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HCMC Best Local food

Eating is one of the top things to do in Ho Chi Minh city. With a glut of tasty dishes to sample, it’s hard to decide what to choose. Of course, there are very popular dishes of Vietnamese cuisine in all the big cities like Pho, Bun Cha, or Banh My; however, here we would like to introduce to you those dishes that you might not hear of but still very familiar to the locals.


Banh Trang Tron

Banh trang tron is a relatively recent Vietnamese creation, a snack of shredded rice paper, seasoned with a chili sauce, and filled with herbs like Vietnamese coriander and basil and supplemented with pieces of squid, salty fish, and quail eggs. There are probably about ten more ingredients I’m forgetting to mention in the mix as well.

It’s basically a snack or junk food, and when I was in Saigon, I noticed that it’s especially popular with youth and the younger generation, and often available at parks and public places, and nearly always served in a plastic bag.


Goi Cuon

Goi cuon are made with rice paper, known as banh trang, that’s slightly moistened, then filled with, typically a mixture of rice vermicelli noodles, pieces of pork, shrimp, and then stuffed with leaves and herbs like basil and lettuce before being wrapped.

Finally, Vietnamese summer rolls are often served with a nutty hoisin dipping sauce and accompanied by freshly ground chili.


Com Tam Suon

One of the most common meals in Saigon, especially known as a Southern favorite, is the combination of rice (which is often broken rice, which is partially broken grains of rice that occur in the milling process), topped with a grilled pork chop.

The most basic version is known as cơm tam suon nuong, the broken rice and a thin grilled pork chop, served on a plate and accompanied by fish sauce dressing, cucumber pickles, green onion oil, and chilies to garnish.

Starting from the most basic version of com tam suon nuong, you can then upgrade with all sorts of marvelous extra things like a fried egg, Vietnamese meatloaf, pig skin, extra pork, more sausage… the list goes on.


Oc (Shellfish)

Many Vietnamese love to eat snails – not only because they are delicious – but I also think because they are a wonderful social food to share with friends and family. It’s never hard to locate a Quán Ốc, or a snail restaurant, in Saigon, because just like in much of Asia, the fresh food is always on display outside the restaurant, so you can see what you’re about to eat. Nothing beverage goes better with salty chew snails than beer, and it seemed that nearly everyone I saw who sat down, especially the men, all came for the beer. Try it once and you will be able to live the real local experience of Saigon.


Hu Tieu Nam Vang

Hu Tieu Nam Vang is a Cambodian-Chinese concoction that the Vietnamese ‘borrowed’ and then made their own. Nam Vang is the Viet word for Phnom Penh, and the southern part of Vietnam has deep Khmer roots. When you’re in Saigon or elsewhere in the Mekong Delta region, there’s bound to be hu tieu noodle soup. Hu Tieu Nam Vang or  Vietnam rice noodle with pork and seafood is one of the very popular street food dishes in Vietnam, especially in the south. With the great taste of minced pork, pig organ, and other green things like bean sprouts, chives, this dish is such a great idea for your meal! simply, easily, but nutritious enough for your body’s needs.

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