The 7 popular dishes to try in Saigon
- on Dec 21, 2019       By: BN
With its tremendous variety of gastronomic specialities, Saigon cuisine is so tasty and surprising that it must make your stay in Saigon an unforgettable gourmet getaway. Among its thousand and one original flavours, here are the popular dishes to try without moderation in Ho Chi Minh - a city renowned as a paradise for street food in Vietnam.
Com Tam, three treasures rice
This typically Saigon dish is one of the first to taste to start the day like a local. A Com Tam plate consists of broken rice with grilled pork ribs, an omelette, steamed mixed eggs, minced pork skin and Chinese sausage. To eat, sprinkle with an onion-oil sauce and another sweet and sour sauce made from Nuoc mam or fish sauce. With a few fresh slices of cucumber and tomatoes, you will enjoy a hearty and tasty breakfast. It’s also the opportunity to taste the rice, the main ingredient of Vietnamese cuisine. We can see more and more canteens serving the Com tam in the evening in Saigon which will satisfy the night owls.
Price: between 30,000 and 55,000 VND
Com tam 111 Nguyen Phi Khanh, District 1
Com tam 67 Tran Huy Lieu, Phu Nhuan district
Com tam Ba Ghien, Phu Nhuan district
Banh mi, the Vietnamese sandwich
It is not difficult to find in each district of this city a number of small corners where the Banh mi, Vietnamese sandwich is served. Using booth or travelling stall, it is undoubtedly one of the best choices for catering to locals in Ho Chi Minh City.
Besides the classic garnishes like Vietnamese pâté, omelette and grilled pork, the cooks also offer a wide range of choices to satisfy varied tastes with pork dumplings, roast pork, Vietnamese pork pâté or fish. A little secret that makes Banh mi Saigon different from others is the butter that is spread before the traditional pâté. The crispy baguette is always stuffed with a good portion of raw vegetables, cucumber and coriander to make the recipe a delicious bouquet of flavours. Don’t forget that the Vietnamese Banh mi is among the best Vietnamese dishes not to be missed.
Price: between 10,000 and 55,000 VND
Huynh Hoa, District 1
Banh mi 150, Nguyen Trai, District 1
Banh mi pha lau Tieu, District 5
The Bot chien, fried rice flour cake with eggs
This Chinese dish previously served in District 5 or Chinatown has long been part of the daily life of Saigon residents as a very common snack. We bake the rice and tapioca cupcakes marinated in soy sauce in a large pan of oil and then pour eggs and spring onions over the golden cakes. Simple and appetizing, the more that onions add, the more the dish awakens your taste buds. Popular with young people and students in Ho Chi Minh City, it is ideal to satisfy your little hunger at the end of the day.
Price: between 15,000 and 40,000 VND
Dat Thanh, District 3
Phung Khac Khoan, District 1
187 Nguyen Kim, District 10
Phu Nhuan market, Phu Nhuan district
When you say snail sanctuary, you have to say Saigon, even though it is not a coastal city. At a booth brimming with snails, a multitude of more succulent varieties than the others should make you salivate at first sight. Stir-fry with tamarind, steamed in Thai, stir-fry in garlic or in a pan... No less than 20 kinds of snail will lead you to an unusual culinary experience that you never get tired of. The recipe and the spices vary from one canteen to another where they invent with coconut milk, lemongrass, tamarind... Whatever your priority, this is something for everyone.
Price: from 30,000 VND
Oc Xom Chieu, District 4
Oc Nhu, Oc Thanh Thai, District 10
Hu tieu, saigonese noodle soup
In addition to three treasures rice and Banh mi, another emblematic dish of Saigon is Hu tieu which is simply called saigonese noodle soup. Unlike Pho or Bun, traditional Vietnamese noodle soups, this variant is distinguished by thinner and more elastic rice pasta. Originally embellished with simple pork slices, other ingredients are currently accompanying Hu tieu such as shrimp, pork liver, quail eggs, cuttlefish... This colourful and fragrant mixture has something to offer a delight that is often enjoyed at breakfast and dinner. It can be eaten hot for the soup version and cold for the salad that can’t be without the soybean sprouts, dried fragrant garlic and a bowl of broth garnished with spring onions.
Price: between 35,000 and 65,000 VND
Thanh Xuan, Hu tieu oldest restaurant in Saigon, District 1
Quang Ky, Trieu Quang Phuc, District 5
Hu tieu Nam Vang, Cambodian version adapted to the Saigon flavour, served in 2 known places:
84 Ho Thi Ky, District 10
93 Huynh Man Dat, District 5
Goi kho bo, green papaya salad with dried beef
For a low price of 15,000 to 20,000 dongs, this salad is a delicacy to which one will be quickly addicted while strolling through the streets and alleys of the city. Green papaya, dried beef, a few pieces of crunchy dough, Rau ram or Vietnamese coriander, grilled peanuts, all blend together with a special sauce that is at the same time salty, sweet and spicy to create a unique taste that we are not ready to forget.
Price: between 15,000 and 20,000 VND
Le Van Tam Park, District 1
Ong Nam, 76 Nguyen Van Phu, District 1
38 Dinh Tien Hoang, District 1
Sidewalk 259A Hai Ba Trung, District 3
Banh trang tron, rice leaf salad
It would be most unfortunate to visit Ho Chi Minh City without trying another salad no less popular with street food enthusiasts, the Banh trang tron. With less than a dollar, you can savour an alluring portion composed of rice leaf cut into strips, grated green mango, quail eggs, Vietnamese coriander, dried beef, grilled shrimps, peanuts and especially the Muoi tom, an original local spice... Everything is to be mixed well to succumb to you with a spicy and fragrant salad ideal to refresh your afternoon.
Price: between 10,000 and 22,000 VND
At Chu Vien, 38 Nguyen Thuong Hien, District 3
Ho Con Rua or Turtle Lake, District 3
Market 200, Xom Chieu, District 4
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