Tag: Thevietnamese

Bò Bía: A Piece of Saigon’s Hokkien Heritage in a Simple Street Food Roll

Historically Saigon has been a busy trading hub that attracts merchants from all over the region, and the city’s culinary repertoire is a smorgasbord of eclectic cultural influences. In the latest installment of our Food History series, Saigoneer takes a closer look at the history of a refreshing street treat that’s both delicious and healthy: bò bía.

My favorite memories of the dish, having been brought up in Saigon, almost always involve sitting on a sidewalk shooting the breeze with friends over dozens of bò bía and a chilly glass of sugar cane juice. Of all of the items that Vietnam has to offer, the humble roll must be the closest to the true definition of “street food” – a quick, extremely affordable snack that’s eaten on the street sans embellishments.

Have I mentioned that bò bía is also probably the cheapest food option around? Currently, most bò bía carts have adjusted their price according to the city’s rising cost of living: VND2,500-3,000 per roll. It’s a shame, because I still fondly remember a time when VND10,000 could get you a heaping packet of 20 rolls. I’m unfortunately not old enough to have lived in the golden era when a roll of bò bía cost VND200. My mother, however, swears by an old stall that once was near the entrance of Saigon’s Pedagogy University where she undertook her undergrad program. Fine mom, you win.

The anatomy of a bò bía roll starts with the core ingredients: jicama, or củ sắn, and rice paper. The starchy root vegetable is julienned into thin strips and blanched until soft to the touch. As the only hot ingredient of the filling, the boiled jicama is always kept warm in a pot at all bò bía carts.

Photos by Brandon Coleman.

Other toppings may vary depending on the locality and personal taste of the cook, but most feature slices of lạp xưởng, omelette and dried red krills, or ruốc, for proteins; and lettuce and fresh herbs as the vegetable components. It’s simple, but packs a punch of flavors and is actually low-carb. Saigon street food was low-carb before it was cool, go figure.

Tracking the origin of bò bía in Saigon is both a simple and complex task, for different reasons. On one hand, its birth place is obvious: the vegetable roll made its way to old Saigon along with Hokkien and Teochew immigrants from China. This trend was not limited to Vietnam, as Singaporean and Malaysian popiah (薄皮卷) is also a part of those nations’ Hokkien heritage. Our neighbors, however, have mostly managed to keep their rendition of bò bíafaithful to the original, unlike Vietnam’s.

Popiah ingredients. Photo via Recipe Great.

Traditional bò bía and Singapore’s popiah rolls, for example, use a thin sheet of dough as the wrap, while ours stay local with a quarter of a big sheet of bánh trángPopiahs feature more fillings and are accompanied by a different dipping sauce that’s less earthy and has more umami. Therefore, popiah stalls usually cut up their rolls into bite-size morsels like sushi to make them easier to eat.

Photo via SG Food on Foot.

However, Saigon’s been through a lot of changes, so much so that finding a true-blue Hokkien or Teochew vendor that sells the dish is a daunting task. Most stalls these days are manned by Saigoneers who find the roll a convenient and easy option with which to start a business.

Saigon’s popiah, however, are tiny and can be finished in two bites – or one if you’re a glutton like me. Two dips in a small bowl of bean paste with fried shallots, chili and crushed peanuts; and voila, you just finished a bò bía.

As far as Vietnam’s street food goes, there are more filling, more complex and more scrumptious dishes than bò bía, but at the end of the day, a roll isn’t meant to be the aforementioned things: it’s simply fuel for some good times with friends while catching up after a long day, because nothing strengthens friendship like eating delicious food on the pavement while watching out for Doan Ngoc Hai’s sidewalk crusade.

Saigoneer.com

Bánh Xèo and People-Watching on the Canal

There are certain foods in life that take time to love. Mắm tôm, for instance, or mắm chưng. Any of the mắms, really. Durian, I’m told, is a wonderful fruit on the fourth or fifth try. And while some of us are raised on cháo lòng and phá lấu and chicken feet, for others the journey toward appreciation can span weeks, months, even years.

