TROPICAL FRUITS IN VIETNAM

Mangosteens in Cho Lach

When mentioning special things in Viet Nam cuisine, we cannot miss some delectable tropical fruits. Viet Nam has the characteristics of tropical climate, good soil, an abundance of water resources suitable for crops to achieve good results.

To help foreign tourists traveling to Vietnam with the wish of enjoying the fresh fruits know more about them, I would love to indicate a list of the fruits in Vietnam.

Milk Apple, from Vinh Kim province, is famous for sold with large output in the domestic market. When planted in this province, Milk Apple was given the high productivity since the land here is characterized by fertile alluvial soil, which is the preferred species. Normally, they have thin covers, small seeds, thick pulp that are very sweet and fragrant. Milky Breast is rich in vitamins, fiber, minerals which are essential energy for the body and antioxidants. Especially, women who eat a lot of these fruits will have a beautiful skin and be look really young. These days, Vinh Kim not only presents Milk Apple in the market of Vietnam but also exports them to the international market.

Milk Apple

Milk Apple

Langsat which has a little bit sour and sweeter when it ripe is also one of the favorite fruits in Vietnam. It is actually original from Philipines, when coming to Vietnam, we call it by the name “Bòn Bon”. It is much easier to seek out them in the local markets or from street vendors in the summer.

Mangosteens in Cho Lach is next fruit that you should try in Vietnam, the specialty of Ben Tre has been well-known for a long time. Although being a big fruit, Mangosteen has a few seeds. The local people in Cho Lach district have the area of 1,200 hectares to plant them. This kind of fruit is easily planted since you do not care much about them but they still grow strongly with less disease. However, Mangosteen is still limited in Vietnam that why its price is a bit expensive. It ranges from 80,000 VND to 120,000VND per kilogram.

Mangosteens in Cho Lach

Mangosteens in Cho Lach

Durian which was brought from Thailand to Vietnam was first planted in Tan Quy, Bien Hoa then in the South and Central Highlands. However, Vinh Long commune of the Mekong Delta is well-known for this fruit most. For many residents who have never tried or are unfamiliar with them, they will find the smell” horrible” as scary as its thorny appearance. For diners, it has very exceptional taste and fragrant smell.

The name of Ri6 Durian is named after Mr. Sau Ri, who has the merit in planting this durian. Ri6 Durian is a special fruit, which consists higher amount of carbohydrate, protein, lipid, mineral compared to the other fruits. A durian with weight from 3 to 5 kg has a few pods. They are usually yellowish in color, which is very eye-catching.

Lychee in Thanh Ha

Lychee in Thanh Ha

Referring to the lychee, people often think about Luc Ngan lychee, Bac Giang lychee; however, Thanh Ha or Hai Duong lychee is the best one. Thanh Ha is surrounded by two large rivers, Red River and Thai Binh River. Beyond that, with fertile soils, rich in nutrients and an abundance of water resources, this land is really suitable for growing litchi. Lychee is also the pride of Thanh Ha land for bringing income to the local people.

Sapodilla

Sapodilla

Chau Thanh district is on the banks of the river so this land is for growing fruit trees. One of the specialties here is Sapodilla. In fact, taking care of this plant is quite simple, not too laborious and laborious but you can harvest them all year round. It is a big fruit with beautiful shape and sweet fragrant meat inside. This kind of fruit is used to be made smoothie, a favorite and nutritious drink in Vietnam cuisine.

The last one is Tangerine in Lai Vung. With the fresh and succulent cloves, Tangerine has created its own brand near and far. The best harvest season is also near the Lunar New Year, yellow tangerine fruits swinging sway in the sunshine. Pink tangerine also has the same nutritional value as other citrus fruits. Nothing can be better than enjoying the fruit in the garden, spoiled for choice the most delicious, succulent ones. This is also the highlight of these gardens attracting lots of visitors.

Tangerines

Tangerines

Hopefully, this information is useful for tourists who intend to have Vietnam culinary tours.

What to know about Vietnamese fish sauce

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We might have all had the taste of Vietnamese fish sauce at some point, be it ladled over noodle salad known as bún bò xào, stirred into soup, or slathered on Vietnamese grilled pork and noodles (bún thịt nướng) on your Vietnam culinary tours. But how many of us actually know where it comes from? This quick guide will help you unearth a few secrets behind fish sauce or nước mắm – the mother sauce of classical Vietnamese cuisine.

What Is Fish Sauce Made of?

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Fish sauce appears in all Vietnamese meals

Good fish sauces are the water or juice, in the flesh of fish that is extracted in the process of prolonged salting and fermentation for from 1 year to 18 months. Anchovies (cá cơm) are typically used, however, some fish sauces are also made from small fish that would otherwise have little value for consumption.

