Vietnamese cuisine varies by region, and you can notice the differences between North Vietnam food and that of the rest. Planning the perfect food tours in Northern Vietnam can be a daunting task for first-timers. Fear not! Here is your detailed local food guide to exploring the extremely rich food culture of Northern Vietnam.
Is Northern food worth it?
Occupied by Japan, France, and China in the past, the North is the country’s oldest region with most geographical diversity. Time-honored traditions and foreign influences have shaped the cuisine of this region.
The mountainous areas such as Sapa Town as well as Ha Giang and Dien Bien Provinces are home to around 30 ethnic minority groups in partial seclusion with one-of-its-kind customs. Ingredients and spices here are exceptional as a result of the generous supply source from terraced fields, rivers, and forests.
Meanwhile, locals in the Red River Delta, including Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam, commonly make use of freshwater species and farm animals for their recipes. The food has a lighter texture and flavor than that of other places in Vietnam. People here are fonder of salty and sour than sweet and spicy.
In the coastal areas (Ha Long, etc.), people favor seafood and particularly love to add fish sauce to their dishes.
North Vietnam Food: A mouth-watering experience
1. Phở (Pho)
Make sure you try phở (Source: Google)
By Vietnam, most visitors may think of bánh mì, and phở. While you can find this dish almost everywhere in the country, phở in the North is praised for being on another level. Its broth is truly clear but incredibly flavorful. Don’t leave Hanoi without savoring this most famous and oldest food of the capital.
2. Bún chả (Vermicelli with BBQ)
There include rice vermicelli in this recipe. The locals serve it with vegetables, and pork patties grilled over a charcoal fire. A tempting dipping sauce available is from salt, mango, pepper, and rice vinegar.
3. Chả mực (Grilled squid cakes)
Fried squid cakes (Source: Google)
Chả mực of Halong is one of the most famous Vietnamese specialties. The locals catch up fresh squid from the sea to make its meat aromatic and finger-licking. As most of the ingredients for this recipe are freshly caught in Halong’s sea area, it tastes most pleasant and distinct here.
4. Bánh cuốn (Stuffed pancake)
Vietnamese steamed rice rolls (Source: Google)
Bánh cuốn is another great Vietnam local food. As simple as it is, it’s exciting to look at, and distinctly flavored. Sheets of pancakes from rice flour is delicate. People fill it with a smooth combination of wood ear fungus and minced pork. Also, chả lụa (fishcake), pork roll, and a tasty dipping sauce make this dish a must-try!
5, Xôi xéo (Sticky rice)
As an essential part of Hanoi’s food, xôi xéo is immensely favorable among locals and foreigners. Its bright yellow color is visually attractive. People steam glutinous rice to perfection and mix it with turmeric. That’s why it has a yellow color. Fried shallots and mashed mung beans top the food.
6. Thịt lợn cắp nách (Free-range pigs)
Free-range pork (Source: Google)
Your trip to Sapa won’t complete without enjoying thịt lợn cắp nách. The pork here is exceptionally and uniquely sweet because the locals let pigs free to look for food in the garden and forest. This food is often roasted or grilled. The roasted version has a honey color, is brittle outside, and sweet and soft inside.
7. Cơm lam (Rice in bamboo tubes)
People in Sapa are also proud of this delicious specialty that comes at a reasonable price. Rice is especially fried in bamboo tubes. You can enjoy it with salted roasted sesame, chicken skewers or grilled pork. The taste and aroma of the ingredients will draw you to take this dish home with you.
8. Nem cua bể (Crab spring rolls)
Crab spring rolls (Source: Google)
Known as a specialty of the coastal city of Ha Long, nem cua bể can fully satisfy your taste. Ground crab meat and tile, egg white, pork, bean sprout, carrot, ear mushrooms, kohlrabi, vermicelli, and rice paper are its primary ingredients. You can serve it with chopped cucumber, lettuce, and a flavorful sauce.
The foods will make you fall deeper in love with the beautiful North of Vietnam. Make sure you savor them at least once. What’s greater than visiting amazing places, encountering awesome people, enjoying delicious food, and sharing all the unforgettable moments with your beloved?
Explore the extremely rich local food culture of Vietnam:
- What to eat in Central Vietnam? Footsteps to the table
- Vietnamese Food-Related Superstitions | 6 Faulty Hindsight
- Northern Vietnam Flavor