What list of Vietnamese cuisine would be started without pho? This simple staple consisting of a salty broth, fresh rice noodles, a sprinkling of herbs and chicken or beef, features predominately in the local diet — and understandably so. It’s cheap, tasty, and widely available at all hours.
Pho has shown its position not only in Vietnamese cuisine but also world cuisine. Pho can be seen everywhere from street stalls to high-end restaurants. Some is served with chicken and some with beef. Each type of meat entails a variety of sub-dishes, from beef tenderloin to beef brisket, chicken wing to chicken thigh. Fresh herbs, clear stock and soft noodles are 3 important factors to making an outstanding Pho.
Give it a test to our favorite local store: Pho Hung, 15A8 Le Thanh Ton, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC. Price: 50,000 VND – 66,000 VND (from $2.5 USD)
Vietnam’s most famous dish: translucent spring rolls packed with greens, coriander and various combinations of minced pork, shrimp or crab. In some places they’re served with a bowl of lettuce and/or mint. A southern variation has barbecued strips of pork wrapped up with green banana and star fruit, and then dunked in a rich peanut sauce – every bit as tasty as it sounds.
Most dishes fall under broader categories. “Bánh,” for example, encompasses the many steamed rice cakes and rolls (like bánh cuốn and bánh bèo); not to be confused with the “bún” family, which always involves some rice vermicelli (whether with pork, as in bún chả, or the various noodle soups, such as bún rieu); “goi” is synonymous with salad, and in Vietnam they’re typically made with non-lettuce things like unripe green papaya or man