The basic ingredients of a good fish sauce – small fish and/or fish blood, and innards are packed into large barrels, jars, or crocks with water and layered with salt. Then, these barrels are set out under the hot sunlight for at least 12 months. A whiff from the bottle of fish sauce reveals its strong aroma and alludes to its very distinct, incredibly potent taste and you might notice a small difference when using one for the other. In case you are not yet familiar with nước mắm, it is that salty smelly rich translucent reddish-golden brown liquid made from fish that is the single, most important flavoring ingredient in Vietnam’s cuisine.

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How is fish sauce made?

Used like plain salt and pepper in Western cuisine and soy sauce in Chinese and Japanese cuisines, good-quality fish sauce adds a unique character to Vietnamese dishes and imparts a distinct aroma and flavor. It is used liberally in nearly all Vietnamese dishes since Vietnamese food would not be quite the same without it.

It is indispensable in all the Vietnamese kitchens. Ever tried fried spring rolls and noodle salad known as bún bò xào? The small bowl of sauce accompanied by your dish is fish sauce. And going a culinary tour in Vietnam as you quickly learn, Vietnamese cuisine is all about the fish sauce. By itself, fish sauce is very salty, which is why it is usually cooked with other ingredients and used as a finishing sauce.

This kind of sauce packs tons of flavors and enhances whatever it is served with. In the culinary arts, fish sauce is essentially delicately flavored, well-balanced fish sauce, which is the starting point for making various secondary sauces or “small sauces.”

How to make nước chấm or nước mắm chấm?

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Nuoc cham recipe

Fish sauce is usually not consumed in its original state, it is often used as a marinade for fish and meat or can be made into many secondary sauces called Vietnamese dipping sauce (nước chấm) to be served with nem or chả giò (fried egg rolls), gỏi cuốn (spring rolls or summer rolls), bánh xèo (sizzling cake), bánh hỏi (steamed rolls made of rice-flour), bánh cuốn (Vietnamese rolled rice cake), thịt nướng (grilled pork), and cá chiên (fried fish) just to barely name a few. Nước chấm is made by adding water, citrus (lime juice and/or vinegar), sugar, spices, chopped chilies, finely chopped garlic, or other ingredients into the bottled fish sauce.

Fish sauce is a base to open up a world of culinary possibilities. When combined with other ingredients like sugar, lime juice, and chilies, the “fishiness” mellows out and its ability to add richness and a layer of flavor to everything it touches becomes apparent. It is interesting to know is that not all fish sauce is created equal and the way to prepare nước chấm can vary from region to region throughout Vietnam. Depending on the kind you use, you will need to put your own twists on this recipe or adjust the amount used. This nước chấm deal is all about making it fit your taste. The quality is different among different brands of fish sauce. And Red Boat and 3 Crabs are the most popular brands of Vietnamese fish sauce.

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Fish sauce is so important to Vietnamese cuisine

Both a flavoring element and providing the salt for the dish it is included in, fish sauce is so important to the cuisine of Vietnam that almost all known Vietnamese recipes call for it. You have been mystified by Vietnamese cuisine and wondered what is in it that makes it so good. Wonder no more! Let’s go on a Vietnam food tour!

FAMOUS BREAD COUNTERS IN SAIGON

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Vietnamese bread nowadays is voted as one of the best street food in all over the world. Foreign visitors coming to Saigon food tours are not strange to this anymore. A loaf of bread is quite cheap but will give you enough nutrients, that is also the reason why this is popular with most travelers. Today, we will introduce you to some famous bakeries in Saigon.

Huynh Hoa Bakery

Huynh Hoa is a famous bread brand for more than 15 years in Saigon located at 26 Le Thi Rieng, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1. If you walk past this bread counter, you will be extremely surprised by a large number of guests waiting to buy bread here, arranged into a long line.

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Huynh Hoa bread counter attracts a lot of foreign and domestic customers

The price of a loaf of bread is quite higher, about 30,000 dongs each, but its taste is so good with a lot of meat, jambon, pâté, and especially vegetables. When you take a Vietnam food tour to Saigon, do not miss this one.

Tuan Map Bakery

This is a new brand opened recently, but many people know it. As a pioneer in making beef sandwiches, Tuan Map offers diners a new taste.

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A delicious loaf of Vietnamese bread in Tuan Map bakery

Tuan Map bread is a large system with many branches, you can easily find its stall and buy bread at an affordable price in any districts in Ho Chi Minh City. Do not miss this bread encounter with hot, crunchy and delicious breads to complete your Saigon food tours.

Viet Bakery

Viet bread has a cool and airy space so it is suitable for those who want to enjoy the sandwiches right at the bakery. With diversified menu, in addition to the usual bread such as pate, fried meat, sardines, salami, and so on, Viet bread also supplies some strange flavor such as spring rolls, quail eggs and etc. If you want to know more about Saigon cuisine, do not miss this place with contemplating bread.

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Viet bread is the best choice for your breakfast

With 12,000 to 30,000 dongs you can have a delicious breakfast but with enough nutrients.

Bistro bread counter

Bistro bread has an extremely rich menu, such as a special Baguette Bistro, teriyaki chicken panini, mackerel sandwich, and many other ones. In addition, the Bistro also offers vegetarian bread which is quite strange and delicious.

