12 Vietnamese Dishes That Everyone Should Try in Their Lifetime

Banh-Bot-Chien

    You may remember Connie Bang-Co Aboubakare, also known as @occomestibles, the influencer who took us on a trip to Southern California’s Little Saigon and all the amazing Vietnamese restaurant foods highlighted during the tour of her Chomping Grounds.

    Connie was a recent guest on the Foodbeast Katchup podcast and spoke about her origins as an influencer and how she had to learn to cook Vietnamese food once she got married. What set her apart from many food bloggers is that she photographs the Vietnamese meals she would make for her husband and sons and fills her feed with them.

    Vietnamese food has always been a beloved cuisine here at the Foodbeast office and while many of us have tried it, there are always those few dishes that not too many know about, but wish they had sooner. Towards the end of the episode, host Geoffrey Kutnick asks Connie what were some essential dishes she could not live without, to which she replied with quite a few Vietnamese options.

    Looking at all the different dishes in her feed really inspired us to dive into Vietnam’s rich cuisine.

    Thanks to her Katchup visit, we’ve compiled a comprehensive Foodbeast list of all the amazing Vietnamese dishes everyone should try at least once in their life.

    Cá Kho Tộ (Braised Claypot Fish)

    View this post on Instagram

    Vietnamese braised fish in clay pot.🐟 Recipe is in my Highlights and super easy to make. I learned this from a cookbook I bought from my church yearsss ago. 😜 #cakhoto #homecookedmeal #claypot #vietnamesefood #easyrecipe #homecooking

    A post shared by Connie (@occomestibles) on

    One of the first dishes Connie mentions, that she can’t live without, is a braised clay pot fish dish called Cá Kho Tộ. Catfish is cooked in a braising liquid of sugar and fish sauce within a clay pot in a process referred to as “kho.” Because the dish is so rich in flavor, it’s typically served with plain white rice and vegetables. It’s one of the more common dishes she would make for her family, and looking back, my mom would make this about once a week as well.

    Bánh Xèo (Savory Crepes)

    View this post on Instagram

    #banhxeo (Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes) for #tacotuesday. 😜 Slide through for recipe.👉🏻 Trying out a new Banh Xeo batter package. Batter: 1 can/bottle of 12 oz beer 2 3/4 cup of water Chopped green onions Fillings: Bean sprouts Sliced onions Julienne mushrooms Shrimps ———- * * * #vietnamesefood #homecookedmeal #oceats

    A post shared by Connie (@occomestibles) on

    A while back, Connie also hosted a Foodbeast Kitchen live stream that highlighted her love of Bánh Xèo, another item she mentions in the podcast. Essentially, Bánh Xèo are thin Vietnamese crepes that are cooked with flour and turmeric powder and filled with fresh meats such as shrimp, chicken, or pork, as well as fresh vegetables. You can eat them directly with fish sauce, or rip them up and roll them into a spring roll.

    Cơm Tấm (Broken Rice)

    Com-Tam

    An inexpensive comfort dish, Cơm Tấm translates to “broken rice.” What originated as a street food item, you would typically find grilled meats on top of broken white rice, a steamed egg cake, julienne pork, and pickled greens.

    Bánh Bột Chiên (Fried Flour Cake)

    Banh-Bot-Chien

    A hearty breakfast dish, Bánh Bột Chiên translates to fried flour cakes. Cooked with fried eggs and green onions, the dish is popular in both Vietnam and China. The flour is cut into thick rectangular strips and served with a tangy soy sauce that the cakes can be dipped into. There is also a turnip cake and radish cake variation that can be cooked in the same way.

    Cánh Gà Chiên Nước Mắm (Fish Sauce Fried Chicken Wings)

    Garlic-Chicken-Wings

    One of my personal favorite Vietnamese dishes, Cánh Gà Chiên Nước Mắm is mores an appetizer than a meal — unless you’re me and double up on orders. Not too different from how Cá Kho is made, the chicken wings are fried and coated in a glaze made from sugar and fish sauce. Sometimes, fried garlic is also added to the mix.

    What I love most about fish sauce chicken wings are that every restaurant has their own take on them, and you can easily get yourself a few wings for relatively cheap.

    Bánh Bột Lọc (Savory Tapioca Dumplings)

    View this post on Instagram

    Banh Bot Loc (pork and shrimp tapioca dumplings) is the king of dumplings in Asia 👑 debatable or not? 📷 the.colors.of.yum

    A post shared by SAIGON HUSTLE (@saigon.hustle) on

    Made with tapioca flour, the dumplings are stuffed with shrimp and pork, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed. Once cooked, Bánh Bột Lọc is served with a sweet and spicy fish sauce and fried shallots. From Central Vietnam, the dish is eaten as an appetizer to a full meal. Foodbeast producer Theresa Tran mentions this as one of her favorite Vietnamese dishes, although it will take about 15 of them to fill her up.

