Ladder noodle soup (Bun thang)
Bun thang is a special type of noodle soup made from thin rice vermicelli, Vietnamese ham, thinly sliced chicken pieces, mushrooms, omelets and chopped fresh herbs. A tiny dollop of shrimp paste, which helps to bring out the flavors of the other ingredients, is one of its secret ingredients. And the combination of pungent shrimp paste and mild chicken broth is simply divine. Though bún thang can be easily found in many places in Hanoi, Mrs. Ẩm, a famous cook in the 20th century, owns the most legendary recipe. Vườn Ẩm Thực restaurant is where you can enjoy her recipe of bún thang, which was adapted by her daughter and son-in-law. Compared to other places, it is quite pricey, but very good service and air conditioners are well worth your money.
- Address: No 37 Cua Nam, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
Eel noodle soup (miến lươn)
Mien (cellophane noodles), luon (eels), Vietnamese cilantro, bean sprouts and fried shallots are the main ingredients of eel noodle soup (mien luon). In order to eliminate their fishy smell and to add a tasty crunchy touch to the dish, the eels are usually deep fried. At Minh Lan Restaurant on Chan Cam Street, which specializes in eel dishes, in addition to eel noodle soup, travelers can also try stir-fried eel noodle and eel soup.
- Address: 1 Chan Cam Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
Snail rice vermicelli (bún ôc)
Although Vietnamese eat snail like the French, they are not the same types of snails. Being chewier and smaller than the normal ones, ốc (Vietnamese freshwater snails) are favorite dish of almost Vietnamese. They neatly arrange cooked snails in a bowl of bún (rice vermicelli), many kinds of fresh herbs and fried tofu. Finally, they finish this bowl with a hot, sour and sweet broth poured over all of the cold ingredients and a few slices of cooked tomatoes placed on top. To try the best bun oc, go to Hang Chai, one of the oldest places serving this dish. Sometimes when it is too crowded, since there are not enough tables, guests have to hold their bowls in their hands. Still, if you want to eat like a local, it is a fun experience. Tours in Vietnam
- Address: No 6 Hang Chai, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Eaten with both rieu (minced freshwater mini crabs) and oc (freshwater snails), bun (rice vermicelli) wonderfully complements shellfish. Like bun oc, bun rieu is also served with thinly sliced beef fillets and of course, fried tofu. The favorite place to have bún riêu for local students is on Hoe Nhai Street. Although portions may be smaller than other riêu spots, the prices here are unbeatable.
- Address: No 13 Hoe Nhai, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Musk duck glass noodles (Miến ngan)
Locals in the Northern Vietnam have some specific rules for what food gets on well best together. Pho is usually eaten with either beef or chicken while vermicelli tends to go with poultry and shellfish. Miến (glass noodles) can go with either poultry such as ngan (musk duck) or freshwater eels. The combination of creole duck and bamboo shoots in this musk duck glass noodle soup is such a perfect and sweet marriage. Highly recommended by locals is musk duck glass noodle at No 31 Lý Quốc Sư Street, which is served from 10AM to 2PM.
- Address: No 31 Ly Quoc Su, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
Freshwater fish rice vermicelli (Bún cá)
A lighter choice is always available for those who do not want to start their day with seafood or meat. The freshwater fish rice vermicelli, which originates from Hai Phong, a port city in northern Vietnam, is accompanied with some deep fried fish pieces for an amazingly crunchy touch. Fried fish cakes can be added for a chewy taste, and the dish is sprinkled with dill and spring onions. Hong Phuc Lane is such a local favorite place to eat bún cá.
- Address: Hong Phuc Lane, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
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