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The cozy space in Bistro bread eatery

Coming here, you will feel the warm space with the fragrance of bread. Surely you will love this place so much since you can enjoy the hot and crunchy right here.

Co Giang bread stall with bread and fish cake

Despite a small bread cart on De Tham Street, but this one is quite famous for the quality as well as the enthusiastic service of the owner. The bread sold here are filled with a lot of golden yellow, fragrant and crispy sliced fish cake. This is one of the best dishes in Saigon that you have to try once.

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Delicious bread and fish cake that you can find in Co Giang bread cart on De Tham Street

This bread cart is at 100 De Tham Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. You can come here in the evening since it only opens from 6 pm to 10 pm every with the bread price ranges 15,000 – 20,000 dongs.

Kebab Bread on Nguyen Thuong Hien Street

It can be considered the kebab Nguyen Thuong Hien is the birthplace of doner kebab bread in Saigon. The bread here is closest to the Turkish version because the baker uses chicken instead of beef or pork. With special sweet and sour sauce, fresh vegetables, the chicken inside the crunchy triangular bread, this bread counter serves a lot of customers every day.

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The menu of Kebab bread Nguyen Thuong Hien

A Tung eatery – Cambodia grilled bread with butter

As a special dish in the “land of Pagoda”, Cambodia grilled bread with butter has become an eating trend of Saigon youth. The strange but delicious bread is quite cheap, only 5,000 dongs for a loaf of butter bread and 10,000 dongs for each grilled beef skewer.

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Eye-catching grilled bread with butter is served with grilled beef skewers

The bread is covered with hot yellow butter and served with roasted beef skewers marinated in Cambodia cuisine. It would be better if you eat with chutney and sliced papaya.

Here are some well-known bread counters that we would like to recommend to you. Hopefully, you will have a wonderful Saigon food tour someday. 

Specialties in Southwest of Vietnam cuisine

Fried fish with wild vegetables and lotus leaves

Due to its topographic and economic characteristics, southwest of Vietnamese cuisine has been created by the river’s waterways, where the main food source is rice, fish, and vegetables. A unique feature that you cannot ignore when taking part in Vietnam food tour.

Southwest land of Vietnam is the place where both people and nature are so rustic and simple. This reflects clearly on their cuisine. Today, Vietnam food tour will introduce you to some must-eat dishes in this land. Once trying the southeast delicacies, surely that you cannot forget.

Mekong Delta cuisine mixed with river

Those who have lived in the Mekong Delta or the southwest will not forget the familiar taste of freshly caught snakehead fish in the field, crispy pancakes roll in the garden, or bowl or sour soup bowl only found in the floating season.

The dishes of southeast people ingrain in the visitors’ mind with its special flavor, the harmony between the sour, salty and sweet taste.

Western delicious dishes

Western delicious dishes in a meal with beef squeezed salad, pancake rolls of vegetables, sour soup fish.

Each dish is presented like a little wind from the lotus pond, the smell of plants in the garden through the nose, through the ears.

It also comes with many vegetables. Especially, there are some specialties leaves such as sesame leaves, wild vegetables, when you eat with them fried dishes, they will leave a fresh sour taste.

Salad of dried fish with cherry leaves from the garden

Salad of dried fish with cherry leaves from the garden

Grilled dishes with a delicious fresh taste

The soul of southwest delicacies lies in the raw materials, simple processing, it is not too picky but still retains the freshness of fish meat, vegetables.

 Dishes with the harmony of river fish, garden-raised chicken, vegetables planted in ponds is always in the meals of each farmer family. These dishes are associated with the childhood of those who were or are living there.

Grilled chicken with salt grains

Grilled chicken with salt grains

Two of the southwest favorites are beef and chicken. The meat is marinated well, wrapped in banana leaf then baked till it gets a golden color. These leaves will be an indispensable ingredient mixed with the fresh sweet taste of meat and make the dish more delicious. Meat still remains tender, when you bite it, surely you cannot stop another bite. 

Fresh items with young lotus leaves

Young lotus leaves are characteristic food in the Dong Thap Muoi

Young lotus leaves are characteristic food in the Dong Thap Muoi

The young lotus leaves after being picked and washed will be served with grilled fish, wild vegetables and tamarind sauce. The crispness of grilled fish and the freshness of raw vegetable is unforgettable.

The southeast people prefer to enjoy fried fish as well since it is crunchy and fragrant. Fresh sweet fried fish which is rolled with green vegetables, sliced green young banana, fresh noodles all are placed in the thin layer of the lotus leave. Then add a little pepper garlic sauce, spicy hot pepper, they will make your dish more attractive and contemplating. Day by day this become one of the specialties in Vietnamese cuisine.

Fried fish with wild vegetables and lotus leaves

Fried fish with wild vegetables and lotus leaves.

