14 Famous Traditional Vietnamese Meals

We’re calling all the foodies out there! Are you on the run to find one of the best dishes in Vietnamese restaurants and streets? Here’s a guide to help you scavenge the most salivating traditional Vietnamese meals.

Why do you usually visit other countries or cities? Some may say it’s for business purposes, while others do it for fun. Whatever their reason is, we’re sure of one thing– they always look for great meals and desserts! It’s almost impossible to say “no” to a meal, right? It would be a shame to pass on an excellent opportunity to treat your tastebuds with something delectable and unique, like Vietnamese cuisine. So without further ado, here are our most recommended meals for you!

Mouthwatering Traditional Vietnamese Meals

Must Try Traditional Vietnamese Meals

1. Chả Giò/Nem Rán

This dish is universally known as Spring Rolls, while others even call it Egg Rolls, although the wrapper isn’t made out of eggs but of rice. These Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls are deep-fried until they’re golden brown. The ingredients to making this dish vary on the region, but it’s commonly composed of shrimp, minced pork, and different kinds of shredded vegetables.

It sounds filling, doesn’t it? They usually have it during special occasions like banquets or feasts at the same time, while they can also prepare this in advance by placing it in a freezer and cooking it later.

2. Ga Tan 

If you’re looking for something to eat during the cold season in Vietnam, you mi to consider getting Ga Tan, a Vietnamese noodle soup. It’s a broth made of chicken and different spices and is also considered a health tonic in their culture. This recipe originated in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, and has been passed down for several generations until this day.

3. Gà Nướng (Vietnamese Baked Chicken)

If you’re a sucker for fast food, you might change your mind upon trying this five-spice chicken, one of the traditional Vietnamese meals. It is best paired with rice and sometimes used as a filling in bánh mì, a Vietnamese Baguette.

4. Pho

If you liked Ga Tan, then your tastebuds might also adore Pho. It’s another traditional Vietnamese soup made of rice noodles, meat, broth, and fresh herbs. Similarly to the second dish, its recipe originated in Hanoi and is enjoyed as a part of many Vietnamese breakfasts. Upon first encountering it, you’ll notice its mouthwatering aromatic scent. In terms of taste, the dish can be further seasoned by anyone who eats it. Adding a zest of lemon gives it a sour flavor, while you may also put some fish sauce to add saltiness or red pepper to make it spicy.

5. Bò lá lốt

This dish translates to grilled beef wrapped in betel leaf. It contains ground beef, onions, and lolot leaves that complete the meal. Moreover, it also has a smoky taste since it’s prepared on a charcoal grill. It’s also best paired with traditional dishes like rice noodles, lettuce, pickles, rice paper, and any dipping sauce like chili sauce. 

6. Thịt Kho

This traditional Vietnamese cuisine is typically prepared on the lunar new year. It contains pork belly that’s caramelized and served in a clay pot. This savory dish also has a salty but slightly sweet. It’s also seasoned with fish and soy sauce, spicing its taste. It is recommended to serve it with hard-boiled eggs and steamed rice alongside some pickled vegetables like mustard greens.

7. Bún Dậu Mắm Tôm

This Vietnamese meal is another noodle dish with rice vermicelli noodles, deep-fried tofu, fresh herbs, and some sliced cucumbers. However, we have to warn you when eating this food. Despite having exciting ingredients and being well-liked by most Vietnamese, it doesn’t have the best scent. So, if you have a sensitive sense of smell, this street food may not be for you.

8. Bánh Cóng

This food is famous in Sóc Trăng of Southern Vietnam. It’s a cake with shrimp, shredded vegetables, mung beans, and other ingredients. Most people enjoy eating it while it’s still hot. Since it’s freshly cooked, they can still enjoy the dish’s crispiness. If you want to add some spice, you may also use a sweet and sour sauce alongside some fresh vegetables to savor it.

9. Com Tam

This Vietnamese food is an excellent Saigon meal. It’s made up of broken Vietnamese rice, tender pork rinds, soft steamed eggs, and grilled pork chops. It’s also said to be soft and fluffy since these rice grain are broken into pieces and quickly absorbs the flavor making it different from regular rice.

10. Bun Bo Hue

You may notice that most traditional Vietnamese food has a lot of noodles. Here we have another dish with this ingredient in it. It’s pretty similar to Pho, but despite its signature spicy taste and palatable appearance, its components can be rather different. Unlike its close cousin, Pho, the Bun Bo Hue has fermented shrimp paste and pork blood. While it also contains typical ingredients like thinly sliced beef, noodles, and other spices, it can be surprising for some to hear that it has pig blood.

11. Banh Cuon

This traditional Vietnamese dish is a steamed rolled rice wrapper containing pork, jicama, mushrooms, and onions. Its wrapper is prepared using a rice flour batter and stuffed with the abovementioned ingredients. Add toppings like fried onions, pickled carrots, and other common add-ons that suit your taste. Getting a side dish like bean sprouts also adds more personality to this meal, and if you like dipping sauces, a Vietnamese fish sauce is always available.

12. Xoi

This is also known as Vietnamese sticky rice, and it does not use the typical rice that you’d find in an Asian home because what they use here is glutinous rice. It has plenty of variations, and it’s well-liked by many kids as it’s occasionally found in their lunch boxes. Unlike many traditional Vietnamese meals, this snack is famous too in other Asian countries like China, the Philippines, and India. Some people add sausages to this dish, while others mix it with mushrooms, tofu, and other add-ons they like.

13. Gỏi Cuốn

If you don’t like deep-fried meals, getting these fresh spring rolls can be your option. It is a salad wrapped in clear Vietnamese rice paper filled with fresh vegetables. The best part is that you don’t have to go all veggies with this Vietnamese food because you can still add pork, shrimp, or whatever type of meat you like. You can try making a Hoisin sauce that’s quite popular in Chinese and Vietnamese foods to add more flavor.

14. Ca Phe Trung

It’s also known as Vietnamese egg coffee. You might be surprised why there’s an egg in your coffee, but based on several reviews, it’s a good combination. It’s prepared by mixing an egg yolk with condensed milk for ten minutes until it gets an airy consistency. In terms of taste, it’s quite similar to Tiramisu and latte.

Learn Vietnamese with Ling

Want To Order These Meals In Vietnamese? Learn With Ling!

These meals are just a few famous traditional Vietnamese recipes that can put your stomach on a rampage. You’d be surprised to see how many famous Vietnamese dishes there are. If you want to order like a native speaker the next time you visit Vietnam, try Ling!

Ling is a language-learning platform that makes mastering Vietnamese super easy! It has interactive features to help you become proficient in your target language. Additionally, you can download it for FREE on Play Store and App Store to start learning today! So what are you waiting for? Try it out today!

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