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A banh mi filled with stewed pork thigh in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Thien Chuong
Vietnam has three representatives in a CNN listing of 50 “much-loved street foods in Asia”: banh mi, iced coffee and pho.
“The French may have introduced baguettes to Vietnam, but the country’s famed banh mi is a uniquely Vietnamese creation,” CNN said.
Banh mi is a fusion of cold cuts and vegetables like coriander, cucumber, pickled carrots and oickled daikon combined with condiments from French cuisine like pate and mayonnaise.
However, street vendors add a variety of popular fillings to increase its flavor, including cha lua (Vietnamese pork bologna), fried eggs, grilled pork and meatballs.
People queue up at a Saigon stall to buy banh mi, Vietnam’s popular street food. Video by Hoang Huy
A loaf of banh mi costs from VND15,000 to VND50,000 ($0.64-2.13) and can be easily found at street corners in major cities and provinces across the country.
Ca phe da, iced coffee, has become an indispensable part of Vietnamese daily life in recent years – with millions starting their day with a cup of iced coffee in the morning, chatting with friends and loved ones on plastic stools strewn along the sidewalks as the city wakes and traffic takes over.
“Served by street vendors and cafes alike, ca phe, as it’s known in Vietnam, can be enjoyed many ways – drink it black, with condensed milk, a touch of sugar or mixed with coconut milk,” CNN said.
A cup of iced coffee costs VND10,000-15,000 ($0.44-0.66).
Pho, a bowl of flat, soft rice noodles dipped in a fragrant beef or chicken broth flavored with condiments, is considered the premier national dish and can be found all over the country.
“Few street foods can compete with the international fame of pho,” CNN says.
The soup originated in Hanoi before being taken to the south, where people added their own influences.
It’s typically served alongside a selection of fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime, chili sauce and chili slices with prices starting at VND40,000.
The CNN list includes the Khao jee (grilled sticky rice patty on a stick with a thin egg coating) in Laos; stinky tofu in Taiwan; Kimbap in South Korea; Takoyaki (octopus balls) in Japan; Sai krok Isan (pork sausages) in Thailand; Jalebi (batter fried into swirling shapes) and Vada pav (Deep-fried potatoes) in India; and Jianbing (pancake filled with think eggs, spring onions, radishes, chili sauce and sausage or chicken) in China.
Getuk, a dessert made with mashed cassava and coconut, in Indonesia; chili crab in Singapore; Xiao long bao (tiny bite-sized soup dumplings) in China; and curry fish balls in Hong Kong are also featured.
By Nguyen Quy for E.VnExpress.net
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