1. Bánh Cuốn (Steamed Rice Cake)
Soft, delicately thin sheets of steamed rice cakes are served with crispy fried shallots, chopped cucumber, shredded romaine lettuce, bean sprouts, slices of pork sausage, chopped shrimp, scallions, and ground beef – all drizzled with fish sauce. Sometimes, the restaurants that serve these will usually complement bánh cuốn with crispy potato shrimp tempura and deep fried mung bean batter cakes.
OMG it’s a flavorful heaven on a plate!
2. Bánh Mì (Vietnamese Sandwich)
French baguettes filled with goodness! Once you’ve tried one, the regular boring turkey sandwiches just won’t be the same.
3. Gỏi cuốn (Spring Rolls)
Not to be confused with your traditional egg rolls, these are different in that they’re not fried but still equally delectable! These come in varieties of ingredients but my favorite spring rolls are the grilled pork (nem nướng̣ cuốn – image shown).
Dip it in peanut sauce, and your taste buds will go on the ride of your life!
4. Bánh Xèo (Sizzling Pancake)
Crispy golden crepes of delectableness! GET IN MY MOUTH
5. Bánh Khọt (Miniature Fried Pancakes)
The mini version of the crepes are these little morsels of deliciousness!
6. Cơm Tấm (Broken Rice)
This isn’t just your normal everyday rice, this stuff is made from fractured rice grains! And always served with the yummiest sides to go along with it! NOM NOM is it lunchtime yet ?!?
7. Bún Bò Huế (Beef Vermicelli Soup)
If you’re a little more adventurous, try this spicier version of phở that has a bolder flavorful broth of beef rice vermicelli soup with lemongrass and pork.
My mouth is watering, you guys!
8. Bún Riêu (Crab and Tomato Noodle Soup)
9. Hủ tiếu (Rice Noodle Soup)
Known as Kuy Teav in Cambodia, this rice noodle soup dish can be made with a variety of ingredients. It can also be served dry (khô) without the soup! Mmmm, it’s so hard to choose what to get at a Vietnamese restaurant…
10. Bánh Canh Bột Lọc (Thick Noodle Soup)
A soup with thicker noodles. If you haven’t already noticed, there are TONS of variations when it comes to noodles and soup! SLURP SLURP SLURP
11. Canh Chua (Vietnamese Sour Tamarind Soup)
Another one of those home-cooked meals that brings back nostalgic memories. This goes super well with a side of rice!
12. Cháo (Congee/Porridge)
The Vietnamese version of chicken noodle soup. I can always count on cháo to get me through my colds and flu illnesses!
Serving suggestion: get some Chinese donuts (called Youtiao), break them apart and put it in the congee to eat with the soup. SO MUCH YUM.
13. Bò lúc lắc (shaken beef)
In the words of my non-Asian boyfriend who I introduced this dish to: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!?
14. Cơm chiên (fried rice)
This is not your typical fried rice, folks! Vietnamese style fried rice has your typical veggies with bits of egg, cilantro and bits of super tasty sausage (lạp xưởng). When I brought these home-cooked fried rice dishes to elementary school potlucks, it went FAST.
15. Cá Kho Tộ (Caramelized Fish in Clay Pot)
If you talk to a Vietnamese person, this is the ultimate in comfort food.
16. Bánh Cam (Orange Sesame Ball)
Not to forget the ever important desserts, here we have some sesame goodness!
17. Bánh Tét (Sticky Rice Cake)
More often found during the Vietnamese New Year (Tét, which gives these their suitable names), these savory sticky rice cakes wrapped in banana leaves are usually filled with mung bean paste or my personal favorites – the ones with banana and sweet red bean filling.
18. Bánh Kẹp Lá Dứa (Coconut Pandan Waffles)
19. Chè (Sweet Desserts and Puddings)
Too many to name when it comes to chè as there are so many varieties! But my personal favorite is the rainbow dessert (Chè Sương Sa Hạt Lựu – image shown above).
20. Phở (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
DUH: I couldn’t end a list of Vietnamese food without phở! FYI: it’s pronounced as “fuh” (hey, that rhymes!)