Top 10 Hanoi Street Food
Eating your way through Hanoi with the ultimate guide to most outstanding top 10 Hanoi Street Food
Hanoi – the beautiful capital city of Vietnam – not only enchants tourists with its spectacular architecture and fascinating history but also is recognized as one of the top culinary destinations in Asia. The ultimate guide to 10 most outstanding and distinctive dishes of Hanoi is confident to bring to food lovers the best memorable top 10 Hanoi Street Food tour ever
1) Green papaya salad with dried beef (Nộm đu đủ bò khô)
Standing at the top list of “Kings of Salad”, green papaya salad with dried beef is considered an ideal stater of top 10 Hanoi Street Food for refreshing on a hot summer day. Tourists can easily spot a street vendor selling this special dish or enjoy it in a luxurious restaurant.
The salad is a perfect and balanced combination of julienne green papaya, fresh herbs, dried beef and especially the sweet and sour dipping sauce. Besides, beef is processed in many different ways to suit different tastes such as dried beef, boiled sliced beef, beef tendon and dried liver.
The seller often separates the ingredients into each potion and customers mix them up according to their tastes to enjoy. The amazing explosion of two distinctive flavours – sweet and sour, along with the crispness of crushed peanuts, is going to satisfy even the most demanding eaters.
2) Obama Potion ( Bún Chả)
Speaking of Hanoi Street food, there would be a great mistake not to mention “Bún chả” – one of the most famous specialities of the capital city. “Bún chả” is considered a very simple dish to make because its ingredients are easily found in the market every day. However, the key secret lies in the way makers create the true flavour of “Bún chả”.
Firstly, “Bún”(Vermicelli) is chosen very carefully – chewy, soft and thin – so that diners, who haven’t mastered in using chopsticks yet, can find it quite challenging to enjoy the dish. Secondly, the highlight of “Bún chả” comes from well-seasoned pork meat in two different styles: ground pork (chả viên) and thinly sliced pork (chả Mieng). The meat is carefully flattened, grilled on the hot charcoal stove and served with a flavorful broth.
Last but not least, the main factor that determines the success of this well-known dish in top 10 Hanoi Street Food is the broth. In order to create a perfect balance between the sour and sweet taste, the broth is mixed with sugar, vinegar and fish sauce.
Despite the modest appearance, “Bún chả” has succeeded in attracting the former President of the US Barack Obama as well as the world-famous chef Anthony Bourdain.
3) Spring Roll ( Gỏi Cuon)
Vietnamese fresh spring roll is one of the most popular appetizers in top 10 Hanoi Street Food. Let’s explore the reason why spring roll, a typical representative dish of the diverse Southern cuisine, has won the love and affection of both local and international food lovers.
First and foremost, rice paper plays an indispensable ingredient in the making of spring roll and is used to wrap up other ingredients inside. Next comes another equally important ingredient – pork meat. Pork side and shrimp are the two major elements of the Southern salad. The impressive red of delicious shrimp and lovely pink colour of pork side contribute greatly to the attractive appearance of spring roll that evokes the curiosity in food lovers.
4) Beef/ Chicken Noodle Soup (Phở Bò/ Gà)
Also popular among tourists with the friendly name “Phở”, Beef/ Chicken noodle soup is one of the most typical dishes of Vietnam cuisine. “Phở” gains its reputation by the amazingly delicious flavour coming from the rice noodles and broth, along with sliced beef and chicken. Other various species such as pepper, lemon, fish sauce, chilli are added based on customers’ taste.
In the Southern provinces of Vietnam, “Phở” is served with a variety of fresh herbs such as onion, beansprout and basil leaves, in which coriander is a characteristic leaf of this dish. Although there are many variants of “Phở” cooked with different types of protein nowadays, the most popular and favourable of all are Beef and Chicken noodle soup.
5)Vietnamese Baguette (Bánh Mì Pate)
It is possible that Hanoians are now familiar with different types of bread that are sold daily, from the traditional varieties to imported ones like Doner Kebab or Tacos. However, only the hot and crispy Vietnamese baguette sandwiched with a smooth and generous layer of pate has always occupied a very special position in the heart of all Hanoians.
Considered a “classic” morning meal of top 10 Hanoi Street Food, Vietnamese baguette wins over customers’ bellies because of the renowned homemade pate that has such a tender and smooth texture. Along with a little touch of salted shredded meat, dried onions and coriander, a fragrant baguette with pate in the center has rarely failed to receive numerous praises from food lovers.
Furthermore, apart from the traditional fillings, in order to satisfy foreign diners as well as extend the variety of bread’s fillings, there are new ingredients added in a baguette such as sausages, ham, bacon and cheese.
