Vietnamese Pickled Mustard Greens – one of the best highlights of Vietnamese food

Vietnamese-Pickled-Mustard-Greens-helloVietnam

As a tourism destination, Vietnam food has been one of the most seductive and varied all over the world and brought a wonderful influence in the areas more than several decades. However, one of the most amazing aspects is that there are more and more people who decide to learn and study about Vietnamese cuisine. Vietnamese food is widely voted as the healthiest dishes’ listed all around the world by a great number of famous chefs.

While enjoying your Vietnam culinary tour with your family and friends, you will easily find out that the cuisine of this country has been influenced by some neighbor countries surrounding, in particular, China. But the brightest highlights of Vietnam cuisine are the harmony of the variety of flavors and fresh ingredients. You will certainly find the great balance in the flavors of bitter, sour, spicy and salty of the food while you are experiencing your Vietnam food tour. The dishes tend to be lighter, fresh and less spicy which is quite similar to other neighboring countries such as Cambodia and Thailand. A typical meal of Vietnamese people usually consists of rice, a vegetable dish, a bowl of soup, grilled, steamed or boiled meats, salad and fresh fruits as deserts. Especially, all of these are placed on the table at once.  In particular, Vietnamese Pickled Mustard Greens (Dưa Muối) is seriously considered as one of the most important dishes that is indispensable in a traditional meal. Now follow this article and get more detailed information about this popular dish to make your food tours in Vietnam more complete.

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An important dish in Vietnamese family’s meal

Vietnamese Pickled Mustard Greens

Vietnamese Pickled Mustard Greens or Dưa muối or Cải chua is one common type of traditional pickles of Vietnamese culture. You may not find those dishes on any menus of Vietnamese restaurants; however, they are made and served in every Vietnamese family and in every meal. Pickled Mustard Greens is a perfect choice to eat together with a lot of salty homemade dishes such as braised and caramelized pork belly with hard-boiled eggs (thịt kho trứng) and braised and caramelized catfish in a clay pot (cá kho tộ). In Northern Vietnam, locals commonly eat this dish with jellied meat (thịt đông) – a traditional and popular dish usually cooked in winter.

Pickled Mustard Greens is absolutely one of the dishes you should not miss out when you have your Vietnam food tour. As it is your first time mustering up all of your courage to try this dish, it actually has a lot of fun. It has various textures, is less pungent and crunchy which make this dish seriously fun to enjoy. In fact, some people like eating the leaves while some only prefer the crunchier branches. As a result, each big jar of pickled mustard greens in every Vietnamese family is different depending on their tastes.

Additionally, pickled mustard greens with its sour, spicy and a little pungent flavor also make a great accompaniment to many other countries’ cuisine, for example, grilled sausage, fried fish, Cajun-style seafood, rice and meatballs and even some noodle soups of Korean and Chinese. What’s more, you can also add pickled mustard greens into pork or beef bone soup to make a great flavor that you only can find in Vietnam tailor-made tours.

Vietnamese-Pickled-Mustard-Greens-helloVietnam

Vietnamese pickled mustard greens

There are a lot of things to remember when you want to make home-made Vietnamese pickled mustard greens.

Firstly, how to choose perfect mustard greens for your pickling recipes? The answer is that you should pick matured mustard green which has more stems than other younger ones. The older ones will contain less water, has amazingly stronger taste, and are much crunchier.

In addition, it is very important to carefully prepare the container jars. You can use an Earthenware jar or a glass one, but remember to soak it into extremely hot waters or especially boiling water for about ten minutes. And then, drain and put it aside. One more thing is that you need to use water free and oil-free tools while taking out some of the pickled mustard greens. In particular, all the mustard green must be soaked carefully and cleanly in the water. These steps help you keep you pickled mustard greens fresh for a longer time which can even up to be several months.

you-can-make-this-dish-at-home-helloVietnam

You can make this dish at home

It seemed to be a little weird when you see pickled mustard greens for the first time in your Vietnam food tour. However, do not worry, give it a try and you will definitely like it.

Top 6 famous vegetarian restaurants in Saigon

Chay-Bong-Sung-helloVietnam

Going on a Vietnam culinary tour to discover Vietnam cuisine is one of the top things to do for tourists when coming to Vietnam. If you are traveling to Saigon, Vietnam, why don’t you experience vegetarian cuisine? Here are top 6 famous vegetarian restaurants in Saigon that you should try once in your lifetime.

