Most people have heard of pho, which is the most famous Vietnamese dish among foreigners and locals alike. However, there are other, lesser-known dishes to try Vietnamese food in Australia and that you may not have heard of — dishes that will make you fall in love with Vietnamese cuisine all over again.
Bun Bo Hue
Bun Bo Hue is a spicy beef noodle dish from the central region of Vietnam. It is served with veal or pork and different kinds of herbs like lemongrass and chilli pepper. The name comes from the city where this food originated — Hue.
The difference between Bun Bo Hue and Pho Noodle Soup is that the noodles used for Bun Bo Hue are flat and thick, whereas those for Pho Noodle Soup are thin and round. Bun Bo Hue also uses a darker broth; unlike the broth for Pho Noodle Soup, it has anise seed and lemongrass in it.
This dish can be eaten at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It can be found anywhere from street stalls to fancy restaurants.
A traditional street food, pho is a hearty noodle soup that’s a popular Vietnamese breakfast dish. Typically served with meat — usually beef — it’s made with rice noodles that are cooked in a flavorful broth. The meat is often served raw and cooked in the broth at the table.
Popular throughout Asia, spring rolls are one of Vietnam’s most famous dishes. They’re typically made with pork, shrimp and vegetables wrapped in translucent rice paper and served with peanut sauce. In Vietnam, they’re often eaten during celebrations or as an appetizer before dinner.
Coffee culture is huge in Vietnam — so much so that it’s the second-largest exporter of coffee in the world after Brazil! The country’s most famous variety is called ca phe sua da (“coffee with milk ice”).
Bánh mì is a baguette-style sandwich that was introduced to Vietnam by French colonists. Nowadays, bánh mì can be filled with anything from grilled pork belly to pâté and pork belly. A traditional bánh mì contains pickled carrots and daikon, cucumbers, cilantro, chilli sauce and some meat – typically pork meatballs or grilled pork.
Bun cha is another very popular Vietnamese noodle dish that consists of grilled pork patties served with vermicelli noodles, herbs and dipping sauce on the side. While regular soy sauce or fish sauce may be used in the dipping sauce, some prefer to add crushed garlic as well for added flavour.
A staple of Vietnamese cuisine, fresh rolls are served as appetizers in many Vietnamese restaurants. They are similar to spring rolls, but are made with rice paper wrappers and contain fresh ingredients. Popular fillings include thin slices of shrimp or pork, fresh herbs like basil and mint, lettuce and bean sprouts. The roll is dipped in a sweet peanut sauce before eating.
Goi Cuon translates to “salad roll” which sounds strange because they do not contain any salad ingredients. These light spring rolls are made with thin rice wrappers filled with shrimp or pork, fresh herbs like mint and basil and transparent vermicelli noodles. They are served at room temperature with a fish sauce dipping sauce.
Banh mi is sandwiches made with bread that has been toasted over a hot plate. They are filled with different types of meat including pork sausage, shredded chicken or pork pate along with cucumbers, cilantro and pickled carrots and daikon radish. They make for a great snack in between meals.
Summer rolls are made with rice paper wrapped around shrimp, pork slices, lettuce and basil leaves along with shredded carrots and vermicelli noodles. They are served with a dipping sauce made from peanut butter and fish sauce.