8 must-eats for a food tour in Hoi An
Hoi An is not only famous for its beauty: old, peaceful and charming but also a unique and diverse cuisine. Discovering unique cuisine is also a major reason to attract tourists here. Street food is a highlight of Hoi An Cuisine. They can be sold on the street , in small alleys or in small local markets. Eating street food will be one of the most unforgetable experiece you have ever had. Follow us to discover ten delicious street dishes you must try when being in Hoi An.
1. Quang Noodle (Mỳ Quảng)
Literally translated as Quang (Quang Nam)-styled noodles, mi Quang is popular around the country, even among foreigners.
It is recognizable with its thin, flat rice noodles glazed with a mixture of peanut oil fried with onion and usually yellow broth.
Traditionally, its main ingredients are shrimp and pork, which are also used to cook the broth and as toppings together with peanuts and rice crackers. But the dish has gradually become diverse with more toppings like chicken, fish, squid, eggs, snails, and even frogs.
2. Cao Lau
Cao lau is a rice noodle believed to have been invented in Hoi An. It is equally delicious but, for some reason, less popular than mi Quang.
In a way it has some things in common with Chinese and Japanese noodles. Its al dente noodles, for instance, look raw and thick like Japanese udon. Its toppings include slices of pork that look like char siu or Chinese barbecued pork.
Cao lau is eaten with lots of herbs and vegetables which greatly enhance its flavors.
3. Chicken Rice (Cơm gà)
Com ga, or chicken rice, is not exclusive to Hoi An, but locals have successfully improved on it, making it one of their signature dishes.
A dish of chicken rice is mouth-watering with its pleasantly yellowed rice topped with hand-shredded chicken and herbs. It is served with a small bowl of soup containing some chicken giblets like heart and liver.
It is said that to make the famous com ga, Hoi An people carefully choose rice and chicken of top quality. They season the rice before cooking it with chicken broth and pandan leaves on wood-fired clay ovens.
4. Hoi An Bread (Bánh Mỳ Hội An)
The bread of Hoi An Banh Mi is perfect from the inside to the outside. The crust is thin but crispy, when you take one bite, you can feel the special texture crushed in your mouth, and you can hear the crispy sound when you press it firmly. The crumb of Banh Mi is so soft and fluffy, its texture is just like an airy white cloud floating in the sky. The combination of the crispy crust and the soft sweet crumb will blow your mind, as it is too perfect.
5. Grilled Pork warpped in rice paper with Vegetables (Bánh cuốn thịt nướng)
Banh cuon thit nuong, or wet pancake rolled with grilled pork, is a common dish at restaurants that serve central region foods, including from Hue. However, while in Hoi An, you should check out street stalls along the Hoai River.
The dish is served on a tray consisting of a stack of wet rice pancakes, skewers of charcoal-grilled pork, a dish of fresh herbs and vegetables, and peanut sauce as a dip.
With this you can make the rolls by yourself. And do no worry that your rolling skills may be sloppy: who cares how it looks when the food is exceptionally good?
6.Fried rice pancake (Bánh xèo)
The fried rice pancake is not a must-eat in Hoi An but still worth checking out during a food tour. The “sizzling cake,” as it is known among English speakers, is quite popular there, especially during the rainy season.
Unlike its cousin in many other places, Hoi An banh xeo is mainly stuffed with shrimp rather than pork or beef. Other fillings are hulled mung bean and bean sprout. It is also smaller, especially when compared with the southern version.
Banh xeo is served hot with a lot of herbs and green vegetables.
7. Vietnamese Savory Steamed Rice Cake (Bánh Bèo)
Hoi An’s banh beo (steamed rice pancake) is big and thick compared with its Hue cousin. Its topping sauce is also thick, and brick red, a color that comes from achiote or tomato juice added to a mixture of shrimp and pork.
Some sellers add sugar when mixing the flour to make the cakes, and so they are slightly sweet. The idea of sweet combined with the salt and spice of nuoc mam (fish sauce) – the dipping sauce – might turn some people off. But the fact is that many people are hooked after the first bite.
The town’s banh beo also tastes fatty thanks to fried shallot slices, oil and deep-fried cao lau noodles that are used as another topping.
The distinctive pancake can be found everywhere in Hoi An, but the best is often at street vendors’ and little eateries
8. White Rose Dumplings (Banh Bao – Banh vac )
The famous dish actually consists of two kinds of steamed rice dumplings.
Banh vac is filled with ground shrimp, garlic, spring onion, lemon grass, and spices. Banh bao, on the other hand, has minced pork and mushrooms as the main fillings.
They are known –somewhat poetically -- as white roses among English speakers, though only one of the two dishes lives up to the name; the other looks more like Chinese jiaozi or pot stickers.
The dish is served with a dipping sauce made from shrimp broth.