Vegetable boil served with special sauce

From a very rustic dish with simple ingredients, this dish has appeared in many famous restaurants. This simply includes a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, pepper, pineapple, the onion that is cooked under a small fire, after a while, until it turns to the golden brown color and fragrant. Diners can eat with rice or take a piece of fried rice and quickly soak it into that sauce.

If you want to try the more “modern” style, the chef can add shrimp, dried fat. You can eat it with noodles and vegetables to verify your meals when you take part in Vietnam culinary tour.

Grilled mouse with salt

This dish is a specialty in Mekong Delta cuisine. Each harvest season, the field is full of smoked and have many mice. The mouse that is favored in the restaurant is “rice mice”. That means the mice have eaten rice after harvest.

The fat mice will be well prepared (cleaned of fuzz, removed feet, head) then soaked in salt water and vinegar several times to remove the smell.

This dish does not require many ingredients. The main one is mice meat – it is enough. After being chopped, seasoned with chili, sugar, and spices, they will be roasted on the charcoal stove. However, in the rural area, the locals like to use the straws to bake it. Mice meat will have the golden color, the fragrance, sweetness, and softness just like chicken. You can taste it when you take part in Vietnam food tour to the southeast.

Southwest people favor this dish

Southwest people favor this dish and also named “chicken roasted with salt pepper

OVERWHELMING WITH MUI NE SPECIAl FOOD

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Mui Ne – Phan Thiet is one of the most unique tourist destinations in Vietnam, where you have just been immersed in fascinating beaches, experienced the desert on the vast sand dunes.

Mui Ne is also traveling spot known by a huge number of foreign people. It is attractive to tourists not only by its beautiful scenery but also its special cuisine. The following are the top Mui Ne specialties which we should not miss out

Dishes from Basilisk

When being asked what we should eat when taking Mui Ne tours, people often think of seafood dishes. However, there are some delicious, cheap and attractive dishes in Mui Ne, the land of sandy beach with sun and wind. These dishes were made from the basilisk, a reptile living in the sand. Basilisk is quite similar to lizards in larger and longer size. They mainly eat young shoots and drink night dew, so their meat is very sweet.

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Grilled basilisk

Locals can process basilisk in seven different ways such as grilling, steaming, and so on. Each way of the process makes distinctive tastes. As the experience of tourists who had tried Mui Ne Vietnam cuisine many times, grilled basilisk dipping chili salt would be the best, especially when eaten and drunk with rice wine. 

When having Mui Ne food tour, tourists can drop in Vietnam Home restaurant at 125B Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Phan Thiet city to have the food from basilisk. You will satisfy with their food as well as the price of it.

Seafood hot pot

Reaching the land of seas, it will be a big regret if we do not enjoy hot pots whose main ingredients are various kinds of fish. The broth has the sweet taste of some fresh fishes, fresh vegetables and the sour flavor of star fruit or tamarind. It is commonly combined with vermicelli, spinach.

The interesting point of Mui Ne hot pot is that all the ingredients are put in the cover of banana flowers. When eating, you just select what you want to eat and then pour the broth into your bowl.

Seahorse Bistro, at 11 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Ham Tien, Mui Ne, a restaurant often offering this special hot pot for Mui Ne food tours, is a place for seafood fans.

Tapioca cake

Tapioca cake was made from tapioca flour and some ingredients such as shrimps, pork, bean, … depending on eaters’ preferable fillings.

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Tapioca cake

The sweet dipping sauce seems to be an important element of the tapioca cake.  If visitors try them without the sauce, its taste likes no flavor.

It is easy for you to find this delicious and cheap dish from food streets to restaurants on your Mui Ne culinary tours.

Fried snakehead wrapped in rice paper

Cookers do not use any fried flour to make the fish crunchy, so when we fry the raw fish without scraping blisters as a way of processing usually do, it looks delicious and eye-catching. You should enjoy this dish with rice paper, vermicelli, raw vegetables, green bananas, star fruits and peanut spicy sauce.

On making the experience with  Mui Ne tours, let come to AH restaurant at 17 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Ham Tien, Mui Ne to enjoy cheap and strange specialties.

Herring salad

There are many famous kinds of salad in each region of Vietnam such chicken salad in the North, papaya salad in the South, etc. Phan Thiet is also famous for its own salad, herring salad. This fish salad is one of the most attractive and famous salad tourists must eat on the tour to Phan Thiet.

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Herring salad

To make the best fish salad, people often choose fresh and big herrings. When processing, they scrap its blisters, head, tail, and bone. After about a half of hours in ice, herrings become fresher and harder. The combination of carrots, onion, hot mints, chili, garlic, peanuts, green banana, and herring bring an appetizing flavor to the salad. The peanut spicy sauce and rice paper are also factors help this dish become much better. For those who love sour, you can add star fruits. 

Mui Ne cuisine is always highlighted attraction to domestic and international visitors. Let start your journey to the land of the sea to explore its beauty.

Finally, we hope that with these delicious dishes you guys will have an unforgettable food trip to Mui Ne this summer.

