7 Best Dishes in Mekong Delta

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Mekong Delta is a very wide area in the South Vietnam. With hundreds of rivers and channels which provide unlimited source of water for the rich soil, Mekong Delta produces million tons of rice, fruits and other farm products every year and called “the rice bowl of Vietnam”. Because of that reason, along with the rich of culture and custom, Mekong Delta has a great variety of cuisines which will impress every traveler. 

    1. Hu Tieu Nam Vang (Nam Vang noodle soup)

    Whenever someone mentions noodle in Vietnam, most of foreign people will immediately think about Pho. But there a dozens of delicious Vietnamese dishes made from noodle but not Pho. For example: Hu Tieu Nam Vang. Travelling around Mekong delta you will have chance to try many different Hu Tieu.

    A bowl of Hu tieu Nam Vang

    A bowl of Hu tieu Nam Vang

    Hu Tieu is very popular in the South of Vietnam, perhaps, more popular than Pho in some regions. Hu Tieu is the combination of pork broth, dried noodle, herbs and minced pork is a must. In some area people add different ingredients such as seafood and make the dish even better.

    2. Banh Bot Loc

    Banh Bot Loc is sold everywhere in Mekong Delta. This delicious dish is usually eaten as snack. It is made from rice flour, filled with a shrimp, minced pork, and herbs of course. The combination then will be steamed and served with sweet and sour fish sauce, fresh vegetable. The wrapping of Banh Bot Loc is so clear that you can see what’s inside.

    You can see what’s inside Banh bot loc - Mekong Delta Food

    You can see what’s inside Banh bot loc

    Banh bot loc is pretty chewy and taste funny at first, but then you will like it and can’t stop at one or two. This is a delicious dish from Mekong Delta which is loved by every visitor.

    3. Banh Xeo (Vienamese pancake)

    Banh Xeo is a kind of Vietnamese fried pancake made from flour, water, eggs, turmeric powder and stuffed with individual preference. The thin crust of this dish looks simple but the chef has to be extremely careful not to break it. The stuff inside usually a combination of ear mushroom, bean sprout, minced pork, shrimps, or just vegetable if you are a vegetarian. The dish is served with fresh vegetables, herbs, sweet fish sauce, pepper, garlic, you can also order a dish of grilled beef and some Nem Lui to enjoy with it.

    Banh xeo is a very special cuisine of Mekong Delta

    Banh xeo is a very special cuisine of Mekong Delta

    A golden crispy cover with hot stuffs inside, combine with local vegetables and herbs, dip it into special sweet and sour fish sauce, a big bite of Banh xeo will be an unforgettable feast of senses in your mouth.

    4. Goi Cuon (Spring roll)

    Spring roll is too famous to foreign visitors when they visit Vietnam. Spring rolls are made with rice wrapping paper. People put minced pork, vermicelli, crabs, and many herbs inside. Goi Cuon is served with side dishes like vegetable and of course, sweet and sour fish sauce. Keep in mind that the taste is different in Mekong Delta.

    Goi Cuon - Spring Roll in Vietnam Mekong Delta

    Spring rolls and fried spring rolls

    You will see many ingredients from the rivers such as shrimps, fishes in their Spring Rolls. This delicious dish is pretty easy to make and you can learn and make Goi Cuon by yourself.

    5. Ca Tai Tuong chien xu (Fried Elephant Ear Fish)

    Tai tuong means Elephant ear in Vietnamese. These fish are very popular in Mekong Delta. Elephant ear fishes have thin and wide body with the grey color, just like the shape of an elephant ear. People in Mekong Delta have this kind of fish in their ponds, lakes and feed them with leftover food. In order to make the fish taste perfectly, the fish must be fresh then deep fry in hot boiling oil. Then we will have the fried fish with crispy golden skin and smell wonderfully.

    Ca Tai Tuong Chien Xu - Fried Elephant Ear Fish in Vietnam Mekong Delta

    This is enough for a small party for 2

    The fish will be served with vermicelli, vegetable, herbs, rice paper for wrapping and a bowl of dipping sauce. You can taste the crisp skin and tender meat of the fish. Combine with vegetable, herbs, vermicelli and fish sauce, it will be a bite of everything. That’s how local people enjoy this dish.

    6. Banh La Dua (Coconut leaf cake)

    Banh La Dua is a popular desert in Mekong Delta and you can find this treat almost everywhere here. It is made with simple ingredients but have the delicious taste which can please anyone who gives it a try. The main ingredients of Banh La Dua are sticky rice, coconut flakes, banana and mung beans. The ingredients then will be wrapped together inside coconut leaves which were chosen carefully by the chef.

    Banh la dua is very popular in Mekong Delta

    Banh la dua is very popular in Mekong Delta

    Simple cuisine but requires a lot of carefulness and experience from the makers.

    7. Banh bo thot not

    Another sweet dish you can find in Mekong Delta. This cake is made from rice flour mixed with brown sugar (thot not). Rice flour can be found everywhere in Vietnam but the right kind of brown sugar can only be found in some regions of Mekong Delta. Thot not is a special kind of sugar from thot not tree which cannot stand the cold weather.

    Banh Bo Thot Not - Mekong Delta Foods

    Doesn’t look impressive but it tastes like heaven

    In order to make Banh bo thot not, the rice has to be soaked into the water for at least 4 5 hours and then mix the rice flour with brown sugar. The cake itself is smaller than your hand and has the distinct yellow color. This is the specialty of Mekong delta and usually be served as desert in family meals or parties.

    Traveling is exploring, this is true for every countries and regions you go to. A trip to Mekong Delta to try the local food is a wonderful idea when you are in Vietnam. Although this is not a highly developed area, but the real life and the friendliness of warm - hearted local people will give you unforgettable memories.

    Hoang Nguyen

    Pictures: Internet

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