The diversity of Vietnamese noodles


Among many attractive factors that bring visitors to Vietnam, ‘Pho’ (rice noodles soup) has become a symbol of Vietnamese cuisine. But the uniqueness of Vietnamese noodles lies in not only ‘Pho’, but also the diversity of noodles and noodles dishes. To help you in the research of Vietnamese cuisine before starting your journey, we’ve created guidelines about different kinds of noodles.

The distinctive ingredients, sizes, shapes, and textures reflect the varieties of Vietnamese noodles. Noodles made of rice often are ‘pho’, ‘bun’, and ‘banh da’. Bun noodles are thin and round strands like threads and are known as rice sticks or vermicelli. Pho noodles are flat and wide. Banh da noodles are similar to Pho noodles but thinner, wider, and has red colour. ‘Pho’ and ‘bun’ are mostly fresh while ‘banh da’ is dried. There are also noodles made of green beans and potato called ‘mien’ or glass vermicelli, which are dried, thin, round and transparent. Noodles that are made of flour and have yellow color are called ‘mi’ or egg noodles. There are also noodles made of starch flour, including ‘hu tiu’ and ‘banh canh’.

The assortment of Vietnamese noodles also comes from the creation in cooking from three regions in Vietnam. In the North, people mostly use rice noodles to make different dishes such as fried noodles, salad noodles, noodles soup, and noodles in fish sauce or shrimp paste.

Beef noodles soup (‘Pho bo’) is the most familiar food in Hanoi. The broth of the noodles soup contains onions, spices chill garlic fish sauce and vinegar. Beef is the main ingredient in the soup. Depending on your taste you can choose your beef to be rare or well cooked.

Bun rieu’ is a noodle soup made of thin rice noodles and topped with crab paste, served in a tomato-based broth and garnished with bean sprouts, prawn paste, herb leaves, water spinach, lime juice, and deep fried onion slides.

‘Bun cha’ is a simple and popular dish in Hanoi with grilled pork and rice noodles. It can be served best with salad and sliced cucumber, herbs and bean sprouts. The dish is also served with roasted peanuts on top and a small bowl of sweet fish sauce.

‘Bun bo’ is the most popular dish in central part of Vietnam, especially in Hue. The uniqueness of the dish is marked through its pungent flavour and greasy and delicious broth. Cooked beef is sliced then served with pieces of pork, rice noodles and raw vegetable. Each bowl of beef noodles is a combination of a sour, bitter, salty, sweet, and fatty taste.

In the South, people mostly have ‘pho’, ‘hu tieu’, and ‘banh canh’. ‘Hu tieu’ is a noodle soup with egg noodles or rice noodles in the soup base made of pork bones. The dish is also served with mince pork, shrimp, eggs on top.

Banh canh’ is a thick and wide rice noodle soup with a simple broth. Often includes pork, crab, chicken, shrimp, spring onions and freshly sautéed onions sprinkled on top.

  1. I was surprised while doing a research on Vietnamese noodles. There are so much things to say and introduce about the diversity of noodles in Vietnam. Just come and enjoy our fantastic cuisine 🙂

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