Bun bo Nam bo (Vietnamese vermicelli noodles with grilled beef) - pictured above
This dish is actually from the south of Vietnam, but the one they make up here in Hanoi is divine. Marinated beef with rice noodles, picked vegetables and lavish amounts of peanuts for garnish. Like most Vietnamese food, it's not very oily, it's really simple and it's all about the sauce... Which with the beef marinade, and the peanuts, with the Vietnamese fish sauce kind of tastes like a garlic-peanut-fish sauce extravaganza. Delish.
OK to be clear, spring rolls should really be the national dish of Vietnam. They are everywhere. But the best ones I've had were in Hanoi. My favourite ones are thick rolls with pork and fish, fried to crispy deliciousness. At home I was used to having fried spring rolls with sweet chilli sauce, but now my favourite way is to have them with the Vietnamese fish sauce. I also love the fresh spring rolls, which are a great lunch option for when the heat is getting to you. The best fresh spring rolls are with a long, juicy prawn (also called shrimp) and peanut sauce. By being able to get spring rolls almost everywhere, you might think you could get a dodgy few? Well after having either fresh or fried spring rolls in nearly every major city in Vietnam, I can't say that I've had a bad spring roll.
This is really another simple one, that is originally from Hanoi. Grilled pork with vermicelli noodles to be dipped in a slightly sweet sauce, with a huge amount of greens to add to your dish. It really is so simple. The grilled meat is divine, and when it's added to the sauce? Yum. I tended to order my Bun Cha with fried spring rolls on the side... You really can get them with everything here.
What is your favourite dish in Vietnam? Let me know in the comments below...
~ Olivia (WM)