Meaning “meat soup” in the local Mong dialect, thang co is a beef, buffalo or horse stew. Every part of the beast – flesh, innards and bone – is simmered for hours. Best enjoyed with the local corn wine called ruou ngo.
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The Delicious Wonders of Viet Nam
Sticky rice in Tay Bac was originally stuffed into bamboo shafts and baked. It was a practical and convenient way of packing lunch for the people who cultivated the paddies.
Nem cua be
A departure from the more ubiquitous tubular spring roll, Hai Phong's nem cua be sports a square shape and is stuffed with rock crab
While most of the world is familiar with the southern version of pho, typically served with bean sprouts, basil and lime, the original beef noodle soup is a simpler affair invented in Hanoi. The focus here is squarely on the flavor of the beef stock, and the rice noodles are hand-kneaded to attain their soft and chewy texture.
Often served with rice noodles, cha ca is a dish of fried fish fillets harvested from the Mekong delta and seasoned with ginger, garlic, turmeric and dill. Condiments that go with the dish include peanuts and shrimp sauce. A dish so beloved in Hanoi, there's a street in the Old Quarter named for it.
Bun Bo Hue
This piquant beef noodle soup from Hue is all about the bold flavors. The hearty stock is balanced by the freshness of lemongrass and a spritz of lime macerated in fish sauce
This Hoi An delicacy can be found nowhere else, since for the pork egg-noodle soup to qualify, the water used to cook the noodles must be drawn from a specific well in the town.
Boiled pork and roasted shrimp are wrapped in 20 to 50 types of leafy herbs that bring out the subtle flavors of the meat. A condiment made from diluted fish sauce, fermented rice and galingale (ginger) goes with the dish
A comforting and aromatic beef stew with luscious rice noodles that is perfect for the temperate climate.
The broth for this Vietnamese chicken noodle soup derives its aroma from simmering down chicken bones and fat. The dry variant of the dish has noodles tossed with chicken strips and other seasonings.
The French introduced Vietnam to coffee, and the Central Highlands was a major producer. The Vietnamese style is a decadent treat, incorporating sweetened condensed milk.
The baguette might have originated in France, but Saigon has reclaimed it as its own. Pâté, grilled meats and sausage are common fillings, accompanied by local garnishes, including cilantro and pickled daikon.
Meaning “cooked broken rice,” there's a little bit of everything on this fuss-free plate: the staple of fragmented rice grains is served with grilled meat and bi (shredded pork skin encrusted with roasted rice and garlic powder) as well as pickled carrots and turnips.
Arguably Vietnam's most famous food export, the southern version specifically comes topped with coriander, basil and bean sprouts. For an extra burst of flavor, squirt in some hoisin sauce.
This seafood crepe is a street staple. Made from rice flour, it may have various stuffings depending on season and region. Common ingredients include shrimp, chives and sprouts. Best enjoyed with a dash of nuoc cham (fish sauce), herbs and lettuce.
The Vietnamese answer to seafood gumbo, this bowl of rice vermicelli highlights the integral role the Mekong plays in the country's food culture. The broth derives its distinct taste from a fermented fish sauce and a spice called ngai bun.