Must Try Dishes During Your Internship in Vietnam
It is often one of the most frequently asked questions by our students who do study and internship in Vietnam through SE Vietnam: What are the must-try dishes in the country and where to find them? Today we attempt to start answer the question with the following significant dishes from the South, Vietnam. Keep in mind that these are just the beginning of your promising endless food adventure in Vietnam! Enjoy!
Com tam (Broken Rice):
A dish of broken rice can easily be found in almost every corner of Southern cities especially Ho Chi Minh City. It is a popular breakfast, lunch and dinner choice for nearly everyone, from primary schoolers to office workers. So, what’s the deal with this ‘broken rice’ dish; is the rice really ‘broken’ on purpose or it’s just a name? The broken rice actually has an interesting story that dates back to the early period of Vietnam’s rice cultivation. Broken rice is originally fragments of rice grains that were broken during the harvest, transport and cleaning of the rice. Due to the different size and shape of the grains, broken rice has a different, softer texture from normal rice. Although still edible, they didn’t look as good, so they were cheaper to buy. Naturally, this was very popular among the poorer folks and in the past, broken rice was considered a choice for the poor. But other social classes began eating it because it is very tasty. People even prefer broken rice to regular rice because of its soft texture and because it takes shorter time to cook. Now, com tam – broken rice – is a versatile dish that are served everywhere from simple street vendors to high class restaurants and by people across classes in the South.
It would be a big mistake when one mentions broken rice and not mention other proponents of the dish beside the rice. Broken rice is often served with a delicious piece of grilled pork chop marinated in fish sauce, lemongrass and honey; a sunny side up egg, slices of fresh tomatoes and crunchy cucumber topped with sauté green onion slices and pickled carrots. The combination of the rich meat with refreshing vegetables and the sweet and sour fish sauce that helps bring all the components together creates an explosion of flavors in your taste buds.
Com tam (broken rice), a delicious looking and yummy tasting dish, famous in the South, Vietnam. Source: nghethuatamthuc.vn
2. Bun thit nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork over Vermicelli Noodles):
Bun thit nuong is a great depiction of Vietnamese cuisine, it reinforces the Vietnamese people’s ability to take different ingredients, bring them to one dish and create a harmonious symphony of flavors that surprise you after every bite and linger on the top of your tongue even when you’re finished urging you to try yet another helping. Bun thit nuong is a savory and multi-layered flavor dish, tons of fresh herbs, pickled veggies, cold noodles, various textures, and all enhanced by a spicy sauce. At first look, a bowl of bun thit nuong can look a bit overwhelming. Sprinklings of garnishes together with grilled meat are positioned on high of a mattress of noodles with some beansprouts poking from underneath, topped with crusted peanuts and . Nonetheless, how every of those parts complement one another is what makes this one of the most popular dishes in Southern Vietnam. Bun thit nuong is without doubt one of the prettiest to take a look at and likewise one of the most diversed in flavour among Vietnamese dishes.
Bun thit nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork over Vermicelli Noodles). Source: vnsplorer
3. Bánh canh cua (Crab and Shrimp Tapioca Noodle):
Notorious for being the “rice bowl” of Vietnam, the South is blessed with the mighty Mekong Delta countless rivers, canals and streams that is woven in the landscape, this is a perfect condition for seafood farming especially crab and shrimp. The famous crab noodle originates from this abundance of seafood reserve and has since become a favorite among people of all ages. Banh canh cua is a crab tapioca noodle soup packed with fresh crab and shrimp flavors. The broth is slightly thickened because of the tapioca noodles which have a more chewy texture compared to rice noodles. The noodles are sticky, soft and slippery, they tend to slide out of your chopstick but perfect for slurping so people often eat this dish with a spoon. Along with the main ingredients which are crab, shrimp and noodles, some vendors add meat or fish cake to enhance the flavor and top everything with fresh cut green onions, bean sprouts and a side dish of green vegetables.
Banh canh cua (Crab and Shrimp Tapioca Noodle). Source: diadiemdulich.com
4. Sinh to (Smoothie):
The South is famous for its rich soil that produces large amount and wide varieties of fruits. The abundance of fruits from this tropical land can put you in awe, walking on the street of Ho Chi Minh City; you can easily spot fruit carts carrying tons of coconut (fresh ones), jackfruit, rambutan, mangos teen, dragon fruits, passion fruits… all of the exotic fruits you may never heard of back on your home country. What is even more amazing is that these fruits make for incredible tasting and crazily affordable smoothies that are sold almost every other corner of the streets in Ho Chi Minh City; this delicious and refreshing treat usually costs around $1 to $2 dollars. Awesome for a summer day, isn’t it? That is why you should not miss trying out this popular drink when you visit the South of Vietnam.
Abundance of fruits in the South of Vietnam makes for great variety of delicious smoothie. Source: kenh14
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