Top 3 Fingerlicking Food In Ho Chi Minh City
What's the best way to get to know a place? Through its food! And that is no different in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam's biggest city is packed with authentic street food stalls, colorful food markets, and traditional restaurants. No hiding from rice, broths, and fresh herbs over here!
Vietnamese cuisine is subtle, focusing on the fundamental taste senses: spicy, sour, bitter, salty, and sweet. It's all about texture and contradiction as well. Hot versus cold, soft versus crunchy, fresh versus fermented... You get it. On top of that, it's one of the healthiest cuisines in the world, using barely any dairy, oil, or sugar and lots of veggies. What's not to like? And yes, there are way too many good options, but lucky for you, we've listed down our three favorites.
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1. Pho - /Fuh/
First things first, it's "fuh." Not foe, not Poe, not whatever. Even though everyone will bring you a suitable dish, whatever you call it, let's take some pride in pronouncing it correctly. Thank us later when you suddenly become every waiter's favorite customer. Now, back to business.
Pho is Vietnam's most popular and well-known dish, especially outside the country. It is simple, with only three main components: a hearty broth, rice noodles, and meat. Depending on what you like, you can add herbs and garnishes (like sprouts, veggies, a boiled egg, …).
There are two main kinds of Pho. Beef (Pho Bo) and chicken (Pho Ga). And while most broths are made by simmering animal bones and herbs, they have some delicious vegetarian/vegan versions, too (Pho Chay). There's really no excuse not to try this Vietnamese National Dish!
2. Banh Xeo - /Baan Say-oh/
Banh Xeo literally means "sizzling pancake." This thin, savory pancake is made of rice flour, water, turmeric, and sometimes coconut milk. When you put the batter into a hot skillet - you know what's coming - it sizzles. Once it's crispy on all sides, you can stuff it with almost everything. Pork, shrimp, mung beans, green onions, and bean sprouts are the most common fillings, but feel free to go wild and add whatever you like. Chicken, tofu, extra veggies, … Sautéed mushroom is one of our favorites!
Traditionally Banh Xeo is served with lettuce and fresh herbs like mint, fish mint (Rau Diep Ca), or Thai basil. But, as with many dishes, every region has its own variations. The Ho Chi Minh way (South Vietnam) is just to wrap it in a lettuce leaf, add fresh herbs and dip it in Nuoc Cham (a sauce made of fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar). Heavenly!
3. Bun Bo Hue - /Boon Bo ‘way/
Bun Bo Hue is the perfect meal for ultimate meat lovers! While most traditional dishes contain mostly noodles and veggies, this Vietnamese classic is packed with beef and pork. The name says it all: bun means noodles, and bo means beef. Add a tasty broth seasoned with fermented shrimp paste, and you're ready.
Bun Bo Hue is sometimes referred to as Pho's little unknown brother, but that's rounding the bend a little too fast. Bun Bo is known for its perfect balance of spicy, salty, and umami. The prominent flavor is lemongrass, and the noodles are a little thicker than pho noodles. The dish originated in Hue, the former Imperial Capital of Vietnam and the Nguyen Dynasty. And if it's good enough for royals.
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