There are, on the other hand, certain foods that have you from the first bite. Such is my relationship to bánh xèo Phan Rang. Of the smaller bánh xèo variety, these golden-brown morsels pop up at a handful of venues around town and vary so subtly from their more generic counterpart that they do not get their just due. But much like mosquito-killing tennis rackets and rain ponchos, I can no longer imagine life without these small, handheld pieces of heaven or their accompanying sauces.

In the shadow of District 3’s SCREC Tower, Quan Truc Bang holds some exceptional real estate along Nhieu Loc Canal. On one side, diners get a front-row seat to the kitchen, watching ladies covered head-to-toe as they tend to the bánh xèo griddle. On the other, motorbikes race by during Saigon’s chaotic evening rush hour, but with ample sidewalk space to separate your table from the melee and a steady flow of traffic down Truong Sa, the experience is a pleasant one.

Truc Bang’s own rendition of bánh xèo Phan Rang sticks to the traditional bánh xèo ingredients – pork, prawns and bean sprouts – but goes one step further than its other Phan Rang contemporaries in the sauce department. Specifically, the accompanying condiment combines the salty goodness of fish sauce, chilis for spice, and a bit of tomato to give the whole thing a bit of acidity. While the bánh xèo itself is a pleasant after-work meal, it’s the sauce that sells it. Add to the above-mentioned condiment bánh xèo Phan Rang’s requisite peanut sauce – in this case, a light, subtly sweet and slightly watery concoction – and you’re good to go.

Beyond the bánh xèo, Truc Bang also serves Phan Rang’s other specialty, bánh căn. These light, fluffy quail egg cakes are topped with pork, squid or shrimp as well as a sprinkling of green onions and some nicely fried croutons. Wrapped up in a lettuce leaf and dipped in the same sauces, they’re a beautiful, slightly less greasy option.

While the venue has both indoor and outdoor seating, you’ll find the best experience in the open-air dining room. Though rush hour can be a fight, if you manage to make it to this section of sidewalk, you will be gloriously rewarded.

Quan Truc Bang is open from 5pm-10pm daily.

Saigoneer.com

A Quick, Delicious, No-Nonsense Lunch at Quan Com Ga Hai Nam

Now that I’m on my fourth chicken-centric Hẻm Gem, I guess I might as well start carrying out these assignments dressed as a chicken.

Today’s fowl restaurant is Quan Com Ga Hai Nam, located across the street from the building which houses Air360 Sky Bar.

There’s no subtlety in the eatery’s name: it is named after Hainanese chicken rice, often considered the national dish of Singapore. Diners are greeted at the entrance by a glass display of tempting cuts of chicken, duck, pork and more. This tableau wouldn’t be out of place in Singapore, or for that matter any Chinatown around the world.

Inside, the restaurant’s two floors are utterly nondescript. This isn’t a place for hanging out; it’s designed to get people in and out in a hurry, and there are a lot of people. The lunchtime rush has the dining areas heaving when I arrive with photographer colleague and fellow accidential chicken enthusiast Brandon.

Despite the fact that the diner is named after a specific dish, the menu is enormous, offering far more than just chicken rice. A mind-bending range of rice options is available, as are noodle dishes, vegetables, seafood, shellfish and fried kway teow, another Singapore specialty.

A new menu page features a range of dishes from the small nation state such as stir-fried spicy soybean jam with shrimp, stir-fried Malaysian aubergine and ribs with shrimp paste.

We kept our orders simple though. Brandon went for the namesake Singapore Hai Nam chicken rice, while I opted for the fried rice with pork, both of which cost just VND40,000. I also selected the fried kway teow with seafood (VND50,000).

Our meal appeared almost immediately. The rice dishes are on the small side, but the delicious pork and accompanying sauce made up for that. The fatty slices of pork were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, and I was very content.

Sadly the same could not be said for Brandon, as the chicken was simply boiled and served atop rice. One would think that the dish which inspired the restaurant’s name would be a bit more exciting, and I’ve certainly had better chicken rice in Singapore, but the boney, bland chicken here was disappointing.

Judging by plates on other tables, the roast chicken is the way to go.

Fortunately the kway teow was also very good. A pile of shimp, squid, octopus and fish balls hid delicious yellow noodles bathed in a great sauce, and the portion was much more substantial.

Quan Com Ga Hai Nam’s expansive menu certainly warrants multiple visits, and the highly efficient service means you can drop in for a quick meal on a busy day. Maybe just avoid the standard chicken rice.

