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


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.


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

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

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.

Southern Vietnam cuisine | What to eat in Mekong Delta


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.


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.


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

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.


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.


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.