Pho, Banh Xeo, Banh Mi, and other well-known Vietnamese dishes come to mind when you consider the country’s most well-known dishes, but there is actually much more to Vietnamese cuisine than you may be aware of. Let’s eat some of these must-try unusual foods in Vietnam that will amaze you with their distinctive qualities and mouth-watering flavors!
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Top 6 Unusual Vietnamese Foods You Must Try
This is a dish in this list that many visitors find to be “strangest” and a little creepy. In addition to certain other Asian nations, including China, the Philippines, and Cambodia, balut is well-liked in Vietnam. But compared to other nations, the Vietnamese one is left on a little longer. Furthermore, it is prepared differently for cooking, serving, and eating. Balut is a popular quick meal, drinking food, and nourishing cuisine for expectant mothers, young children, the ill, and the old in Vietnam. Calcium and protein are both the best and most affordable found in balut.
The frog is a “less terrifying” delicacy compared to the other foods on the list, and Vietnamese people eat it as a meal and just as a drinking snack. Small, long-legged frogs are utilized in cooking. The Mekong Delta often has them throughout the year, but they are most active in the spring or rainy season. It will be skinned and gutted before being steamed, fried, or grilled and presented at the dinner table. It can be eaten with rice or simply as a grilled frog with salt, lemon, and pepper. Frogs can also be eaten boiled, grilled, or cooked with chile, lemongrass, or other spices.
The internal organs of cows or pigs, including the intestines, stomach, kidneys, hearts, and lungs, are the major component of this uncommon Vietnamese dish. After thoroughly cleaning each component with hot water and salt, the food is cooked and flavored with sugar, soy sauce, five-spice powder, and black pepper.
The sweet coconut syrup cooked with seasoned offal to perfection and added to this uncommon Vietnamese dish makes it taste delicious right away. Bread rolls or rice are frequently served with pha lau, besides a side of chili-garlic sauce. Small wooden chopsticks are frequently provided with the meal so the offal can be picked up and dipped into the sauce.
Fermented Bean Curd
In Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine, fermented bean curd is widely used as a seasoning and sauce substitute to improve the flavor of many foods. After choosing firm dried tofu, it is typically fermented with salt, chile, and rice wine and kept in clay pot jars for up to one year. This rich fermented tofu has strong tastes and is one of the odd dishes in Vietnam that you should try. It is similar to creamy bleu cheese. The ideal way to enjoy this is as a dipping sauce for boiling veggies like morning glories.
Fermented bean curd is another favorite snack when paired with hot rice. For visitors, fermented bean curds are difficult to locate because they are often served in home-cooked Vietnamese food. In genuine eateries, a different kind of this bean curd is offered as a dipping sauce to go with other Vietnamese dishes.
Fermented Shrimp Paste Noodle
Vietnam is known as the “country of vermicelli and noodles,” which is not an exaggeration. Noodles are a necessary ingredient in various dishes, from the well-known Pho bo (noodles with beef) to the delicious, all-time classic Bun cha).
However, are you familiar with the meal known as Bun dau mam tom? The rice noodles used in Bun dau mam tom are not like those used in the above recipes, which are long and relatively thin. Instead, they are shaped like patties and typically chopped into bite-sized triangular portions.
Rice vermicelli noodles, fried tofu, with fermented shrimp paste are the main ingredients in this classic Vietnamese cuisine. A large quantity of fresh green herbs and each component are presented separately. Slices of boiled pork are sometimes added to the dish, and before eating, a few drops of kumquat or lemon juice are usually dripped over the shrimp paste. This unusual mixture is most recognized as a street food item served by several street vendors, although it is also offered in restaurants. Never skip this dish when going on Vietnam tour packages!
When having Vietnam tour packages, many visitors first witnessed this type of unique cuisine and their first thought is usually, “They are alive!”. Your palate will be severely tested, as well as your bravery if you even dare to do such a thing.
Vietnamese speakers refer to coconut worms, commonly known as coconut weevils, as “Duong Dua”. The immature plants that the worms consume since they dwell in coconut trees are rich in nutritious proteins. They are only 3 – 5 cm long, about the size of an adult’s index finger, and have bright yellow bodies all over.
The easiest to prepare and most popular coconut worm recipe is live coconut worms with fish sauce. To remove the pollutants, live worms are first submerged in alcohol. After cleaning, they are immediately put in Vietnamese fish sauce. Some people might claim that it has a rich consistency and tastes similar to the flavor of cheese with egg yolk. However, you must overcome your fear and give it a whirl first!
That is the end of our blog on “Top 6 must-try unusual foods in Vietnam”. Although these strange Vietnamese delicacies require acquired tastes and may seem frightening at first, each one has a rich history that symbolizes the way of life in the region. So if you want to enjoy Vietnamese food to the utmost, don’t be scared to try these dishes. At the very least, you leave with a wonderful memory of this adventure-filled nation.
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