One Phở to Rule Them All
When most people think of Vietnamese food, the first dish that comes to mind is phở (Vietnamese beef noodle soup pronounced Fuh with a question mark tone that falls then rises). But Vietnamese cuisine is far more varied than this one dish.
Already, as more people in the west discover additional Vietnamese dishes, they are being marketed as a novelty food item. A good example of this is bánh mì, which is just the Vietnamese word for “bread”. But it has become the word used to order a Vietnamese sandwich that is usually eaten for breakfast and sold on the street.
Bánh mì comes in many different varieties, such as egg, pork, spicy, non-spicy etc. Here in Vietnam, one bánh mì sells for about 15,000vnd (about seventy cents), so in addition to being pretty tasty, it’s also super cheap!
Now that bánh mì has caught on as a popular Vietnamese food outside of Vietnam, I’m sure we’ll see other traditional dishes become popular as well. One of my favorite types Vietnamese food is a style of food that comes from the central city of Huế (pronounced Hwe, with a rising tone).
The food from this region is light, mostly made from rice, coconut milk, and served with different types of fish sauce, and very delicious. Probably my favorite food from Huế is Buốn thịt nướng (pork with noodles), which is the picture featured in this article.
Other great dishes from Huế are bánh bèo (bite-sized morsels made from coconut milk served with fish sauce), bún bò (beef noodle soup with fat noodles) and chè (Vietnamese lightly sweetened dessert made from many different ingredients such as soy/mung beans, corn and rice).
There are many Vietnamese restaurants in the United States and all around the world. Unfortunately, I have found that while often delicious, for a variety of reasons, the food tastes quite different outside of Vietnam.
I think the reason for this is mostly that the ingredients and spices aren’t exactly the same so the cooks have to improvise. Also, certain ingredients are simply too expensive to ship all the way to the U.S. so they use substitutes.
Come to Vietnam!
Finally, I know that the American, and western palate in general, favors sweeter food these days, so often times they sweeten it up for that reason.
Don’t get me wrong, Vietnamese food in America usually tastes great, just know that it’s not the real deal like what you would get here in Vietnam. Of course, I encourage you to come visit so that you can try out all of the amazing foods made fresh here first hand!
Even though plane tickets can be pricey depending on how far you’re traveling from, your trip usually still ends up being a lot cheaper than many other vacations because expenses are so low once you arrive, as you can see from the low price of the Bánh mì.
Despite all of the above, phở is still one of my favorite Vietnamese foods because it’s just sooo good. As with other soup dishes and bánh mì, phở is usually served for breakfast, although it makes a great food any time of day. And don’t tell anyone I said this, but it’s also great for hangovers!
The variety of Vietnamese food that exists is far too great for one blog post, which is why I will be making this a regular topic on the website. Stay tuned for a lot more on the wonderful Vietnamese cuisine that continues to rise up the rankings of best cuisine in the world.