Explore a traditional hotpot of Vietnam – Mam hotpot

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Saigon day tours today will introduce you a specialty of the Southwest people – Mam hotpot.

Mam Hotpot – a traditional dish of Saigon day tours has long been a favorite dish for many people because of its taste which is very delicious, salty enough and its fragrance that can make you hungry from a distance. Mam hotpot is made up of rotten pork, fish, squid, shrimp … and especially hotpot is one of the few hot pot dishes can be combined with a dozen vegetables.

Here are some suggestions for you to enjoy the best Mam hotpot

1/ Mam hotpot of Vy Restaurant:

If you are looking for a clean place to eat and drink, or you do not like to sit in a crowded place, Vy Restaurant is definitely the right place to go.

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The menu of Vy Restaurant

The cooker of the Hotpot is a magnetic cooker hot pot, so you keep the peace of mind about safety when eating here with Saigon day tours. The price of a large pot of hotspot is 320,000 dong, and a small pot of hotspot is about 210, 000 dong. If you come here in a group of 2-3 people, you should order a small hotpot, because it is generally a small hot pot of Quan Vy is nearly a big hot pot in other restaurants.

If you go alone, you cannot finish a pot of hot pot, then you should order a bowl of Mam noodle to enjoy. This is an ideal restaurant for a Saigon food tour.

There is also a salad dish made of raw fish and vegetables and spring rolls which are quite good, so after eating a pot of hot pot, you are also recommended to try these two dishes.

2/ Mam hotpot of Ngoc Hanh Restaurant:

With only 350, 000 dong, you can have a large pot of hot pot for 4-6 people and still ensure full and satisfied.

Mam hot pot here cooked in the right Southwest flavor with aromatic sauce, a little salty that make its smell saved in your mouth.

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Lots of meat are served to eat with Mam hotpot

A hotpot (usually 350,000 dong) consists of a large Lang fish, squid, shrimp, snails, beef and so on. The Mam hotpot with Lang fish is fatter then with Loc fish, but the smell is better than hotpot cooked with other river fishes.

About the space, this new restaurant is very clean, cool and comfortable since the number of guests coming is still not many. The food would be served quite quickly after being ordered. The staffs are thoughtful and enthusiastic. It is very convenient for you to invite friends to come here.

3/ Nam Bo Mam Hotpot – Cao Thang

A large pot of Mam hotpot is 290, 000 dong. It consists of chili with chopped fish, fresh fish, beef, pork, squid, and shrimp.

Many people admit that the hot pot at the restaurant is quite sweet, but actually, it is not. When the broth is boiled up, the salty taste of the sauce will match with the sweetness, at that time Mam hotpot is extremely delicious.  

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Mam hotpot in Nam Bo Restaurant

To enjoy Mam hotpot, the vegetable is an important part that cannot be missed, so that the restaurant has a priority of free vegetables when you call for more, even many times.

4/ Phong Lan Mam hotpot restaurant:

The restaurant is in district 9, near the BCR playground complex. If after a day of fun with games makes you tired, come by Phong Lan Restaurant and enjoy a Mam hot pot with fresh vegetables to recharge energy and enjoy a good meal. This is the perfect restaurant for a Saigon day tour for family.

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A rich plate of vegetable in Phong Lan Restaurant

Mam hot pot here included much fresh seafood such as shrimp, squid, fresh fish, snails, beef … all of them are full of nutritious and delicious.

Especially, this restaurant has a special Mam hot pot with crayfish, its price is quite expensive, about 600,000 dong, but it is very delicious, unique and attractive.

5/ Mam hotpot on Dien Bien Phu Street:

Only open from 16 hours to 21 pm but this Mam hotpot stall on Dien Bien Phu street without signs and decorating pieces of stuff picking up a lot of customers from a Saigon group tour thanks to its distinctive flavor and unique sauce.

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A pot of Mam hotpot on Dien Bien Phu Street

The Mam hot pot stall was opened from 1995 and until now its taste is not changed, still rich in fishes, meat, and vegetables, although the price increase quite fast. It still remains the taste of the first day. On Saigon rainy days, although selling on the pavement, the stall is still crowded. The warm pot of hot pot with charcoal inside keeps the flavor better and longer.

A small pot is about 150,000 dong with lots of food, attached is a plate of octopus and beef, inside the pot of hot pot has added fish, pork skin, eel and so on. Vegetables are also very rich, making many people of the Southwest miss their hometown.

The use of herbs and spice in Vietnamese gastronomy

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Either you are attending a Southern or Northern Vietnam food tour, you may always find that Vietnam cuisine literally bears a distinctive aroma when put on the scale against other neighboring countries. Graham Holliday, an author of the book Eating Vietnam admitted that the harmony of spice and herbs has paid tribute to the success of Vietnamese dishes.