Quan Com Ga Hai Nam is open daily from 9:30am to 9:30pm.

Com Ga Hai Nam

67 Le Thi Hong Gam, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, D1

Saigoneer.com

Food in Vietnam: 40 delicious dishes you’ll love

(CNN) — Vietnamese cuisine doesn’t win any points for complexity. Many of the most popular dishes can be made just as well on the side of the road as in a top-end restaurant. But it’s precisely this simplicity, the subtle variations by region and the fresh ingredients that keep us pulling up a plastic stool for more.
Here are 40 foods from Vietnam you can’t miss:

1. Pho

Cheap can be tasty too.

Cheap can be tasty too.
What list of Vietnamese cuisine would be complete without pho? It’s almost impossible to walk a block in Vietnam’s major cities without bumping into a crowd of hungry patrons slurping noodles at a makeshift pho stand. This simple staple consisting of a salty broth, fresh rice noodles, a sprinkling of herbs and chicken or beef, features predominately in the local diet — and understandably so. It’s cheap, tasty, and widely available at all hours.
Just look out for a mass of people on plastic stools — or try a tried and tested favorite: Pho Thin, 13 Lo Duc, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi

2. Cha ca

 A food so good they named a street after it.

A food so good they named a street after it.
Hanoians consider cha ca to be so exceptional that there is a street in the capital dedicated to these fried morsels of fish. This namesake alley is home to Cha Ca La Vong, which serves sizzling chunks of fish seasoned with garlic, ginger, turmeric and dill on a hot pan tableside.
Cha Ca La Vong may be the busiest but the service is a bit gruff and the food overpriced. Instead make your way to Duong Than in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem district, where you’ll find plenty of more affordable but just as tasty options.

3. Banh xeo

A crepe you won't forget.

A crepe you won’t forget.
A good banh xeo is a crispy crepe bulging with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts, plus the garnish of fresh herbs that are characteristic of most authentic Vietnamese dishes. To enjoy one like a local, cut it into manageable slices, roll it up in rice paper or lettuce leaves and dunk it in whatever special sauce the chef has mixed up for you.
Banh Xeo 46A has mixed reviews but judging by the crowds that swarm there each night they must be doing something right. Banh Xeo, 46A Dinh Cong Trang, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)

4. Cao lau

Cao lau -- one of Vietnam's most popular dishes.

Soft, crunchy, sweet, spicy — a bowl of contrasts.
This pork noodle dish from Hoi An is a bit like the various cultures that visited the trading port at its prime. The thicker noodles are similar to Japanese udon, the crispy won-ton crackers and pork are a Chinese touch, while the broth and herbs are clearly Vietnamese. Authentic cau lao is made only with water drawn from the local Ba Le well.
Try Morning Glory, 106 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An

5. Rau muong

Some might call it river weed — with good reason — but that doesn’t stop the masses from scarfing down platefuls of morning glory, usually stir-fried and seasoned with slithers of potent garlic. Rau muong is common at Vietnamese restaurants and beer gardens.
Chung Den Bia Hoi, 18B Hang Cot, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

6. Nem ran/cha gio

Vietnam’s bite-sized crunchy spring rolls might not enjoy the same popularity as their healthier fresh equivalent, but they deserve a special mention. The crispy shell with a soft veggie and meat filling dunked in a tangy sauce gets the gastronomic juices flowing before a main course. In the north these parcels go by the name nem ran while southerners call them cha gio.
Bun Cha, 1 Hang Manh, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

7. Goi cuon

A healthier choice for spring roll fans.

A healthier choice for spring roll fans.
These light and healthy fresh spring rolls are a wholesome choice when you’ve been indulging in too much of the fried food in Vietnam. The translucent parcels are first packed with salad greens, a slither of meat or seafood and a layer of coriander, before being neatly rolled and dunked in Vietnam’s favorite condiment — fish sauce.
Quan An Ngon, 18 Phan Boi Chau, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

8. Bun bo Hue

Central Vietnam’s take on noodles caters to carnivores with its meaty broth and piles of beef and pork. The thick slippery rice noodles also make for a heartier meal than noodles found in the north and south.
You don’t have to go to Hue to enjoy this dish; if in Ho Chi Minh City try Tib Express, 162 NguyenDinh Chieu, District 3, HCMC

9. Banh khot

Bite-size, delightful Vietnamese pancakes.