Hum Vegetarian Lounge & Restaurant

Located in the center of Sai Gon, Hum Vegetarian Lounge & Restaurant is a vegetarian restaurant that attracts many vegetarians to take a visit. This restaurant specializes in a wide range of vegetarian Vietnamese and Thai-inspired signature dishes that can enhance your health and nourish your soul as well. With the cozy ambiance, eye-catching architectural style, outstanding menu and delicious dishes, this restaurant absolutely deserves a try!

Locations:
– No. 32, Vo Van Tan Street, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
– No. 2 Thi Sach Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 10:00AM – 10:00PM
Price: from VND100,000 – 500,000

Hum-vegetarian-restaurant-helloVietnam

Hum Vegetarian Lounge & Restaurant

Prem Bistro & Café

Ranked as one of the must-visit vegetarian restaurants in Saigon, Prem Bistro & Café offers different styles of vegan and vegetarian food, from Asian to European styles. There is a huge selection of menu items for you to choose, ranging from soups and salads, homemade veggie burgers, pizza to traditional Vietnamese food. All of the dishes are made from fresh vegetal ingredients. Overall, Prem Bistro & Café is a great place to enjoy tasty vegetarian dishes and recover your energy after a hard working day. Do not miss this restaurant during your Saigon food tour!

Location: 204 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 9:00AM – 10:00PM
Price: from VND 30,000

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A corner of Prem Bistro & Café

Saigon Vegan restaurant

If you are a vegetarian but still want to enjoy the best dishes in Saigon, Saigon Vegan restaurant is definitely a great choice. This rustic vegan restaurant has an extensive menu of more than 100 healthy dishes and drinks at reasonable prices. Some popular dishes that you should try in here are tofu dishes, spring rolls, all-veggie version of bun cha, soya chicken/beef, soups, clay pot seaweed, dumpling, etc. The delicious flavor of these dishes will not let you down for sure. With a great location, cozy ambiance, tasty food with cheap prices, and friendly staff, Saigon Vegan restaurant has become more and more popular with many tourists.

Location: 378/3 Vo Van Tan Street, Ward 5, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 7:00AM – 10:00PM
Price: from VND80,000 – 165,000

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Saigon Vegan restaurant

ROU Vegetarian Restaurant

ROU Vegetarian Restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere and friendly design that are suitable for family or friend gatherings. In addition, the dishes are carefully prepared with fresh ingredients which ensure you will have a delicious meal with sufficient intake of fiber and vitamins. In particular, the staff in here are very hospitable and caringly, which is a plus point for the restaurant.

Location: 37B Co Bac Street, Cau Ong Lanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 8:30AM – 2:00PM and 4:00PM – 10:00PM
Price: from VND40,000 – 140,000

ROU-Vegetarian-Restaurant-helloVietnam

ROU Vegetarian Restaurant

Chay Bong Sung

Located on a quiet alley off Nguyen Du Street, just a few meters from Notre Dame Cathedral, Chay Bong Sung is another great vegetarian restaurant that will not make you disappointed. The restaurant is designed as a traditional French style villa, creating an elegant atmosphere. A perfect combination of exquisite flavors and creatively combined ingredients creates a fascinating mix of traditional Vietnamese vegetarian dishes, which can be suitable for the appetite of many people of any age. After finishing the main dishes, let’s try some delicious desserts to finish your meal. Ice-cold Vietnamese coffee, smoothies are some great options we recommend for you. The staff is also attentive and friendly.  

  • Location: 86 Nguyen Du, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
    Opening hours: 7:00AM – 10:00PM  
  • Price: VND20,000 – 240,000

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Chay Bong Sung

Pho Nhu Vegan

If you want to enjoy Saigon Cuisine, Pho is absolutely a must-try dish. At Pho Nhu Vegan, you will find a tasty bowl of Pho made from all vegetarian ingredients. Even the fish sauce is vegan! Let’s go on a Saigon food tour and enjoy it!

  • Location: 54 Truong Quyen, District 6, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 6:00AM-10:00PM 
  • Price: VND20,000 – 50,000

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Pho Nhu Vegan

You may think vegetarian will be taken disadvantages if you experience Saigon culinary tour. However, through the article, you can realize that they can try a lot of delicious dishes made by locals here, which even everyone want to try. Let’s visit Saigon and take a trip to the restaurant to eat the best vegetarian food.

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.

                         Grilled-snake-head-helloVietnam                        

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.

Ho Thi Ky Flower Market – a big name in the race of Vietnam culinary tour

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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

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.

Snail noodles

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

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

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

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

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”.

Such a simple but sophisticated dish

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.