To prepare for your coming Vietnam trip and specifically the Mekong Delta trip, you are trying to read all information about how to have the most memorable experiences, aren’t you? Must-try food is surely in your concerns since you are the person who loves exploring new cuisines. Therefore, the following list can blow your mind and get you absorbed at the Vietnamese cuisine in general and the Mekong Delta cuisine in particular.
Although there are lots of deserving dishes you must taste during your trip to the Mekong Delta, most experienced travelers tend to recommend you to Banh xeo (Vietnamese pancakes), Hu Tieu My Tho (My Tho Noodle Soup), Com Tam (Broken Rice with grilled pork), Hotpots, Fish Sauces, and Noodle Soups. Each of them carries unique flavors which it is difficult to describe by words; those are rural but poor in the flavor. Those present the finicky style in cuisine of the river people.
Banh xeo (Vietnamese pancakes)
While the cuisine in the Mekong Delta is supposed to be pretty rustic and made of simple ingredients, it is seemingly fastidious in the preparation and the way to enjoy. Banh xeo (Vietnamese pancakes) found much in the Mekong Delta is a typical example to demonstrate it. In a journey to explore the Vietnam’s beauty in culture, scenery, and cuisine, if taking a chance to taste this kind of pancake, you will definitely realize that its taste is really more wonderful than you imagine. Depicted as a round yellow cake topped with meat, shrimp, bean sprouts, bacon, chicken, and mushrooms, the pancake will catch your eyes and stimulate your tongue at any cost. What creates the perfect aroma balance of the art cooking is that the food must be enjoyed with a special fish sauce and fresh herbs & vegetables. Give it a try!
Hu Tieu My Tho (My Tho Noodle Soup)
Hu Tieu My Tho is derived from a Chinese dish, but it has been favored by the people of the Mekong Delta for a long time. Nowadays, it has been more and more famed among international travelers. This kind of soup is pretty different from the others, such as beef noodle soup from Hue, Nam Vang noodle soup, and Chinese noodle soup as it carries a secret recipe. Tasting the food, you will realize that its flavor is from a few local ingredients, such as chili, lemon, soy bean, and soy sauce. Especially, the broth’s sweet aroma is due to meat, special condiments, and dried squid. Many foreign travelers to the Mekong Delta, who have ever tasted this food asserted that it is a great combination between broth and noddle; a bowl of hot noodle soup in the rain left an unforgettable experience for them after they enjoy it.
Com Tam (Broken Rice with grilled pork)
Com Tam is an indispensable part in the gourmets’ journey to explore the paradise of food and drinks in the Mekong Delta. The food is in detail described as a plate of broken rice topped with barbecued pork, fried eggs, a few slices of cucumber and tomato, pickles, and other accoutrements. It is easy to spot where to offer com tam as the tantalizing aroma of the grilled pork will waft everywhere along the streets in the food and drink area of the Mekong Delta. It is indeed compelling and intoxicating. The locals enjoy the food in the morning as their breakfast, and sometimes as their snack at night. Many foreigners who have ever tried this specialty suppose that it is one of the quintessential Mekong Delta experiences.
It is possible to claim that hotpots are common and indeed amazing delicacies of the Mekong Delta. The hotpots vary according to each specific region, but the key ingredient of most of them is fish because the Mekong Delta is famous for the floating season when large flocks of fish bring the big harvest for the locals. The food’s flavor makes it clearly indispensable to the journey of those who are prone to experiencing new cuisines. You are highly advised to taste some famous names, such as fish sauce hotpot, linh fish and cork flower hotpot, goby fish hotpot, snakehead porridge hotpot, eel hotpot, etc. Normally, the hotpots are served with fresh vegetables, noodles, and fish sauce. Don’t ignore it as you are going on a Mekong Delta trip.
The Mekong River is home to various types of fish, so when the floating season is approaching, it is right time for the locals to harvest an abundance of fish and earn benefits from it. Especially, with special techniques of the locals, any type of fish here can be made into delicious fish sauces. The most common ones include snakehead sauce, linh fish sauce (moustached danio sauce), and snakeskin gourami sauce. In An Giang Province, snakehead sauce is the main ingredient of many well-known dishes, such as hotpots, fish rice noodle soups, and others. When landing in the Khmer village, don’t miss out on the chance to try prahok with the strong aroma, a type of fish sauce favored by the Khmer community. It is tangy and great to taste!
There is no doubt that the Mekong Delta is blessed with lots of fresh and ideal ingredients which the locals take advantage in order to make the irresistible delicacies, one of which is a list of fragrant noodle soups. What makes the food outstanding and too great to enjoy is the nutritious and mouth-watering broth especially made from fish. It will be a compelling experience for your Mekong Delta trip when you sit in a small stall and gradually savor a bowl of noodle soup, e.g. fish sauce noodle soup, ken noodle soup, bun nuoc leo, or bun bi. When it comes to Vietnamese cuisine, people from many regions in the world will immediately think about Pho first, but they forget that lots of other soups looking like Pho from the southwestern area of Vietnam definitely convince them due to unique elements hidden in each of the dishes.