6) Summer spring roll (Nem Cuon)
Another excellent Vietnamese dish that should be included in any best of top 10 Hanoi Street Food is the summer spring roll. There is no exaggeration to claim that summer spring roll, also known as “Nem Cuon” in Vietnamese, is a traditional delicacy because all the ingredients that make up the dish are familiar products of the agricultural civilization. They are the rice “hidden” in vermicelli, in rice paper rolls, egg, pork, fresh green herbs and the yellow dipping sauce.
Similar to the spring roll, diners choose their favourite elements and roll them all together in a thin white rice paper and savour with the sweet and sour dipping sauce. Especially, when your stomach is fed up with fatty dishes, “Nem Cuon” will become an ideal solution to your “problem” due to its freshness and simplicity. Most of the summer spring roll’s fillings are eaten raw or just gone through a simple boiling process.
In addition, the dipping sauce plays a crucial part in elevating the dish to a whole new level. The sweet and sour dipping sauce is of great assistance in arousing the fresh fragrance of vermicelli, the aromatic vegetables and rich flavour of different fillings.
7) Steamed Rice Rolls (Banh Cuon)
Steamed rice roll has been widely regarded as one of the most impressive delicacies of Hanoi culinary treasures because of its simple ingredients but amazing flavour. Making a perfect plate of steamed rice roll requires a delicate and complex process. One of the key secrets of a delicious “Banh Cuon” is the rice. The softer the rice is, the more broken the rice roll is and the quality of rice determines the deliciousness of the whole dish.
Therefore, steamed rice rolls are so renowned for its thinnest and transparency that you can easily see your face reflected on the surface. Moreover, each layer of rice rolls is covered generously with golden dried onions that food lovers will find it hard to resist the attractive fragrance of rice, the fresh vegetable and grease onions combined together.
Furthermore, “Banh Cuon” cannot lack the most important factor – the sauce, which is a harmonious balance between the salty taste of fish sauce and sweetness of sugar. Who can say “no” to this special sweet amber-coloured sauce and a plentiful plate of “Banh Cuon” right in front of them?
8) Pillow Cake (Banh Goi)
Have you ever wondered why the Pillow cake has drawn attention from customers of all ages, bring a delicate and rich flavour and is always on the top list of top 10 Hanoi Street Food? The answer to this interesting question lies in the elaborate making process and well-chosen ingredients.
The cake’s crust is made from flour and water and moulded until soft and tender, then rolled into thin layers. The filling is a diverse combination of lean meat, wood ear mushroom, sliced cellophane noodle and other vegetables and spices in an appropriate potion. Next is the wrapping process that demands the skillfulness of the makers. Afterwards, the cake is deep-fried until it turns into a golden colour with a crispy texture.
What’s more? The delicious sauce made from fish sauce, lemon, sugar and chilli, accompanied by papaya or melon salad, is a wonderful highlight to the crispy golden pillow cake.
9) Chicken Wings (Cánh gà)
Chicken wings have become famous in top 10 Hanoi Street Food for many years due to its convenience and simplicity of the making process. The main element of this popular dish is no doubt the chicken wings, which are rolled through the mixture of flour and egg and deep-fried until achieving the eye-catching yellowish brown colour and the ear-pleasing crispy texture.
The success of chicken wings is believed to come from various types of dipping sauce. Eaters can choose from a wide range of sauces that suit their taste best such as BBQ sauce, tomato sauce and chilli sauce. Let’s imagine the flow of thick and rich sauce covers the golden brown chicken wings that make your mouth unable to stop watering!
10) Fried Beef Noodle (Mì xào bò)
Fried beef noodle is chosen as a typical breakfast in a lot of Vietnamese families due to its deliciousness, high nutrition and time-saving. The basic ingredients consist of noodle, beef and vegetables. Making a generous plate of fried beef noodle is considered very simple, especially for those who are always in a hurry or lack of time to cook properly.
First, the noodle is boiled and soaked in cold water for a few minutes to obtain a strong and hard texture. Next, the beef is well-seasoned with salt and pepper and sliced into small pieces. The vegetable is also boiled and drained of water before cooking. Afterwards, you put all three elements – noodle, beef and vegetable – in a pan and start to fry the mixture until it is well-cooked.
With a very simple making process described above, “lazy” food lovers no longer have to stress themselves out about cooking but are able to enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal.
The ultimate guide to 10 most outstanding and unique dishes of Hanoi will be of great assistance in your culinary discovery of top 10 Hanoi Street Food.