Bite-size, delightful Vietnamese pancakes.
This dainty variation of a Vietnamese pancake has all the same tasty ingredients but is a fraction of the size. Each banh knot can be scoffed in one ambitious but satisfying mouthful. The crunchy outside is made using coconut milk and the filling usually consists of shrimp, mung beans, and spring onions with a dusting of dried shrimp flakes on top.
Co Ba Vung Tau, 59B Cao Thang, District 3, HCMC

10. Ga tan

Got the sniffles? Opt for ga tan, a broth that’s Vietnam’s answer to the proverbial cup of chicken noodle soup. Sure it’s not quite how your mother used to make it, with its greenish tinge from the herbs and hunks of chicken parts, but it’s worth a try if you’re needing a Vietnamese tonic.
Try this at one of the street stalls on Hanoi’s Tong Duy Tan aka Pho Am Thuc, or “Food Street,” Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

11. Nom hoa chuoi

Vietnam’s banana flower salad packs a much bigger punch than a typical plate of mixed greens. Banana flowers (thick purple lumps that will later turn into bunches of bananas) are peeled and thinly sliced then mixed with green papaya, carrots, and cilantro along with chicken and a heavy-handed pour of a salty fish sauce dressing and crunchy peanuts.
Highway 4 restaurant, 3 Hang Tre, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

12. Bun bo nam bo

One of Vietnam's most-loved noodle dishes.

One of Vietnam’s most-loved noodle dishes.
This bowl of noodles comes sans broth, keeping the ingredients from becoming sodden and the various textures intact. The tender slices of beef mingle with crunchy peanuts and bean sprouts, and are flavored with fresh herbs, crisp dried shallots, and a splash of fish sauce and fiery chili pepper.
67 Hang Dieu, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

13. Hoa qua dam

This chunky blend of fresh tropical fruit in a cup is the perfect local treat when the heat of Vietnamese summer starts to wear you down. It could be considered a healthy alternative to ice cream — if you stick to the shaved ice variation — but for the full experience it’s best had with diabetes-inducing condensed milk mixed in.

14. Pho cuon

Pho cuon packages the flavors of pho and goi cuon in one neat little parcel. This Hanoi take on fresh spring rolls uses sheets of uncut pho noodles to encase fried beef, herbs and lettuce or cucumber.
The best place to find them is on Ngu Xa island on the capital’s Truc Bach Lake — specifically at 26 Nguyen Khac Hieu, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi

15. Ga nuong

This beats KFC any day.

This beats KFC any day.
KFC may be everywhere in Vietnam these days, but skip the fast food for the local version. Honey marinated then grilled over large flaming barbecues, the chicken legs, wings and feet served are unusually tender, while the skin stays crispy but not dry.
Viet Ha on Ly Van Phuc, Dong Da district, Hanoi

16. Pho xao

Pho xao may just be a slightly healthier take on my xao — but the beauty is in the details. The flat, smoother pho noodle doesn’t crisp up like its pre-boiled instant cousin. When done well the outer edges acquire a browned crunchiness, whilst the center stays soft and glutinous. This dish tastes best with a fried egg and seasoned with chili or soy sauce.
26 Nguyen Khac Sieu, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

17. Ca phe trung

Vietnamese “egg coffee” is technically a drink but we prefer to put it in the dessert category. The creamy soft, meringue-like egg white foam perched on the dense Vietnamese coffee will have even those who don’t normally crave a cup of joe licking their spoons with delight.
In Hanoi, follow the tiny alley between the kitschy souvenir shops at 11 Hang Gai into the clearing, and up several flights of increasingly dicey stairs to pair your ca phe trung with an unbeatable view of Hoan Kiem Lake.

18. Bo la lot

Vietnamese are masters of wrapping their food. Bo la lot is neither raw nor deep-fried, but flamed on an open grill to soften the exterior and infuse the betel leaf’s peppery aroma into the ground beef inside.
3T Quan Nuong, 29-31 Ton That Thiep, District 1, HCMC

19. Xoi

This savory sticky rice is a meal all on its own.

