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.
Pho (Noodle Soup) in Breakfast food of Hanoians
Pho has been listed in Oxford dictionary as an internationally renowned noodle soup just like a symbol of Vietnamese gastronomy, traditionally made with beef or chicken broth that is flavored with various spices and topped with various herbs. Some believe pho originated on the streets of Hanoi, while others argue it was actually about 90 kilometers to the northwest in the Nam Dinh province. Pho was originally sold by street vendors who would carry bowls of broths on shoulder poles, but now, pho has been so popular that it is so easy to find open-air storefronts selling this noodle soup with for the best favorite light breakfast.
Pho is the perfect comfort food – warm, hearty and deliciously refreshing. Its sophistication lies in the rich and intense essence of beef in the broth that can only be achieved by simmering marrow-rich beef bones on low heat for hours. Complex layers of flavor created by the herbs and spices, many textures created by the chewy rice noodles, the tender beef slices and the crunchy bean sprouts also add to its delicacy that cannot be found in any other noodle soup.
In this day and age, Vietnamese women are busier with their social roles and cannot cook breakfast so frequently, it often takes hours to prepare the ingredients, the broth and other stuffs for pho as breakfast for the whole family. So, going out for a warm, well-tasted pho is more appropriate to choose. In this morning country, pho is loved not only because of its perfect flavor but also it is very convenient to have. But for you, as the foreigner, be careful or you will get addicted to this dish. Pho is everywhere, one of my Korean friend ate only Pho for one month when he first came to Vietnam.
Phở Thìn, Phở Lý Quốc Sư, Phở Bát Đàn, Phở 24 are now among the most well-known brands with hundreds of eaters a day not only in the morning but also the evening.
Banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich)
Banh Mi has its origin from France during the colonial period in Vietnam in the late 1800’s. Gradually, butter was replaced with a king of chili sauce, mayonaise while pickled vegetables were added to enhance the flavor. Thinly cut pork, shredded chicken, beef and omelet are among major fillings that define each kind of banh mi baguette. From a French products under its rule, banh mi has been creatively developed to include our own ingredients, condiments and garnishment. Vietnamese people are so proud of the world best banh mi and the next internationally renowned dish that strikingly impresses any difficult taster.
Banh cuon (Steamed pork wraps)
Banh cuon Thanh Tri, banh cuon Phu Ly, banh cuon Hai Duong are among the most famous banh cuon brands in Vietnam that define certain style of a paper-thin steamed rice flour pancake, much like delicate sheets of fresh rice noodles. Banh cuon was dated back in Ly, Tran dynasty as a traditional gift for exchange in Cold Food festival (Tet Han Thuc) long before eating habit of floating cake today. Bánh cuốn is made from a thin, wide sheet of steamed fermented rice batter filled with a mixture of cooked seasoned ground pork, minced wood ear mushroom, and minced shallots. The rice sheet in bánh cuốn is extremely thin and delicate. It is made by steaming a slightly fermented rice batter on a cloth that is stretched over a pot of boiling water. It is a light dish, and is generally eaten for breakfast everywhere in Vietnam.
Banh cuon is served in plate topped with fried shallots and indispensable dipping sauce (nuoc cham) soaking chả quế (Vietnamese cinnamon pork pate), sliced carrot and herbs (Vietnamese Balm). Sometimes, a drop of cà cuống, which is the essence of a giant water bug, Lethocerus indicus, is added to the nước chấm for extra flavor, although this ingredient is scarce and quite expensive.
Vietnamese cake family
There are so many breakfast cakes in Vietnam and each of them is so convenient and tasty for a light meal in the morning that we find it hard to live without them. Some of the most common cakes can be named as Bánh Chưng Rán, Bánh Giò, Bánh Khúc, Bánh Rán, Bánh Nếp, Bánh Tẻ, Bánh Đúc, Bánh Dày or Bánh Bao. These are often savoury and easy to pack and often stuffed with mung beans, pork or wood ear mushrom. You can find them easily in many street food stalls and from the ladies wandering the streets with a pile of Banh on their shoulder.