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13 thoughts on “Vietnamese Cuisine: Noodle Dishes”

  1. I don’t recall trying any Vietnamese noodle dish that I didn’t like. From the ubiquitous phở to bún bò Huế and mì Quảng, as a noodle lover I was like in heaven when I went to Vietnam. I don’t think I tried cao lầu when I visited Hoi An a few years ago. If only I knew about this dish!

    1. A reason to come back, before Hoi An gets too crowded again 😛 Personally, I like mì Quảng more than cao lầu. The latter is better in terms of texture, but the taste of lye water is still strong for me.

      Have you tried bún chả? Every time I travel to Hanoi, I have to eat a few bowls 🙂 We have it here, but strangely it doesn’t taste the same.

      1. No, I haven’t. I shouldn’t miss it when I travel to Hanoi one day. I’ve tried the dish in Jakarta, but I don’t know how authentic it was.

  2. Wonderful post right here, Len! Pho is definitely a favorite!

    (Interestingly, there’s a localized version of pho in the Philippine province of Palawan called “chaolong”, which was brought by Vietnamese refugees escaping the war. While some of them moved to other countries, a handful of them stayed in the province and set up chaolong shops. There’s also a local take on banh mi which pairs rather nicely with the noodle soup.)

    The wonton noodles remind me of the “wantan mee” I tried in Singapore back in 2017 — though the Singaporean take doesn’t have much vegetables compared to the Vietnamese take.

    1. Interesting! I’ve just googled it, and the dish resembles hủ tiếu bò kho (Beef stew with rice noodles). It is indeed popular here in Saigon and southern Vietnam. The dish also works very well with rice 😛

      “Chao long” is another Vietnamese dish. But it’s porridge, often paired with pork intestine.

  3. This is such a mouth-watering post! I’m glad I read this on a full stomach – in fact I just had some authentic Hoi An chicken rice and gỏi cuốn at a recently opened restaurant run by a Vietnamese-Indian couple. Sadly my favorite Vietnamese place in Jakarta closed down for good during the pandemic. They had an extensive menu with quite a few regional specialties like mì Quảng (which was excellent), and the phở there was just how I remembered it from my travels to Saigon and the Central Coast around Da Nang.

    As for my favorite regional Vietnamese noodle dish, I really can’t decide so it’s a three-way tie between bún bò Huế, mì Quảng, and cao lầu – I love them all for different reasons. I don’t think I’ve ever tried an authentic bún chả before, so I’ll have to plan a trip to Hanoi some time in the future!

    1. Well… if there are grilled pork (more like meatballs) in the bowl, you might have the correct bún chả. Some Vietnamese restaurants abroad do confuse bún chả for bún chả giò which is vermicelli with spring rolls. They shorten the name and serve a totally different dish 🙂

  4. What a delicious, delightful post, Len. You make Vietnamese sound and look so appetising. Pho is something very well known here in Australia, and very easy to find. A good broth definitely needs to be clear as you said, and it’s a dish that’s about savouring different flavours in one meal – much like the other dishes you described. I see there are some fried doughnut sticks besides the pho…love those fried doughnuts 🙂

    The Cantonese really do have an influence on some Vietnamese cuisines. The Wonton Noodles in Vietnamese cuisine seems to be lighter than the Cantonese ones that I tend to go for – and generally in some Chinese soup-based dishes the broth or soup isn’t always clear.

    1. Precisely! In the Chinatown of Saigon, many shops are still making wonton noodles in the traditional way. The dish has rich dark broth and strong medicinal herb flavour. Another noodle dish that might have Cantonese origin is braised duck noodles. Yummy! 😛

  5. I did try this before and it taste very good, but it was with beef. Love the taste of this food and also I love to add chilli oil in it, making it perfect. So delicious! 😍

    1. Ah the classic beef noodles! I’m glad that you like it. Next time you should try pho with the soya bean sauce (often stands together with the chili sauce). It will give the dish a different flavour 😛

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