One of the key things to know about Vietnam is that the food is excellent, every bit as good as its famous neighbor to the north, China. But of course, if you want that really top-notch stuff, then it’s important to know how to order food in Vietnamese. A basic phrase would be. ‘Tôi có thể đặt hàng…’ Or ‘Can I order…’
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The Names Of Common Food In Vietnamese
I know, I know, these foods are mainly dominant in the western world, but I still think it’s important to learn them in Vietnamese because they are ubiquitous wherever you go.
Easy Phrases To Help You Order Food In Vietnamese
As the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. Can you string that vocabulary together and make longer sentences?
What Should You Eat When You’re In Vietnam?
Well, this is where the fun really starts. Many people sleep on the quality of Vietnamese cuisine, and it is only in the last few years that it has begun to gain international recognition. Here are my top Vietnamese dishes
Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)
Banh Mi is the go-to snack for Vietnamese people. You’ll see a banh mi seller on pretty much every street corner in Hanoi. The bread is a typical, more petite french baguette(left over from when the French colonized Vietnam); however, inside is a very Vietnamese twist with ingredients including pate, beef, chicken, or liver. You’ll also find inside cucumber slices, cilantro, and pickled carrots. This is the standard banh mi, but there are many variations on the theme. As many as 15 according to online sources.
My advice is to find a famous banh mi place and not just buy from someone on the street. Although you’ll always get a serviceable sandwich, the people on the street don’t always use the best quality ingredients; the meat, in particular, can be a little plastic tasting. Here’s an example of where you should go in Hanoi for that authentic banh mi experience.
Bánh Xèo (Sizzling Pancakes)
The two keywords here are affordable and filling. These pancakes are bigger than the ones you get in Europe and can cost less than £1. It’s worth noting that they are savory, not sweet, and contain things like shrimp or pork, with bean sprouts and egg. There’s a complimentary fish sauce that goes with them called nuoc cham.
Phở (Noodle Soup)
What would a list of Vietnamese food be without mentioning the world-famous Phở? Phở has become so popular that I’ve seen places even open in my home city of Newcastle, although the prices are far steeper than what they are in Hanoi!
So what is pho? Put simply, it’s a rice noodle soup that many Vietnamese people eat for breakfast. Not many know this, but pho was originally a northern dish that migrated to other parts of Vietnam. It’s worth noting that there are differences between pho in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, the pho in the south tends to be sweeter and more in keeping with Thai food.
The typical pho ingredients are either a light beef or chicken broth mixed with ginger and coriander, as well as the aforementioned flat rice noodles and spring onions. I also prefer to add lime and chili flakes. If you’re a vegetarian, no worries; tofu pho is widely available.
Cơm Tấm (Broken Rice)
Of all the dishes, this is my favorite food because of its simplicity. Again, it’s a very popular street food, and you’ll see Vietnamese people out at all hours eating this on their small, red plastic stools. The dish is left-over or broken rice served with grilled pork(always go grilled pork as the grill element really adds to the clean texture of the rice), as well as fried egg. You can add lime as you did with pho.
Learn The Vietnamese Language With Ling
So there you have it. Now ordering food in Vietnamese is simple, and the next thing to do is to solidify that knowledge by downloading Ling.
If you’ve used a language learning app before, then you’ve probably got a fair idea of what Ling is(although we like to think we do those things a little better, and no other app can compare to the 60 languages featured).
Ling has SRS flashcards, native audio, as well as addictive mini-games and quizzes. And there’s also a leaderboard where you can compare yourself to all language learners in the Ling community.
If you enjoyed this blog, think about checking out a few others, such as religion in Vietnam and the Vietnamese Zodiac.
Thanks for reading.