This savory sticky rice is a meal all on its own.
Savory sticky rice is less of an accompaniment to meals in Vietnam, more a meal itself. The glutinous staple comes with any number of mix-ins (from slithers of chicken, or pork to fried or preserved eggs), but almost always with a scattering of dried shallots on top.
Xoi Yen, Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

20. Banh cuon

Delicious savory pancakes.

Delicious savory pancakes.
These rolled up rice flour pancakes are best when served piping hot, still soft and delicate. Although seemingly slender and empty they have a savory filling of minced pork and mushrooms. Zest is also added by dunking the slippery parcels in a fishy dipping sauce.

21. Ca tim kho to

Eggplant alone tends not to get us excited. Although when it’s diced and sauteed in a clay pot along with tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar, and (depending on the recipe) minced meat, the once bland vegetable redeems itself.
Pineapple Restaurant, 35 Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

22. Bot chien

Bot Chien is Vietnamese street food at its best.

Bot Chien is Vietnamese street food at its best.
Saigon’s favorite streetside snack, bot chien, is popular with both the afterschool and the after-midnight crowd. Chunks of rice flour dough are fried in a large wok until crispy and then an egg is broken into the mix. Once cooked it’s served with slices of papaya, shallots and green onions, before more flavor is added with pickled chili sauce and rice vinegar.
Night-time food vendors sell this at the corners of Pham Ngu Lao and Cong Quynh, District 1, HCMC

23. Bun dau mam tom

This plain-looking tofu and noodle dish is served with mam tom sauce — the Vegemite of Vietnam. The pungent purple dipping sauce is used to flavor the slabs of deep-fried tofu that are at the core of the meal.

24. Banh goi

These pockets of deep-fried goodness are often described as the equivalent of a Cornish pasty or as a Vietnamese samosa, depending on the nationality of the person explaining. Inside the crispy exterior you’ll find that it’s similar to neither description, with its filling of finely minced pork, mushrooms and vermicelli noodles.

25. Com suon nuong

This simple meal is the Saigonese equivalent of bun cha — with rice in place of noodles. A tender pork cutlet is barbecued over hot coals to give it a rich, smoky flavor, and laid over the fluffy white “com” or broken rice.
Com Tam Cali has a number of branches across HCMC. Try Tam Cali 1 at 32 Nguyen Trai, District 1, HCMC

26. Chao

With its thick and creamy texture Vietnam’s rice porridge is the best pick when your queasy stomach can’t handle much else. If you want to jazz it up you can always add slices of chicken, fish, beef, duck or pork ribs, along with a sprinkling of herbs and shallots.
Chao Ca specializes in fish chao, 213 Hang Bong, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

27. Bo luc lac

Cubes of beef are tossed around a steaming wok with garlic, pepper, and some vegetables to make shaking beef. There’s nothing special about the beef that makes it shaking. The name is just a literal translation that refers to the process of mixing the beef around while cooking.
Nha Hang Ngon, 160 Pasteur, District 1, HCMC

28. Hat de nong

The smell of chestnuts roasting on an open fire can bring back fond memories of Christmas carols — until a moped transporting a giant blow-up Santa whizzes by. Pick the street vendor with the most enticing smell.

29. Banh uot thit nuong

It’s all about the marinade when it comes to the grilled pork in fresh rice paper rolls that are popular in Central Vietnam. The typical mixture coats the meat in a blend of sugar, salt, chili, lemongrass and fish sauce. Cilantro, basil and mint are added when it’s served up to add some green to the appetizer.
Morning Glory, 106 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An

30. Bun cha

The perfect lunchtime treat.

The perfect lunchtime treat.
Pho might be Vietnam’s most famous dish but bun cha is the top choice when it comes to lunchtime in the capital. Just look for the clouds of meaty smoke after 11 a.m. when street-side restaurants start grilling up small patties of seasoned pork and slices of marinated pork belly over a charcoal fire. Once they’re charred and crispy the morsels are served with a large bowl of a fish sauce-heavy broth, a basket of herbs and a helping of rice noodles.
Hanoi’s most famous bun cha outlet is 1 Hang Manh, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

31. Banh mi

The world-famous banh mi sandwich.

