Vietnamese Bún or Viet Rice Vermicelli Noodle Bowl Dishes
Vietnamese Bún or Viet Rice Vermicelli Noodle Bowl Dishes: In Recipe of Asian Cuisine, vermicelli is a round, soft white fibrous food made from rice/tapioca flour, molded through a mold and boiled in fresh water. This is the main ingredient for processing many dishes, the name of the dish often has the word vermicelli (such as Southern Beef Vermicelli, Hue Beef Vermicelli, Grilled Pork Vermicelli,...). Vermicelli Dishes is one of the most popular food in Vietnam, just after rice dishes.
The main characteristic of Vietnamese Food is to create harmony between flavors and textures by combining a variety of herbs and spices. This can be seen in many traditional Vietnamese noodle-based dishes (even for vegan and vegetarian food), which are a fusion of contrasting textures into culinary harmony - chewy, crunchy, fleshy, soft. To get the most authentic experience of Vietnamese cuisine, here are the best noodle-based delicacies that you can easily find at many roadside eateries. Besides, you will be able to learn about the recipe, history, regional culture, geography and people by looking at their take on these succulent, soft and silky noodles.
1. Pho: Kicking off the list is Vietnamese Pho, the most recognizable traditional food of Vietnam. Visitors walking around the streets of Hanoi in the morning can see pho stalls busy preparing fresh ingredients – broth, meat, vegetables - for this ubiquitous dish.
Some first-time travelers believe this is a morning dish, but it is actually served throughout the day at all wet markets and street vendors’. It comprises rice noodles and a luscious broth garnished with various herbs (bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, onion and mint). Food lovers can choose from among various beef cuts like tai (beef slices), bo vien (beef meatballs) and nam (beef flank). You can also change beef for chicken for a more soothing broth. However, the broth is cooked differently in the north and south of Vietnam. The most noticeable difference is that the southern pho has a sweeter, richer broth whereas in the north it is clear and simple.
2. Bun Cha Ha Noi: Bun Cha is not a strong rival to some of the iconic street foods like banh mi, pho and cuon (spring rolls). The dish is a region specialty of Hanoi popular and typically not well known outside of the capital. Even in Saigon, some restaurants have it on the menu, the taste just is not right as Bun Cha Hanoi.
Unlike those of other favorites, bun cha’s ingredients are easy to find and the recipe is not very complicated. But what makes Hanoi’s bun cha different from other versions is in the skills required to make it, which cannot be mastered overnight. The dish consists of two types of meat: meatballs and thick pork slices. The meat balls are made out of the lean meat and fat from the pork's shoulder meat while the pork slices satisfy fans of people who like chewy meat. The pork must be marinated with spices overnight so that it absorbs all the aromas. This is a remarkable dish thanks to a balanced dipping sauce and soft grilled pork meat without charred bits.
3. Bún Riêu: Bun Rieu is a vermicelli soup with a tomato-based broth made by slowly simmering pork or chicken bone. But unlike Pho or Bun Bo Hue (Hue Noodle Soup with Beef), to which meat slices are added, the key protein component of this soup is the crab meat mixture made of freshwater mini crabs, pork and egg that is almost like a patty.
This soup is hearty and wonderful during winter as it combines lots of ingredients like fried tofu, prawns, crab meat, pig blood pudding, bean sprouts and fresh Vietnamese herbs like perilla and cilantro. If you don’t mind the pungent smell, feel free to add some shrimp paste for extra savory since the soup is slightly acidic. Though its origin is in northern Vietnam, you can easily bump into a bun rieu food stall anywhere around the country.
4. Bún Thang: Bun Thang Hanoi is one of the typical features of Vietnamese cuisine. This dish is a harmonious combination of many different ingredients, creating an unforgettable flavor. As a result, bun thang becomes one of Hanoi's specialties that cannot be missed when coming here.
Introducing bun thang in Hanoi, it is impossible not to mention the age of this dish. As a long-standing dish in the capital, bun thang is not only special in its name but also in its processing. With a beautiful presentation, blending between many different ingredients, Hanoi bun thang is likened to the "five-color flower" of the capital's culinary quintessence.
Previously, local people in Hanoi only enjoyed Bun Thang on special occasions. This dish is a combination of many different flavors, made from leftover Tet ingredients such as dried shrimp, shredded chicken, fried eggs, sausages... Each ingredient is a little, delicately blended to create an irresistible delicacy. The bowl of vermicelli noodles is Hanoi's standard, rich, making many diners nostalgic.
5. Bún Bò Huế: Bun Bo Hue, or Hue Noodle Soup with Beef, is a specialty of Hue in central Vietnam, where it was invented. The broth requires both pig and beef bones to be boiled with a generous dose of lemongrass, sugar, annatto, and shrimp paste. Vendors then add various things like sliced brisket, crab balls and pork pie.
