Fri, 23rd Feb 2024 11:40 (GMT +7)

Six top destinations in Vietnam to enjoy banh mi: Booking.com

Tuesday, 04/04/2023 | 10:29:06 [GMT +7] A  A

Hanoi, Hue, Da Lat, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) were recommended by online travel agency Booking.com. as the most ideal destinations in Vietnam to enjoy banh mi.

Banh mi served in frying pans at a stall in Hanoi. Photo by Nguyen Chi

Hanoi has different variations of banh mi. One of the most recommended variations by foreigners is banh mi chao, served in a frying pan with egg, pate and sausage. This dish is usually served right after it is cooked. Typically, a mixture of chili sauce and soy sauce are added to the pan before it is eaten.

The egg yolk combined with seasoning makes for a tasty sauce that pieces of crispy bread can be dipped into.

In Hue, banh bot loc (rice dumpling cake) is a special banh mi filling. The cake a chewy dumpling made from tapioca flour and filled with pork and shrimp. The cake is wrapped in banana leaves and steamed before being served hot with fish sauce.

A street vendor sells banh bot loc (rice dumpling cake) on a street in Hue. Photo by Ngan Duong

"A good rice dumpling cake would have a supple, transparent flour cover that shows its shrimp and meat filling," Booking.com said.

"Adding a few slices of chasiu, herbs, chili, sugar, fish-sauce and chasiu gravy, provides a combination of a rich, delicious, buttery taste that can be found nowhere else."

In the Central Highlands town of Da Lat, tourists can find street vendors selling bread with a pot of boiling broth filled with fragrant xiu mai (shumai).

Banh mi are served with bowls of shumai at a stall in Da Lat. Photo by Ha Lam

Shumai bread is a popular breakfast dish among locals in Da Lat. The shumai meatballs are made of lean ground pork cooked to perfection. The broth is made from simmered pork bones and is a balance of savory and sweet tastes.

These tiny bowls of meatballs and broth are then served with a dipping sauce and fresh hot bread.

At many restaurants, diners can order additional side dishes such as pate and pork rolls.

Hoi An, a UNESCO world heritage site, is famous for banh mi stalls that have garnered a global reputation such as Madame Khanh, Phuong or Ms. Lanh.

Loaves of banh mi at Madame Khanh stall in Hoi An ancient town, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Rose

At Madame Khanh’s stall, loaves of banh mi are packed with meat, pate, veggies and sauce.

This restaurant has been in the same hands for 50 years and each loaf is made by 80-year-old owner Nguyen Thi Loc.

In Nha Trang, banh mi with grilled fish cake is a popular breakfast option.

Baguette with grilled fish cake in Nha Trang. Photo by Kangyoon Ho

In order to prepare it, a banh mi loaf is split lengthwise and then filled with fried fish cakes before scallions, coriander, soy sauce, sliced chili peppers, or pickled daikon and carrots are added.

The fish cakes can be pre-made or prepared from scratch, and they usually consist of pounded fish fillets, fish sauce, garlic, sesame oil, salt, and white pepper.

As a street food paradise, HCMC offers the quintessentially banh mi with fillings far more appetizing than the standard ones.

Banh mi at Huynh Hoa stall in downtown HCMC costs nearly $3. Photo by Quynh Tran

In HCMC, Huynh Hoa is one of the most famous banh mi stalls with sandwiches here costing VND58,000 ($2.54) for layers of meat, cold cuts and a generous sprinkling of pork floss. Some also love the restaurants unique mayonnaise mix.

Anan Saigon Restaurant is famous for its the $100 banh mi that is topped off with French foie gras, truffle, a traditional garnish of sliced cucumbers, cilantro and mint and served with a side of fried sweet potatoes and caviar.

Late last week, foreign visitors queued in long lines to enjoy this popular street food at the country’s first Banh Mi Festival held in HCMC's District 1.

Source: VnExpress