Vietnam Eats (Part 1)
wish I took more food photos in Vietnam. I ran into the safety issue of carrying around anything "flashy" so my DSLR was back at the hotel most of the trip. Saigon was extremely crowded and we divided our time between District 1 ( super nice hotels for all the american tourist …think SLS + Four Seasons // really safe so many people/kids) & District 5 (chinatown, a little more “dangerous” a lot of purse snatching— we were advised by our hotel not to carry a bag and to put everything in our pockets. Not going to lie- I was low key paranoid!). Every time we would have our phones out to take photos a local would tell us to be careful + put it away immediately.
Anyways… you know I be living life on the edge. Here are some snaps of random food I’ve had on the trip.
#1) peanuts + green onion oil combo.
if you’ve ever been to a Vietnamese party or BBQ you know this is a traditional topping for any seafood, especially mussels. it’s just perfection. so simple but makes such a huge difference. I add nha-trang style fish sauce on top :)
chicken feet. balut. fish’s eyeball (my ultimate favorite) I eat it all, I’m really adventures and also super Asian ;). we went to a buffet one night for dinner & I probably had 3. when I was younger I loved it then went through a couple years of thinking it was the most disgusting thing ever in my teen years of trying to fit in and not embracing my true asian palette (lol). now I’m back to being a fan but here’s my deal with balut… it has to be a younger egg that’s not fully formed yet. If there’s feathers and feet I can’t do it I only eat the yolk part. really good with salt, pepper and fresh vietnamese mint leaves.
#3) coffee milk tea with grass jelly
this cafe was pricey…american prices tbh. normally you can get a milk tea with boba for about $1.20 USD (district 5 with fast + free wifi) but this was about $5 USD (district 1 on the street, amazing location + free fast wifi). I guess you pay for location. I thought the jar was super cute and probably snap chatted it about 5 times, hahaha.
#4) fresh coconut juice
if you know me, you know how obsessed I am with FRESH COCONUT WATER. I can drink my weight in fresh coconut water, I dream about having a coconut tree one day or an IV drip of coconut water. I’ve always loved it since I was younger and love drinking as many as my heart desires when I travel because of the price difference. Jamaica, Vietnam, and Thailand you can easily drink 3 a day and it won’t hurt your pockets. All organic, non-GMO straight from the tree. In the states coconut water is trash! It’s all bottled and at least $6+ each. Such a rip off!! Anyways, in Vietnam instead of going to the grocery store you have specific food vendors… and my grandma’s sister buys fresh coconuts every day! She drinks two each day and while I was there she HOOKED ME UP (also, this is her neighborhood). I was super sick off the ice in VN so this brought me back to life. Alleyways in Vietnam are super narrow but the tiny neighborhoods are breath taking and get a LOT of foot/scooter traffic.
#5) major key players : porridge + raumbutans + guava & chili salt + passionfruit
porridge for breakfast is a really popular item in Asia (I had no clue I never ate porridge for breakfast growing up)… it became my favorite because porridge helps clear your system and super easy on the stomach. If you’re having issues with keeping food down from food poisoning or feel like you can’t have solids-porridge is the way to go. I love all the different types of toppings! So good.
before going to Vientam rambutan was my favorite fruit. during my stay in Nha Trang I ate at least 100 raumbutans in one sitting. safe to say, I’m really over them now!
guava + Nha Trang style salt.
There’s a difference between Saigon + Nha Trang sauces. In
Saigon the salt was basically sweet sugar with flakes of chilli. In Nha Trang it was actual salt with chili. Guava became my new fruit obsession. heaven.
#1) Bring wet wipes // in Vietnam they charge you for them. Always have your own supply.
#2) NEVER DRINK THE ICE // avoid tap water + ice at all cost. I got really sick twice and it was the worst pain I've ever felt in my life. Bottled water comes with a seal! Ice coffee or Sugar Cane Juice from the streets will get you sick. be careful.
#3) Bring anti-diarrhea medicine.
#4) hot foods on the street are better but if you're afraid of getting sick hotel lobbies have great restaurants. hotel buffets can introduce you to amazing items that won't get you sick.
what's your favorite thing to eat in Vietnam?!