The more time you spend in Ha Noi, the more you realize how few of Viet Nam culinary specialties are famous outside the country. After lining your stomach with a bowl of pho or a banh mi, why don’t sample some snacks that are available on every street of Ha Noi and collect some more addresses to add to your Ha Noi food tour?
The favorite fried goody of many Ha Noi dwellers consists of minced pork, vermicelli noodle and wood ear mushroom encased in a pillow-shaped pastry. Each banh goi is deep-fried in a huge pan of boiling oil until it turns golden brown. Banh goi is served with sweet and sour fish sauce and slices of papaya. Dip your banh goi into the sauce before tucking in.
Other options that usually come with banh goi are banh quay (unsweetened donuts), banh ran man (glutinous rice balls filled with pork) and banh ran ngot (glutinous rice balls filled with sweet green bean).
Banh goi (Source: Internet)
This dish is extremely popular among youngsters in Ha Noi. It’s basically slices of pork on a bamboo stick and is grilled on red-hot coal. The pork is marinated with lemongrass and galangal root. They usually use pork belly as the fat will melt when they grill the meat and prevent the meat from getting dry. Since the dish doesn’t require many kinds of spices, how good a stick of grilled meat is depended heavily on the freshness and quality of the pork. A tip for telling apart which vendors offer the best-grilled pork is to pay attention to the aroma. If you can smell only the lemongrass and galangal root, the meat would not be as tasty as when you can detect only the smell of meat and sometimes burning fat. This dish is a must in any Ha Noi food tour.
Thit xien nuong
A vendor that serves really flavorful thit xien nuong is at 34A Ton That Thiep. It opens from 5 p.m to 7 p.m. It also has banh mi thit xien nuong, the sandwich baguette filled with grilled pork, peanut and grated kohlrabi. If you don’t want to travel all the way to Ton That Thiep, just take a walk around where you stay after 5p.m and search for small stalls with a vendor tending sticks of meat on burning coal, and bear in mind that you should pick the stall that has a crowd of local people around. The cost ranges between 6.000 VND to 10.000 VND (Viet Nam currency).
This dish is the most popular dessert all over Viet Nam. Each region lays claim to a unique variety of this treat. Che is a sweet soup made from tapioca or coconut cream. There is no standard for a bowl or mug of che since each region would make it out of their locally-acquired ingredients.
A bowl of Che (Source: Internet)
Beans are the most common ingredients in any bow of che. Green bean, black bean, kidney bean…any thing goes. Sometimes jelly of all flavors and shapes are added to che as well. A standard stall of che comes with bows of beans, jelly, caramelized banana, sweet corn…You get to choose what you want in your bow of che, it is like a buffet. After finishing assemble che, they usually sprinkle some dried shredded or grated coconut on top and che is ready to serve. If you are somewhere in the Old Quarter, try the che stall at 31 Dao Duy Tu and find out your favorite che flavor.
Banh xeo resembles crepe and pancake and is well-worth sampling. Each banh xeo is filled with prawns, bean sprouts, and pork. Before you eat, cut up your banh xeo into 3 or 4 parts, then take a rice paper, put on some assorted greens and put a piece of banh xeo on top, roll everything up and dip it into the sweet and sour sauce.
Banh xeo (Source: Internet)
Most banh xeo stalls or restaurants also serve nem lui, grilled pork sausage that has the same way of eating as banh xeo. Doi Can have been famous for many as the street of banh xeo nem lui restaurants.
Ha Noi is a food lover’s paradise and with these above suggestions, hanoireviews hope that it will make your Ha Noi food tour more joyful.