Our country is more and more recognized as the World’s prominent cuisine industry. And the best way to prove it is through the best Vietnam culinary tours.
A lot of people admit that Thai food, Chinese food, Mexican food or French food are probably the best types of cuisine the whole World did reward mankind. However, as a local Viet girl, Vietnamese food is something on another level that we cannot compare with. Hence, to save time from only complaining how much Vietnamese cuisine was long overshadowed, I will walk you through the finest specialties that Vietnam owns, and let’s start with Saigon first.
The diversity of Vietnamese cuisine
Phnom Penh rice noodles soup – Hu Tieu Nam Vang
You would probably think it may seem strange as the name of the dish sounds extremely “Cambodian”. Yeah, as being said, Saigon is a multicultural city so any food found here has its own story and style behind. Back to this noodle soup, the dish itself is also referred to as a “multiracial cuisine” due to the fact that it was originally initialized by the Cambodian community but altered by the Chinese citizens living in the South. Rice noodles can come in a huge diversity, yet this Phnom Penh style takes it to a whole new level.
Hu Tieu Nam Vang is always my favorite
What makes a bowl of Hu Tieu Nam Vang so special is the ingredients served in one. Staring at a fully mixed portion displayed on your table, you can totally figure out what are included such as ground pork, sliced pork, boiled shrimp, liver, quail egg, squid, and way many more. And not to mention, another must-have add-in is a small tray of fresh veggies water dropwort, shallot, beansprout, lettuce and so on. Just like any other rice noodles, there are two common ways to enjoy Hu Tieu Nam Vang, one with the broth available inside of your bowl with noodles, another one is to have a small bowl of broth separately. There are many famous Hu Tieu Nam Vang restaurants in Saigon such as Thanh Dat on Co Bac Str., Dist.1 or Hong Phat on Vo Van Tan Str., Dist.3. The average price for one varies from VND 35.000 to 40.000.
Mixed Rice Paper – Banh Trang Tron
Well, along with Rolled Rice Paper, Grilled Rice Paper, Mixed Rice Paper is in the top three favorite Rice Paper dishes amongst young Saigonese. A medium-sized portion varies from VND 10.000 to 15.000 and can be found anywhere down the biggest streets in Saigon.
A pack of Mixed Rice Paper contains small sliced rice paper, crispy fried shallots, scallion oil, peanuts, quail eggs, beef jerky, sliced green mango and hot mint, all well stirred up in a small bag. Depending on your own taste, those vendors can add a little bit of chili oil or not.
Broken Rice – Com Tam
It is not too much when admitting Com Tam is the biggest Saigon delicacy. When I think about what to eat in Saigon, Com Tam definitely comes up in my mind, like, all the time! You can have it for breakfast, which is what we usually do, yet nowadays, Com Tam can be easily spotted at any time during the whole day, even at midnight.
Com Tam is the heart of Saigon cuisine
A full special plate of Com Tam is served with, I mean, countless of thing all in one. We have steamed broken rice, of course, grilled pork chop, egg loaf, small sliced pork skin, omelet, Chinese sausage and some pickles to balance the taste. And last but not least, a tiny portion of sweet fish sauce mixed with chili is the greatest thing to end my illustration.
Crab meat soup
In Hanoi and probably most of the Northern provinces around, Crab Meat Soup is mainly used for big restaurants or feasts. However, it is totally opposite in Saigon when this type of cuisine is completely a kind of basic street food. Honestly, you can simply pay from VND 15.000 to 20.000 to enjoy the most authentic crab meat soup you can ever find.
The temptation of crab meat soup
In this special edition of Vietnam cuisine, besides crab meat, which is the main ingredient, you can spot out shredded chicken, quail eggs, mushrooms, sometimes century eggs and a small portion pig’s brain. The shining yellowish look atop with a little pinch of coriander, pepper, chili all turn the soup into something very enriching yet not greasy at all.
The best way to enjoy all or most of these specialties is to fully sign up for a typical Saigon food tour. The feeling when sitting on the back of a scooter, sneaking through the dense crowd and hustle of Saigon traffic and ending up in the most authentic local eateries selected by Saigonese will leave you a memory that you cannot forget.