Hello sugarplums! This week, Lucy from Getcampingwild.com writes you about her gastronomic adventures in Vietnam and street food in Vietnam you must try!
If you’re a tourist, traveller or simply just a backpacker, when you come to Vietnam, can’t miss the food. Bring your whole cumbersome stuff while you go discover a country, and it has no meaning if you don’t try their local food.
- “Bun Cha” is a Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and noodles, which is thought to have originated from Hanoi, Vietnam.
“Bun Cha” is served with grilled fatty pork over a plate of white rice noodle and herbs with a side dish of dipping sauce. Hanoi’s first búnchả restaurant was on Gia Ngư, HoànKiếm District, in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. “Bun Cha” originated and remains very popular in Hanoi.
Outside Hanoi, across all regions of Vietnam, a similar dish of rice vermicelli and grilled meat called “Bun Thit Nuong” is alternately served.
- Banh Com
Whenever talk about Hanoi old quarters, we couldn’t forget Hang Than, a small street with many places which sells “Banh Com – Bánh Cốm”, a special Vietnamese’s dessert.
With many unique secrets, this dessert always be given for the weddings, or any important occasions. Young rice is fried with sugar in a big pan; green peas is boiled, smashed well and then mix with zucchini jam, lotus seed jam. This 300 metres long street (Hang Than) has more than 30 green rice flake cake shops.
The Nguyen Ninh trademark is the oldest and most popular brand for green rice flake cake. The name was established in 1865 by late Tran Thi Luan and adopted it’s current name of Nguyen Ninh in 1928. There have been 5 generations of Nguyen Ninh making green rice flake cake so far, said Nguyen Thi Hiep, a fourth generation family member.
As explained, Nguyen means origin, Ninh is called after Yen Ninh village which is now Yen Ninh street, near Hang Than. Therefore, Nguyen Ninh green rice flake cake means the cake originated from Yen Ninh village. Nguyen Ninh’s secret of making the cake is its pure ingredients without additives and mixture.
Green rice flake cake is made of green rice flakes, green peas and sugar. As tasting a green rice flake cake, especially made by Nguyen Ninh, one can experience the full flavour of simple villages, a very different and typical Ha Noi speciality.
- Phởcuốn – Pho Cuon
Pho Cuon (Vietnamese Rolling Pho recipe) is one of delicious and attractive food for all ages, does not take much time to cook, both the rolls and interesting food, strange taste, used in the family reunion party, farewell the old year and welcome the New Year.
“Pho Cuon” consists of a slightly cooked rice paper shell the same thickness as a Pho noodle. Inside this soft shell is a selection of herbs and greens – mainly cilantro, mustard leaf, and lettuce – and thinly sliced beef that has been cooked with garlic and generous amounts of pepper. It is served cold with a bowl of fish sauce, garlic, carrots, radish, vinegar, boiled water, chili and some sugar for dipping.
- BánhCuốn – Banh Cuon
How can I justly translate “BánhCuốn – Banh Cuon” into an English? I have no idea. “Bánh” is a basic term equivalent of the English word, pastry. However, in Vietnamese bánh can be anything sweet or savory, from cookies to cakes and of course, pastries. “Cuốn” means to roll. With that said, this dish is called bánhcuốn because you take rice flour sheets aka “bánh”, you add filling and “cuốn”; roll it up.
“BánhCuốn” is similar to Chinese rice rolls; the ones served at dim sum that are filled with either shrimp or pork and served with soy sauce. I must say this recipe is only for those truly into cooking.
These rolls require time, lots of patience and endurance to hot steam. For those who want the easier road, just buy chinese rice ribbons (premade, the kind they cut up to make chow fun), add filling and roll. These rolls should be somewhat transparent, thin, and have a smooth silky texture.
I’m Lucy Gomez, camp editor at Getcampingwild.com. I grew up in a suburb of Oklahoma and I have been camping my entire life. Camping in the wild is a way of life for me.