    Bún Riêu (Pork and Crab Soup)

    View this post on Instagram

    One of my favorite meal to make: Vietnamese (fresh) crab noodle soup! 🦀🍜🍅😋 I can literally eat this everyday until it’s all gone. Lol#homecookedmeal #bunrieu #vietnameseeats #ngonqua #noodlesoup #vermicelli #ricenoodles #friedtofu

    A post shared by Connie (@occomestibles) on

    One of the more popularized Vietnamese dishes, Bún Riêu is a soup made with pork, crab, shrimp paste, dried shrimp, egg, rice vermicelli and lots of tomatoes. This leads to a super robust and umami flavor compared to the more classic Pho dish. After pho, this is one of the more popular Vietnamese soup dishes around.

    Bánh Khọt (Savory Pancake Bites)

    View this post on Instagram

    So crispy and creamy!!! #BanhKhot mini pancakes. Traditionally with a prawn topping, however I have created a delicious mushroom version for #vegan guests!🌿Absolutely delightful as canapés! I’m back in London and Christmas party bookings are coming in already for @the_little_viet_kitchen so making a start of making ‘mini’ dishes🙈 – _ 📧 info@thelittlevietkitchen.com for more details

    A post shared by Thuy Diem Pham (@chef_thuy_pham) on

    Bánh Khọt, mini savory pancakes, feature pretty much the same exact ingredients as the more popular Banh Xeo, but comes in a sort of cupcake form. Because of this cooking method, the texture comes out much more different giving it a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior. Unlike Banh Xeo, the proteins of Bánh Khọt are cooked on top of the dish rather than inside. Not unlike a gourmet cupcake.

    Gỏi Cuốn (Spring Rolls)

    View this post on Instagram

    Our baked salmon (see previous posts) … spring rolls style. I’d also fried a few salmon belly and made them as spring rolls too.Simple hassle-free family meal. 🐟🌱🌯😋👍🏻 #springrolls #bakedsalmon #salmonbelly #homecookedmeal #vietnamesefood #ngonqua #familymeal

    A post shared by Connie (@occomestibles) on

    One of the lighter Vietnamese dishes, spring rolls are served cold with fresh greens, prawns, pork, and rolled together with rice paper. Gỏi Cuốn can typically be enjoyed with a peanut flavored dipping sauce, or a simple fish sauce that’s mixed together with chilis. Easy to eat either as a snack or even for a long road trip in the car. Just make sure not to spill any fish sauce.

    Canh Chua (Vietnamese Sour Soup)

    View this post on Instagram

    Somlar machu viet with salmon and shrimp, okra, pineapple, tomato and elephant ear stem. #somlarmachu #canhchua

    A post shared by ℙanharee♬ (@panhareethang) on

    Tart and savory, this Vietnamese dish is typically served with rice. Made with a catfish base as well as tomatoes, pineapple, okra, beansprouts, and Vietnamese herbs. This is one of the dishes you wouldn’t typically find at a Vietnamese restaurant, but rather from the kitchen of a Vietnamese household. During the podcast, Connie also mentions that this is one of her essential dishes that she likes to make at home.

    Ốc Len Xào Dừa (Stir-Fried Snails w/ Coconut Milk)

    View this post on Instagram

    Love at first bite 😋💓 #oclenxaodua

    A post shared by Hiểu Viên Dương (@duonghieuvien) on

    A common street food in Vietnam, Ốc Len Xào Dừa roughly translates to stir-fried snails in coconut milk. While the dish itself sounds pretty intimidating, the flavors that go into this dish make it a top contender for Foodbeast producer Theresa Tran. Made with coconut milk, lemongrass, Vietnamese coriander, chilies, and sea snails, you would find the Ốc Len Xào Dừa at street food carts throughout many Vietnamese cities.

    “You can give me a cup of that broth and I’d drink it,” Tran says. “Also trying to get the snails out is pretty fun too.”

    Phở (Rice Noodle Soup)

    View this post on Instagram

    Low temperatures are no match for this bowl of Pho. #phoreal ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📸Pho🍲 ~This is one of their weekend specials. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📍 @gaslightkitchen2128 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Follow >> @grfooddudes @eatgr1 @socialgrandrapids @grbestbites for your West Michigan restaurant fix. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #grbestbites #eatgr #foodiegr #grandrapids #grandrapidsfoodie #grandrapidsdaily #grnow #experiencegr #pho #vietnamesefood #zipkick #eater #eeeeeats #yahoofood #instagood #eatthis ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

    A post shared by Marb + Shella (@grbestbites) on

    One of the most iconic Vietnamese dishes, you can’t go wrong with phở. An elegant broth made from either chicken or beef, phở utilizes the flavors of charred ginger, onions, and other vegetables over a long period of time. Sure it’s on everyone’s list, but phở is so prolific to Vietnamese culture that you kind of just have to add it to the fold. Both Connie and myself enjoy beef pho, with strips of brisket that you can dip into a mixture of sriracha and hoisin sauce.

    Written by Peter Pham. Published with permission from FOODBEAST.com.

    FOODBEAST is your online food haven. Find the best new stories, recipes and food culture.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *