that it is very clean and Mr.Vien is very friendly. So don’t miss the chance to try this outstanding dish in Saigon.

  • Address: 38 Nguyen Thuong Hien Street, District 3

Top 5 breakfasts in Saigon to discover Vietnam cuisine

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Discovering the cuisine of a country is also a way to discover its people and traditions. Today, let’s take a look at 5 best breakfasts in Saigon to find out whether Vietnam cuisine is like what you thought it would be.

Saute bread (Bánh mì chảo)

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Sauté bread Saigon

Saute bread is the best Vietnam food in the morning that can give you enough energy for a long day. It depends on the specific recipe of each restaurant that saute bread has different foods to come with. However, a common dish is composed of two sunny-side-up eggs, sausages, ham, jambon, and liver pate. All are placed on a pan.

The secret lies in the eggs, which need to have a certain consistency and still melt when your pork touches them. To do that, they must be fried on medium heat and done to a turn. The more skillful the cook is, the tastier the dish can be.

If the bread that comes with it is baked until hot and crispy, your saute bread will be perfect. After adding some peppers, green onions, and vegetables, you can enjoy the dish immediately. This is a common food to Saigon people due to the harmony of all flavors just on a small pan.

Broken rice (Cơm tấm)

broken-rice-saigon-helloVietnam

Broken rice Saigon

This is an original dish from Southern Vietnam, which has been spread to all regions in the country and even foreign nations. Nevertheless, according to various connoisseurs, only in Saigon can broken rice has its unique flavor. The main ingredient of the dish is the rest of the rice after it is crushed and ground. Because there is still bran in it, broken rice is very delicious and nutritious.

Therefore, it provides you with enough nutrients for a whole day of working or traveling. The most common foods that come with this dish are ribs, fish sauce, and fried purple onions. Having diverse flavors and many colors from ingredients, broken rice is one of the top breakfasts in Saigon.

Although it has a lot of variants with pork or meat pies at the moment, the traditional recipe is preferred the most.

Beef noodle soup (Bún bò)

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Beef noodle soup saigon

You can find beef noodle soup almost everywhere in Saigon. The citizens have it for not only breakfast but also lunch and dinner. Starting from Central Vietnam, the dish has rapidly spread to Southern Vietnam and become one of the best Saigon foods.

After it is imported into Saigon, the cooks have reduced the spiciness and increased the sweetness in its broth. Particularly, the pig feet is added to make the dish more complete and meet the flavors of people in Southern Vietnam. 

To satisfy clients, most restaurants in Saigon make the broth by stewing beef bones and ribs in 10 to 12 hours instead of adding seasoning powder. That is why beef noodle soup always has a bland flavor, bringing us a nice warm meal in the morning. There is nothing better than sitting in the restaurant in winter and enjoy a hot bowl of beef noodle soup.

Steamed rolled rice pancake (Bánh cuốn)

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Steamed rolled rice pancake saigon

When you cannot decide what to eat in Vietnam for breakfast, steamed rolled rice pancakes will be an excellent option. Original from Northern Vietnam, the dish has been “Saigonized” and strongly affected by cuisines of the Chinese living in Saigon.

In Northern Vietnam, steamed rolled rice pancake comes with fried purple onions and roasted cinnamon pork. But in Saigon, it comes with sweet-and-sour fish sauce and chili peppers. Besides common foods such as fermented pork roll, you will find having the dish with purple taro cakes very interesting.

Don’t miss the chance to try a steamed rolled rice pancake when visiting Saigon. It will tell you the most precious values of Southern cuisines. There are a lot of restaurants serving steamed rolled rice pancakes in the city so looking for them is very easy.

Beef cooked with brine (Bò kho)

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Beef cooked with brine saigon

At first glance, beef cooked with brine is somehow similar to ragu or curry in Western countries. Nonetheless, this breakfast dish is completely different. It is much milder than curry in both of its outlook and taste. The broth of beef cooked with brine is less consistent and its flavor is also not as mature as curry.

In fact, the dish has an exclusively sweet taste, which shows a unique Vietnam cuisine and is perfectly fit with the eating habits of people from Southern Vietnam. That is why it is not only a common breakfast but also a famous food to eat between meals.

Because its broth is quite watery so the dish often comes with bread, rice, or noodles. Hence, sometimes, you will see some restaurants serve beef-cooked-with-brine noodle as a special dish. It is simply a variant of the originally popular dish that we love.