Adventurous eaters can also add cubed pig’s blood for even more flavor. When served, the dish is garnished with a tangle of vegetables like lime, scallion, cilantro, banana blossoms, mint, basil, and Vietnamese coriander. But be warned, if you are not a fan of spicy food: the original version in Hue packs much more of a punch than the bun bo Hue served in Saigon or Hanoi. Furthermore, many vendors in Saigon make the broth a little sweet to fit local tastes.
6. Mi Quang: Another distinctive and wildly popular dish in the central region of Vietnam is Mi Quang (Quang-style Noodles). The dish features thick, wide, yellow rice noodles served in red-orange turmeric sauce with a choice of pork, chicken, shrimp, quail egg, mussel, and eel served in a soupy, beefy broth.
To add texture, other ingredients like banh trang (sesame rice crackers), spring onion, basil, peanuts, coriander, lettuce, and sliced banana flowers are added. In Quang Nam Province, the birthplace of the dish, Mi Quang is served with a thick broth while southerners tend to make it a full soupy dish. And don’t forget to add the rice crackers to add even more texture to this mouthwatering dish.
7. Cao Lầu: Cao Lau is a noodle dish in Quang Nam, Vietnam. This is considered a specialty dish of Hoi An city. This noodle dish has yellow noodles, served with shrimp, pork, raw vegetables and very little broth. The yellow noodles are mixed with ash from a local tree.
According to recorded history, Cao Lau has appeared since the 17th century. During this period, Chinese and Japanese merchants frequented Hoi An port. They brought their own culinary culture with them, and gradually created the conditions for the birth of Cao Lau - which can be seen as a blend of Chinese and Japanese cuisine.
Not only that, the Cao Lau dish is also modified over time to be more appetizing for Vietnamese people, and then becomes a specialty dish of the people in the Central region. The name "cao lau" means delicious food and is enjoyed on the upper floor. In other words, diners can both eat the food and see the whole beautiful scene of Hoi An street right from the top floor.
8. Bún Mắm: Bun Mam, a southwestern staple, is a noodles soup that uses the highly pungent mam, a fermented fish/shrimp paste, as its base. Originally from Cambodia, the dish’s broth is made with the Cambodian prahok dipping sauce, but locals have substituted it with fish sauce.
The dish as a strong smell, but it is also packed with flavors coming from fish fillet, shrimp, squid, pork belly and eggplant. Typically, this dish is served with an extra serving of vegetables, including purple stems of water lilies, yellow-white curls of banana blossoms, bean shoots and some other herbs that add texture and eases its saltiness.
9. Hủ Tiếu: Hu Tieu (called kuy teav or Phnom Penh noodle soup) is a Cambodian-Chinese dish that Saigoneers have borrowed and changed to suit their palate. Hu tieu is a kind of noodles soup served in the southern part of the country, and there are innumerable stalls serving it in Saigon. It also has a dry version, which is slightly chewy and comes with a stronger sauce.
The toppings may include pork, pork ribs, pork offal, shrimp, squid, wonton dumplings, fried garlic, fried shallots, and scallions. But minced meat is a must-have ingredient. Food vendors simmer finely minced meat in water to make the soup sweet and fatty. Hu tieu has various versions for diners to choose from. The dish also has a "dried" verison, is lightly chewy with a stronger sauce than the "soup" variety.
10. Bún Thịt Nướng: Bun Thịt Nướng is fast, fresh and is probably Saigon’s answer to Hanoi’s pho noodle soup. It consists of cold rice noodles and fresh vegetables including bean sprout, diced cucumber, pickled radish, and chopped lettuce.
It is topped with lean grilled pork, fried crab springrolls and crushed peanuts and pickled daikon and carrot. It is better for the midday tropical heat than a steaming bowl of pho. Vendors carefully choose meat with the right ratio of lean meat and fat before marinating to make sure the meat does not get too dry after being grilled. And don’t forget the nuoc mam fish sauce, which ties all the components together perfectly.
11. Bun Bo Nam Bo: Southern mixed beef noodle dish is special in that there is no broth, so the ingredients used still retain its own flavor. From the sour, slightly spicy taste in the vermicelli dipping sauce, the cool feeling of herbs and bean sprouts to the tender, sweet beef that has been fried until cooked. All create a harmonious dish that captivates even the most fastidious food.
Mixed beef vermicelli in the South, the first dish everyone heard the name guessed that it must have come from the West of Vietnam. But few people know that this is a dish originating entirely in Hanoi. Nam Bo mixed beef noodle soup is loved by many people and appears on CNN's travel section.
12. Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm: News from the United States reported: Noodles with shrimp paste and shrimp paste have appeared on the streets of New York. The restaurant is ranked 26th in the 100 best restaurants in New York City in 2023!
Bun Dau with shrimp paste in Hanoi is a familiar and rustic dish of the people of the capital. With a rich and attractive flavor typical of shrimp paste, beans, vermicelli with herbs and many other ingredients, vermicelli has become a "national" dish, popular with both domestic and foreign tourists.
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