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The use of herbs and spice

It may come up to countless of the number natural herbs and veggies up and down across the length of this S-shaped country. Some are so unique that they are only spotted out in a significant town or village. The use of fresh vegetables shows up in almost every single daily consumption. Northern Vietnamese, meanwhile, has a slightly less use of veggies in their meals compared to Southern siblings. For instance, Trảng Bảng rice paper in Tây Ninh, a Southern province in the Northern face of Saigon, requires up to 8 or 10 different types of herbs.

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Spice in Vietnamese food

Legume is the key factor highlighting the flavor of each dish in Vietnam’s culinary history. Vietnamese food contains less oil use, which is a great element contributing to its citizens’ good health and body shape. A good local guide may reveal how important it is to create an utmost balance in every single Vietnamese dish during one of your culinary tour in Vietnam, which accordingly results in the balance of one’s internal energy. On the whole, there are 4 main spices in Vietnamese gastronomy, which are saltiness, spiciness, sourness, and sweetness. Yet, these can be slightly adjusted depending on specific individual’s regular taste. Mr. Holliday points out that the use of herbs and spice in Southern Vietnamese dishes brings a controversial sophistication and newfangledness. He also admits that Saigon culinary somehow bears a more diversified look rather than Hanoi’s.

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Healthy Viet dishes

Not to mention, elements that form a significant alteration must be listed as climate condition and soil formation at each area. Available ingredients have a big effect on the locals’ eating habit. For example, when making fish noodle soup, Hanoians and other dwellers living in mainland cities will use fresh-water fish, whilst onshore citizens will definitely catch fish from the ocean for the main element in the dishes. On the other hand, Southern Phở is served with a good amount of fresh veggies and herbs, while in the North, this can be judged as less elegant. In addition, Northern cuisine seems to cut down on the use of spice compared to other regions down South.

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Phở

The author of Eating Vietnam discloses that foreign visitors should rely on the choice of the natives. If you spot out a long line queueing up in front of a food stall, it is surely a good local brand. If the chef only makes one significant dish, that must be the best choice that has got to offer. Moreover, those who have not been a big fan of street food for long should dust off their prejudice against this nectar of God or else they probably get to miss the best to be offered along the length of Vietnam. Fermented fish noodles, pancakes, rice noodle soup are the big names in Southern Vietnamese culinary, while it must be Bún Chả, or grilled pork with vermicelli noodles in the Northern land, and this is going to be a shining focal point in your Northern Vietnam culinary tour, especially if you take that in Hanoi.

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Fermented fish noodles

Only when having a meal served on the sidewalk of a street, tourists will have a chance to witness their portion to be processed in actual life. A pro tip is that if you are so into one specific dish, just step right into the eatery and make an order with the most generous voice and attitude, you are then loved by the local chef!

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Vietnamese local market

Picking a Vietnam culinary tour is the finest way to get an in-depth sight towards the virtual soul of a nation, and street food is the most excellent reflection. Come to visit Vietnam and open your eyes to realize how broad the topic of Vietnamese cuisine can be, without the only names of Phở, Bánh Mỳ or Spring Rolls.

Southern Vietnam cuisine | What to eat in Mekong Delta

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Apart from the tropical natural landscapes, Southern Vietnamese cuisine, especially Mekong Delta specialties are the ones you should not skip when visiting this area. It can be explained due to the fact that Mekong Delta is a special region covered with an immense network of rivers and canals, along with pristine jungles, which make the citizens here come up with various dishes with the main ingredients are best selected from nature. Fish, vegetables, and seafood are the most common elements displayed in plenty of food. Now you another wide range of choice if you are still wondering what to eat in Vietnam.

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Mekong delicacies

Mekong Delta pancake – Bánh xèo:

You may have heard a lot about Vietnamese pancake even before stepping into the country. In Saigon, night food tours may include this type of food in one of their stops, yet Central Vietnam edition of the pancake is more popular with the size of a pancake is pretty small compared to the original version in Mekong. A crocus colored crunchy yet soft pancake stuffed full of pork, shrimp, bean sprout and sometimes heart of palm, is best used in harmony with sweet and sour fish sauce and fresh veggies. In order to give out an excellent Bánh xèo, a chef must pay a good attention in the first process of taking the best rice to make rice powder. Selected rice is then soaked and smashed with a little of saffron powder with the aim of forming the shining yellow in the end. Bánh xèo can be found almost everywhere across the region of Mekong Delta. Hence, do not forget to ask locals for a help in checking in the best Bánh xèo restaurant in town. In case you do not have a chance to visit Mekong Delta, then hit up with a Southern Vietnam culinary tour and do not forget to request Mekong pancake in the list of your night food tour.

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Crunchy Mekong pancake

Grilled snake-head – Cá lóc nướng trui:

This is definitely one of the most favored dishes fathers and granddads are pretty keen on. By the way, before getting deeper into the dish, snake-head is a type of freshwater fish, not a reptile. Fish, when put atop a low-fired charcoal, must be freshly caught, which then creates a soft and sweet savor in the mouth. Side dish fish sauce is usually mixed with tamarind giving a slightly sour, salty and sweet all at once, sometimes added with a little bit of chili. Fish must be in good size and still covered fully in scales, which is then placed on the top of a charcoal or wrapped in straw and set on fire.