The world-famous banh mi sandwich.
The French may have brought with them the baguette, but Vietnam takes it to a different level. How exactly depends on what end of the country you’re in.
In the north, chefs stick to the basic elements of carbohydrate, fat and protein — bread, margarine and pata — but head south and your banh mi may contain a more colorful combination of cheese, cold cuts, pickled vegetables, sausage, fried egg, fresh cilantro and chili sauce.
One of the better baguette vendors in Saigon sets up shop beside the Cherry mini-mart on DoQuang Dao, District 1, HCMC

32. Lau

Eating this hodgepodge hotpot dish is a communal affair with everyone digging in to the oversized boiling pot. We’ve found that just about anything can (and will) go into this soup from tofu to frogs. It’s best to stick to one main protein rather than opting for the mix of meat, poultry and seafood together.
On the northern edge of Hanoi’s Truc Bach lake you’ll find a number of restaurant staff crossing the street to deliver lau to lake-side diners

33. Banh bao

The Vietnamese take on steamed pork burns.

The Vietnamese take on steamed pork burns.
Steamed pork buns aren’t traditionally Vietnamese, but that doesn’t stop the spongy rolls from being sold by street vendors and in traditional Vietnamese restaurants. The best buns have a hard-boiled quail egg buried within the minced meat, while the cheaper ones come without any filling at all. Remember the lower the price the less stuffing, so you might not be getting the good deal you thought you were.
Often sold by wandering vendors patrolling Hanoi’s Old Quarter at all hours. In the south try Banh Bao Tho Phat, 78 Nguyen Tri Phuong, District 5, HCMC

34. Com rang

Fried rice may not be the most adventurous option, but sometimes you just want some familiar grub done right. Baby-sized chunks of meat and colorful vegetables are mixed with soy and fish sauce in a wok streetside to create a rice dish that is still moist but slightly smoky. Make it Vietnamese by supplementing with Bia Hanoi.
Try one of the vendors on Tong Duy Tan aka “Food Street,” Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

35. Bo bit tet

Vietnam’s equivalent to steak and eggs fills the void when you’re hankering for some greasy pub tucker. The thin flank steak is usually served with eggs, thick potato wedges, and Vietnamese meatballs on a sizzling cast iron plate.

36. Com chay

Com chay refers to two things in Vietnam: vegetarian food, or Vietnam’s homemade rice crispies that are popular with children. Unlike the sweet treats in the United States, Vietnam’s version of a crispy comes with meat instead of marshmallows. Vietnam’s vegetarian restaurants use mock meats to create all the traditional dishes and usually do a pretty good job. Although some places include artificial creations we would rather not try. Fake rubbery snails anyone?
Try Hoa Dang vegetarian restaurant, 38 Huynh Khuong Ninh, District 1, HCMC

37. Che

This dessert can be served in either a bowl or a glass. The latter is the more enticing option with the visible layers of bean jelly, coconut milk, fruit, and ice. Best had when you’re craving something sweet on a scorching day in Saigon.
Nha Hang Ngon, 160 Pasteur, District 1, HCMC

38. My xao bo

Mix noodles with a dollop of oil, then add beef, onions, garlic, morning glory and some tomato for color and you have a platter of my xao bo. The whole dish takes about as long to make as instant noodles — but oh so much more flavor.
Any bia hoi establishment serves this dish, but the eateries on Tang Bat Ho, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, have perfected it

39. Dau phu sot ca chua

The English translation of “tofu in tomato sauce” doesn’t really do this dish justice. The slabs of deep-fried soy are doused in a rich fresh tomato and spring onion coating, and seasoned with a speckle of fresh herbs.
Chim Sao at 65 Ngo Hue, Hai Ba Trung district, Hanoi

40. Canh bun

Another hearty soup that’s high on the lunchtime agenda, this is a crab and morning glory noodle soup. Canh bun is similar to the more well-known bun rieu crab soup, but has a small handful of variations — including the type of noodle used.
Look for street food vendors with Canh Bun on handwritten signs surrounded by lunchtime crowds, or visit Bun Saigon at 73 Ly Tu Trong, District 1, HCMC
Editor’s note: This article was previously published in 2011. It was reformatted and republished in 2017.
Cnn.com