Saigon Cuisine: A food tour around Ben Thanh Market


Ho Chi Minh City, or better known as Saigon, is a young and modern city in the south of Vietnam. Like any other city in this country, Saigon is full of mouth-watering foods that you could never get enough. Saigon is the heaven for gourmets all around the world.

Some of the best foods in Saigon, as you might know, do not come from fancy restaurants but traditional markets. Over the past 10 years, Ben Thanh, as the most famous Saigon market, has been a familiar place not only for local people but also for many foreigner tourists. If you don’t know what to eat in Saigon, here are some suggestions from streetfoodofsaigon for a day full of flavors in Ben Thanh Market.

Banh Beo

Hue City is famous for the collection of juicy and tasty steamed rice dumpling cakes which are quite popular in other southern regions like Saigon. Banh Beo is one of those. The name means literally the "water fern cake”. The dish is made of rice powder as the basic ingredient with some chopped dried shrimp and crispy fried shallots on top. It’s served with dipping sauce including fish sauce, garlic, and other spices.

Banh Beo

Banh Beo (Source: Internet)

You can enjoy the dish in some small food stalls located in the East and West Gate of the market. The stalls here follow the original Hue recipe but still has some modifications in the sauce to fit more with the taste of the Southern people. They are famous for the mixed dish which is a combination of many types of rice cakes with some dried shredded pork or Vietnamese ham. That’s why it attracted many local people coming here for a late afternoon snack.

Bun Mam

Bun Mam or Fish Paste Noodle is a famous noodle dish in the Western region of Vietnam and one of the top dishes must-eat in Saigon. There is a popular 40-year-old food stall opposite to the East Gate of Ben Thanh Market selling this famous dish which is cooked in the original style.

Bun Mam

Bun Mam (Source: Internet)

The ingredients are various including snakehead fish, shrimp, squid, roasted pork, grilled groundfish and of course, the essential element in every Southern noodle dish: raw vegetables and herbs. The unique feature that makes the dish distinguished is the special broth which has the tasty flavor from the fish paste and the pungent fragrance of lemongrass. This dish will perfectly warm up your cold winter day.

Fried Dough

The Fried dough is a simple yet popular snack for local people. As the name suggests, the small piece of dough is deep fried with eggs. The green onions and picked papaya are placed on top to reduce the fatty effect of fried foods.

Fried Dough

Fried Dough (Source: Internet)

To enjoy the dish, you dip one piece in a small bowl of seasoned soy sauce. The dish has that yellow charming color of fried foods with the typical “crispy outer and tender inner”.Trust me, you can’t stop after one bite.

We’ve gone on an exciting trip with the most popular street foods in Saigon. Spending few more days in Saigon and discover the special cuisine here will definitely get you a highlight of your trip.




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