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Grilled snake-head

Fermented fish hotpot – Lẩu mắm:

To many Mekong Delta dwellers, Fermented fish hotpot is something delicious and low-cost at the same time, which you can almost spot out at many of their special occasions. Based on each specific taste of different diners, various ingredients would be used accordingly. However, the essential element is fermented Siamese mud carp, snake-head or snakeskin gourami for the making of broth that creates a distinctive taste for this hot pot. Side dish veggies must be okra, morning glory, common sesban, banana blossom, lotus root, and star-fruit. That moment when you are gathering around a blazing fermented fish hot pot in the middle of a chilly night is something you will never forget.

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Fermented fish hot pot

Fish noodle – Bún cá:

The finalist in this Southern Vietnam culinary tour list is fish noodle, one of the most sought-after dishes in Mekong Delta. Depending on each specific area of the region, fish noodle will vary accordingly. However, that one mutual feature is to use snake-head and various types of fermented paste to create that one iconic savor and smell, along with the limpidness of broth. A standard bowl of Bún cá contains boiled broth, the delightfully aromatic smell of fermented paste, soft fish, fresh shrimp, and of course the purely white vermicelli noodles.

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Fish noodle

Now equipped with this guideline, you will have zero worries about where to eat in Southern Vietnam. The finest eateries offering these type of food are simply everywhere all over every single province in Mekong Delta.

Ad-lib Saigon street food areas roundup | Emblematic names

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When the topic of Saigon cuisine is put on the scale, it may take us a lifetime to confirm how burdensome it is. Saigon culinary tour is now something extremely prevalent that you may only need a finger snap to own a high-ranking local food tour guide advise you what to be served when night falls. With a coverage of over 2000 square kilometers, have you ever wondered that how many food stalls, bistros, restaurants, and eateries are located within the domain of Saigon? The answer is obviously COUNTLESS. However, this inquiry seems to get a lot easier when it turns out to be a simple map dividing Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, into smaller specific localities with their own distinctive gastronomy assets. Below listed a walkover on where to locate different Saigon food zones like a local pro.

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Street food vendor

Local markets archive:

Let’s kick start out guideline by listing down some famous local markets before everything. Why is that? Markets are endless sources of nutrition and inspiration where the best of the best is found. It may sound a little absurd when some of you may incite Saigon’s fine-dining bistros into the list. The thing is, most of the country’s culinary quintessence was started in the hands of mothers, long before high-end eateries were even born, and it may date back to thousands of years ago when markets were first formed.

In Saigon today, any local market owns a separate food court inside of which. Apart from Bến Thành, which is hands down the largest market that I do not need to even mention, other names you can step into are Bà Chiểu, Hồ Thị Kỷ, Tân Định, Bàn Cờ and a lot more. Daily dishes are what you can find here. For instance, common names that Vietnamese cannot live without, such as rice noodles, egg noodles, vermicelli noodles, Phở, broken rice, soup, spring rolls, pancakes and so on. Here is a tip for you, most of these markets are open at daytime, which means the best hours of the day for you to come to visit vary in the very first section of a day.

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Tân Định Market

District 4 – Paradise of Hotpot and BBQ

Lied across a small segment of Saigon River, District 4 is now a sensational icon with long chains of BBQ and Hotpot eateries queued up along both sides of little thoroughfares. One thing you should keep in mind is that not the whole coverage of District 4 is used for BBQ and Hotpot only, but a part of which. Vĩnh Khánh Street is a familiar name to native Saigonese when a desire for tasty smoky meat is aroused in the middle of a hot night. Otherwise, try moving a little further to Xóm Chiếu and Đoàn Văn Bơ areas. These are tiny alleys crossing one another which makes them look exactly like a chessboard. Yet a variety of Vietnamese desserts show up at almost every single corner.

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Vietnamese BBQ

Chinatown – Little Hong Kong in the heart of Saigon

There is no doubt that our third candidate is saved for Chinese food this time. I must admit that Chinatown is found everywhere on the Globe’s surface, but the fusion and harmony of Chinese food added an elegant savor of Vietnamese essence will differentiate Saigon’s Cholon to any other namesakes (P/s: Cholon is a colloquial term for Chinatown).

Dating back to 300 years ago, the history of Cholon may amuse you with the same level of its culinary culture. A huge collection of Dimsum treats sweet soup dessert and noodles food stalls all make Cholon as great as always. Various Saigon food tours offer diversified packages towards hidden spots around these areas so there is no worry about getting lost at where to start.

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Hà Ký sweet dessert in Chinatown

Downtown alleys combination

Last but not least, downtown Hẻm (Alleys) in Saigon is where you can recognize the core values for the true street food of Saigon. I am not overestimating the meaning and role these Hẻm are playing. Their long existence must be based on some reasons. Let’s get started!

