An sang or breakfast in Vietnam has become a culture with a variety of dishes in an amazingly excited atmosphere of early risers. It’s not difficult to find an open doorway full of steam and a cluster of people on ankle-high stools. These may be signs of a good place for the world’s greatest noodle soup – pho. However, it turned out pretty clear that there was a lot more going on with the local cuisine than pho, that most people associate with the country. There are also the world best Banh mi, the cake family, sticky rice, congee with fried breadstick, ect. for you to explore and enjoy one by one with guaranteed never-ending excitement.
Xoi (Sticky rice)
Xôi is another common on-the-go breakfast item, and a popular snack nationwide. Made from sticky rice, xoi has many variants with different colors and flavors. It will never be difficult to find a roadside vendor selling xoi in the morning. You will easily catch a sight of a scrum of people gathering at a corner, in the middle of which sits a woman with a bamboo basket fully packed with “xoi” (which is kept warm by a thin blanket) and some small bottles containing “ruoc”, “muoi vung”, deep fried shallot…to fulfill all the demands of the customers. Most of the sellers will sit at the same place every day, normally in front of school or office gate, or in corner of the streets. Customers will come, calling down orders and they will be served within three minutes!
Little is known when xoi was first given birth, but xoi has been existed so long in Vietnamese people’s heart, from children to the elderly that xoi stalls where people gather around, waiting patiently to take turn can be seen in every corner or alley, and whenever the basket is half-opened, its sweet and appetizing aroma can make anybody mouth-watering.
Congee or rice porridge is one of the most common meals in Vietnam in not only breakfast but also lunch and dinner. Cháo is very easy to cook since almost every electronic rice-cooker has porridge cooking function. Although it is considered as the poor’s food, Cháo could be much fancier when cooked with a variety of meats. To illustrate, Chao Ga is chao boiled with a whole chicken with bones to get the tastiest broth. Other varieties of Cháo such as Cháo Vịt (porridge with duck); Cháo Lươn (porridge with eel) and Cháo Cá (porridge with fish), are cooked with the same method.
Bun rieu cua (Crab noodle soup)
Bun rieu (bún riêu) is a Vietnamese crab based soup noodle dish, which originated from the northern region but the south also has its own version to well match their taste.
In the north recipe, bún riêu cua is served with charming tomato broth and topped with crab or shrimp paste. In this dish, freshwater paddy crabs are used, including the brown paddy crab found in rice paddies in Vietnam. The crabs are cleaned by being placed in clean water to remove dirt and sand. The crabs are pounded with the shell on into a fine paste. This paste is strained and the crab liquid is a base for the soup along with tomato. The crab residue is used as the basis for crab cakes. Other ingredients include fried tofu, mẻ or giấm bổng (kinds of rice vinegar), etc. In the south, tamarind paste and cashew is used instead to redden the broth. A bowl of bun rieu can not be eaten without fresh veggies and herbs, which comprise of split water spinach stems, shredded banana flower, Vietnamese balm, spearmint, perilla, bean sprouts. This dish is rich in nutrition: calcium from the ground crab shells, iron from the congealed pig’s blood, and vitamins and fiber from the vegetables.
The soup calls for crab paste made from paddy crabs, which give the broth its main flavor, along with stewed tomatoes, that contribute a slightly tart and natural sweetness to the dish.
“The complex mixture of ingredients and flavors in the broth, paired with rice vermicelli noodles, pieces of meat and crab paste, a beautiful selection of condiments like shrimp paste, chilies, and limes, and finally a pile of both blanched and raw vegetables, is what makes the dish so delicious.”
Trung vit lon ngai cuu (Fried eggs with Mugwort) in breakfast food
Trứng Vịt Lộn is actually duck’s embryo still laying in its shell going through fertilization process and then boiled in steamy heat. Due to this characteristic and its appearance, this dish is listed among the most …”err” food for Western visitors. However, if ones can manage your fear to taste it one time, you may find it thousand times more delicious than normal chicken egg as well as a huge amount of protein good for your heart. In Vietnam, this dish is favored by most people and appears in every breakfast stalls in its pure form or buried in mugwort soup. This kind of grass plant is an effective and cheap treatment for headache, promotes blood circulation, wound healing and many other good effects.
Vietnamese people also find it hard to get through their breakfast without a cup of tea or a glass of iced coffee to thoroughly wake up from drowsy feeling. The way of having breakfast then tea or coffee has become a cultural specificity that define Vietnamese people from region to region.