Foods Around Ho Chi Minh City
I’ve been here, in Ho Chi Minh city, for 9 days, and I plan for more. I found that I really love this city. For me, this is the city that’s got the perfect mix and balance. It’s a big city, but not too big, everything is cheap, the foods are delicious, the people are amazing, it’s realatively clean, the internet is super fast, a lot of coffe shop, it’s wonderful!
Speaking about wonderful things, the foods here are absolutely wonderful. I still think that Vietnamese food is the best I’ve ever tasted. One of those foods is Bun Cha. But, not only that, HCMC still has a lot to offer from its food department!
Pho is the best known Vietnamese food. However, it’s not my favorite, as there are still so many other amazing Vietnamese food!
Pho, pronounced somewhat similar “fuh” for English tounge, or “fa” for Indonesian tounge, is a noodle soup dish. The difference with the other noodle soup dishes is the noodle being used. Pho is unique noodle to Vietnam.
It comes in several variants, depends on what meats you want to eat. There are Pho Bo (beef), Pho Ga (chicken), and more!
It’s very popular here in Vietnam, and there are countless Pho stalls in HCMC. A bowl of Pho priced for just VND 30,000, just north of $1. It’s cheap, it’s good, what more could you ask?
With some effort, I could dechiper Vietnamese food name. And once I get the grasp of it, it’s simple really, the name of the food. The first word is the base, and the subsequent words are the modifier. For example, in this case, there are two words: Com and Ga. So, Com is the base dish. Com here means rice. Ga is the modifier, and it means chicken. Combining them together, we got our dish: Chicken Rice!
Com Ga is somewhat similar to Chinese style chicken rice. The rice is seasoned and the chicken is boiled. Like any other Vietnamese dish, it comes with a bunch of fresh vegetables.
I paid VND 35,000 ($1.5) for a huge portion of Com Ga.
When this dish was served in front of me by the lady, I was shocked. The portion was really big, and it got a lot of things going on there.
First, the base of the dish is the Bun, rice vermicilli noodle. Then, there are a lot of ingredient being used: tomato brooth, crab paste, tofu, pork sausage, blood sausage, and a lot of herbs. This dish is super amazing.
VND 30,000 was the price for all of those.
Bun Bo Hue
Ah.. Bun Bo Hue..
This is my second favorite Vietnamese food after Bun Cha. It’s a rice vermicilli noodle with chili and beef brooth, with a lot of thick beef slices on top of the noodle. It’s spicy!
But still, as with the case of Bun Cha, I think the best Bun Bo Hue could be had in its origin: Hue, the city in the middle of Vietnam. However, for sure, I won’t complain about that. Here in HCMC, the Bun Bo Hue still maintains a very high standard.
It was a bit more expensive than the other noodles, considering the amount of beef used: VND 40,000.
Another rice vermicilli dish. But this time, it’s got a clear stock brooth, some beef slices, and some of the biggest prawns I’ve found in a bowl of noodle soup.
Actually one could find this dish in Cambodia. It’s called Kuy Teav (derived from Koay Teaw, maybe?). It’s a traditional dish that usually served as a breakfast. I can confirm, it certainly is an amazing breakfast.
I had my first Hu Tieu in the middle of District 4 alleyway. So obscure, yet so tasty.
Price? VND 30,000!
Com Tam Suon Nuong
Literally, Com Tam means “broken rice”. Originally it was the rice for the poor, as it’s the rice that was broken during the milling process. Obviously it would be cheaper than the good quality rice. However, now it becomes one of the most famous Vietnamese dish!
One could add anything on top of the Com Tam. In that occasion, I ate the Com Tam with Suon Nuong: grilled pork ribs. This is the first Vietnamese food I’ve ever tasted when I was in HCMC for the first time in 2014, and I instantly fell in love back then.
For a plate of Com Tam Suon Nuong, it was VND 35,000.
For now, that’s it.
Fortunately, this list is not the end! I still have 3 more weeks here in HCMC, so plenty of time to taste more and more Vietnamese food here!