Cô Giang Street in District 1 actually lives up when the Sun is gone. The place is notable for its string of Bò Lá Lốt spots. To be clear, Bò Lá Lốt is literally translated into Grilled beef wrapped with betel leaves. Some Saigon food tour companies will pick this dish as a type of starter.

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A portion of Bò Lá Lốt

Cao Thắng Alley in District 3, meanwhile, will offer you Phá Lấu (Stewed Cow’s intestines with coconut juice), stir-fried noodles, soup noodles, flans, hotpot, smoothies and the list goes on.

Hồ Con Rùa, or Turtle Lake, a large manmade lake lied in between District 1 and District 3 at around 6 p.m is virtually lively. Covering a small area on the surface of the lake, Hồ Con Rùa is where you can find local Vietnamese fast food such as beef balls, tofu, sausage, Okra, soup, stir-fried corn and so on.

There is one thing for sure that my list above will definitely not end Saigon street food list right there. These are simply iconic roundups just in case you have no idea where to start your night. The best way to fulfill your stomach in the most “pro” way is to have a local companion with you. Imagine sneaking through the insane traffic at night and sit on the tiny plastic chairs place on the pavements while surrounded by locals, this is going to be one of the best memories you can ever have in Vietnam.

Top 5 best vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork restaurants in Saigon

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If you are in Saigon or about to take a trip to this place, then remember to try “bun thit nuong” (vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork) – a famous Saigon food. A delicious dish has an affordable price but the taste is rated 10 out of 10. So, today let’s learn about the places having the best vermicelli with char-grilled pork in Saigon.

Bun thit nuong Hai Dang

Mentioning the vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork in Saigon, you definitely cannot ignore Hai Dang restaurant. Because of that, Saigon does not lack good grilled pork restaurant but Hai Dang is always the favorite place of many local people as well as visitors during their Saigon Vietnam culinary tours. Normally, the vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork will be sold in one bowl full of vegetables, grilled pork, and also the sauce but in Hai Dang restaurant, this dish is served in separate bowls of vermicelli, vegetables and sauce. So, you can comfortably flavor to suit your personal taste.

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Bun thit nuong Hai Dang”

  • Price: 25,000 VND/bowl
  • Address: 145 – 157 Chan Hung, Ward 6, Tan Binh Dist.
  • Opening hours: 11a.m. – 10 p.m.

Bun thit nuong Anh Ba

Contrary to the rustic name, this restaurant cares more about the architecture of space inside than others that we often see. In particular, the dishes here are also laid out beautifully and the menu is rich with a variety of different dishes: not only the traditional vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork but also vermicelli with marinated char-grilled shrimp or egg rolls. Thus, the price is slightly higher than other restaurants and so is the quality. Besides, the attitude of the staff in the restaurant is very enthusiastic, gentle, and nice, which is another plus point for this restaurant.

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Bun thit nuong anh Ba

  • Price: 45,000 VND – 55,000 VND/bowl
  • Address: 126 Le Van Sy, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan Dist.
  • Opening hours: 7 a.m. – 11p.m.

Bun thit nuong Co Ba

Co Ba restaurant is a popular eatery located in the center of District 3. It is always crowded with customers but because of the small space inside and parking area, most of them choose to take away. Although there are 5 main dishes, the most famous one here is undoubtedly vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork and grilled meatball. The meat here is marinated and grilled well with beautiful color while vegetables and vermicelli are also cut and prepared carefully to ensure hygiene. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say that Co Ba restaurant is a must-visit place in your Saigon food tours.

  • Price: 30,000 VND – 35,000 VND
  • Address: 287/68 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, District 3
  • Opening hours: 2pm – 9pm

Bun thit nuong Chi Tuyen

The restaurant is located at the beginning of the road but the parking area is located on the opposite. In this restaurant, there are “banh hoi” with grilled pork, vermicelli, steamed bread, etc. One special point of the restaurant is very big and delicious egg roll. Marinated grilled pork is also quite soft and delicious, in addition to the sweet and sour sauce. In general, one bowl of vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork consists of 1 big egg roll, grilled pork and a lot of vegetables.

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Bun thit nuong chi Tuyen

  • Price: 45,000 VND
  • Address: 195 Co Giang, Dist 1
  • Opening hours: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Bun thit nuong vi Saigon

Bun thit nuong vi Saigon restaurant is one of the brands associated with traditional dishes of the Vietnamese in general as well as Saigon cuisine in particular. Beside the famous vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork, the restaurant also serves other dishes such as vermicelli with stir-fried beef, grilled shrimp, spring rolls, etc. so that the customers can freely choose and change the taste during their Saigon food tours. In addition to vermicelli, the menu of the restaurant is exceptionally diverse with other types such as bamboo rice, “banh hoi thit nuong”, steamed bread, grilled beef, etc.

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Bun thit nuong vi Saigon

  • Price: 30,000 VND – 45,000 VND
  • Address: 487 Nguyen Tri Phuong, District 10
  • Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sun: 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.