The Vietnamese cuisine has quickly gained popularity around the world and these days, you can find beloved dishes such as “pho” and “banh mi” outside of Vietnam. But it’s inside the country that you’ll find some of the best. The Vietnamese food is known to be healthy, fresh and flavorful. One thing you’ll also notice is how much the locals love their “mon cuon”, which refers to the wrap dishes and Vietnamese rolls which may include all kinds of ingredients, usually rolled in vegetable leafs or rice paper.
If you’re traveling to Vietnam soon, you might want to take a look at this guide to the most delicious Vietnamese rolls.
1. Banh Cuon
Although you can find these rolls throughout the country, it’s in the north that you’ll most likely come across it the most since it originates from there. People in Hanoi loves to eat this dish for breakfast, but it also works as a lighter lunch meal. So what exactly is banh cuon? It’s steamed rice-flour sheets with a variety of ingredients inside. The most common ones usually contain minced pork, onion and dry fungus. But if you’re a vegetarian, or just prefer it without meat, you can also ask for rolls with only mushroom in it. It’s always served with some sort of sauce such as fish sauce or soy sauce. It’s the perfect meal to start your day with since it’s light and easy to eat. It’s also incredibly tasty!
2. Goi Cuon
These healthy rolls are a favorite amongst both locals and travelers. In English, they’re better known as “summer rolls”, or simply fresh spring rolls. They’re made from rice paper wrappers and you can put whatever ingredients you want to in them! The Vietnamese loves to stuff theirs with shrimp, salad, bun noodles and a few pieces of pork. But there’s all kinds of varieties to the goi cuon so make sure you try not one but several pieces so you can decide which combination is your favorite! You can easily find vegetarian ones as well made with mushrooms and tofu for example. They’re usually served with garlic soy dipping sauce or peanut sauce. Yum!
3. Banh Xeo
It’s hard to go wrong with these savory Vietnamese pancakes. The batter is turmeric spiced, giving it that beautiful yellow color, and is topped with lots and lots of ingredients. Depending on where you are in the country, some make the batter with coconut milk and others skip it. A good banh xeo is filled to the brink with salad, bean sprouts, mushrooms, shrimp, pork, you name it! As with all other rolls in Vietnam, it’s only the imagination that sets the boundaries to what you can put inside. Once the ingredients are inside the pancake, it’s folded in half and ready to be eaten. The best is to dip it in garlic soy dipping sauce – delicious!
4. Cha Nem
Probably one of the most popular and well known dishes of Vietnam, the fried spring rolls are a favorite. Abroad, it’s usually served as an appetizer, but in the country, you can eat it as a main dish. You can easily find both vegetarian and spring rolls filled with some sort of meat, such as beef or chicken. The fried spring rolls are then served with salad, bun noodles and garlic soy dipping sauce or fish sauce.
5. Banh Khot
Perhaps one of the lesser known dishes in Vietnam, these deep fried, mini pancakes might not be the healthiest option out there, but they’re too delicious to say no to! The batter is made with coconut milk, rice flour and turmeric which is poured into heated molds. They are usually topped with fresh seafood, diced green onions and a splash of extra coconut milk. Wrap the miniature pancakes in some lettuce and dip it in soy sauce.
Don’t forget to check if you need a Vietnam visa before you enter the country! If you need to get a visa, you have three options to choose from. Either you go to your nearest Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and apply with them, or you do it the online way. Most travelers prefer to apply for a visa online because of how easy, fast and affordable it is. There’s no need to travel far distances to the Embassy or send away documents. All you need to do is fill out an online application form, send it, follow the remaining instructions and bring it with you to the immigration officers in Vietnam. The two online visas are called Visa on Arrival and E-Visa. However, the latter is only eligible for certain countries in the world and is a single-entry, 30 days visa, so if you are intending on staying for longer or wish to travel in and out of the country, you should apply for a Visa on Arrival instead.