Photos of Saigon street food (2015 Apr-Jun edition)

25 Oct
The two foreign countries whose food I enjoy the most in Southeast Asia are Thailand and Vietnam. When I had the fortune to be based in Saigon for two months earlier this year, three exceptional local guides – T, N and my colleague V – took me around the city’s best street eats.

Takeaways:

  1. Noodles. Vietnamese street food is heavily based on noodles (“bun”). Often these noodles are served with pungent soups.
  2. Vegetables. Accompanying these noodles are plates of fresh herbs and vegetables
  3. The most exotic things: 15-day chicken embryos balut (“hot vit lon”) or snails (“oc”).

What I miss the most about Vietnam is the ~15-day embryo balut. It has a texture between chicken and hard-boiled yolk, which is completely addictive with a bit of salt. Eating a half-formed embryo may skirt the fringe of acceptability for most, but the combination of textures in the egg is something very unique.


 Overall, my favorites (in no order) are:2015-06-10 20.09.09 2015-05-09 21.20.55 2015-05-09 20.42.21(1) Hot vit lon or Balut – I prefer them served simply with salt rather than tamarind sauce. (4.75/5 for the version served simply with salt)

(2) Banh mi – The best I tried was Banh mi huynh hoa on Le Thi Rieng. Ask them to exclude peppers (4.5/5)

2015-05-02 17.50.18-2

(3) Banh trang tron – Spiced noodles, can be found at Ben Thanh market in central Saigon. Assertive spicing (4.5/5)

(4) Bun thit nuong – the grilled pork or beef noodles served with fish sauce – I ate this at my college Vietnamese restaurant and it was just as good in Vietnam

2015-05-09 12.50.59(5) Bo la lot – greasy leaf-wrapped cigars of minced beef

2015-05-09 20.41.21 2015-05-09 20.47.01 2015-05-09 20.46.40 2015-05-09 20.46.06 2015-05-09 20.45.16 2015-05-09 20.46.56(6) Oc – at Quan Oc. Various types of snails

2015-05-09 11.58.31

(7) Banh khot (5/5) in the middle of Cho Ban Co market. These custardy mini-crepes are simply addictive served with fish sauce.

2015-06-10 20.48.18

(8) Bun Rieu – crab noodles

2015-05-03 21.10.39

(9) Gioi du du – papaya salad from Le Van Tam park was again very good. A mythical papaya salad I didn’t manage to try was recommended by T, in a school compound and only served during the afternoon.


Good links and resources I used:

One Response to “Photos of Saigon street food (2015 Apr-Jun edition)”

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  1. Best dishes of 2015: a roundup of a year of travel | Kenneth Tiong eats - January 2, 2016

    […] Various places Saigon, Vietnam May-Jun ’15 […]

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