People keep saying that Saigon is the convergence of culinary cultures all around the country. Perhaps it is also the reason for the diversities of Saigon cuisine that attracts the diners and more or less imprints an unforgettable experiences in their minds of those who visit. A stroll around Saigon to enjoy local street foods is considered an unmissable experience.
Hủ tiếu gõ
(Vendors’ noodle soup)
Referring to hủ tiếu gõ, everyone will envision the scene of Saigon by night, in any alleys, where the bamboo sticks clatter, there would be a vendor cart with a steaming pot of broth and some raw materials stacked upon it that sells this dish. The vivid scene and sound of that vendor cart appears in every corner of Saigon, making hủ tiếu gõ a typical culinary culture of this land. A serving will have rice noodles, a few slices of meat, bean sprouts, garlic chives and crispy, fragrant pieces of fried fat. This well-liked dish appeals to people witha combination of ingredients that creates a unique and unforgettable flavour.
Bánh tráng trộn
(Vietnamese mixed rice paper salad)
Vietnamese rice paper salad is one of the most simple snacks that most of the youth love. It is not only famous in Saigon but also in Hanoi. The ingredients include shredded rice paper, fried dried shrimp, beef jerky, laksa leaves, shredded sour mango, peanuts, boiled quail eggs, satay sauce, etc. that mixed well with kumquat juice. The crunchy texture of the rice paper combined with the sweet and salty taste of the dish will surely imprint the flavour into your mind. For only 10,000 VND, you would immediately have a serving of rice paper mixed with all kinds of ingredients to erase boredom.
Bánh tráng nướng (Grilled rice paper)
There would be an omission to mention Vietnamese rice paper salad without hot, crispy grilled rice paper of Saigon. The dish also has many ingredients like the mixed rice paper salad dish. A serving usually consists of rice paper, fermented pork roll, chicken eggs, scallions, minced meat, meat floss, sausages, beef jerky, cheese, tiny shrimp, etc. This dish attracts people by the diverse combination of ingredients and also the crunchiness of the rice paper. When Saigon lights up at night, we quickly come across many fragrant scooters selling grilled rice paper at every corner of Saigon, most of which is surrounded by customers.
Súp cua (Crab soup)
In Saigon, it is not difficult to find a cart of soups for a light meal. Nobody knows exactly the time, but since long, crab soup has become a favourite snack of the Saigonese. People love it not only for the delicious taste but also for the variety of ingredients such as chicken eggs, quail eggs, crab meat, mushrooms, cilantro, black pepper, sesame oil. Besides, each shop also has its variations of ingredients such as black egg, pig brains, oysters, shrimps, fried fish maw, etc.
Phá lấu (Offal stew)
The viscous soup with a fatty taste and fragrant aroma is always on the list of street foods to try in Saigon. Offal stew is a familiar Chinese dish made from animal organs that marinated with five-spice powder, anises, etc. This rustic dish has a strange attraction not only to students but also to elders. There are many types of offal stews to choose from, such as pork, beef, chicken, duck, etc. They often serve the dish with bread or noodles, along with a bowl of sweet and sour fish sauce.
Bột chiên (Fried rice flour cake)
Similar to offal stew, Saigon adopted fried rice flour cake from Chinese cuisine. However, when coming to Vietnam, it is processed more crunchy to suit the preferences of the people here. The main ingredient of this simple dish is rice flour cake that is crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Depending on the shops, there will be differences in the process. A portion usually has crispy square-cut yellow flour pieces, scallions, scalloped papaya, and fried eggs.
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