‘Scary’ dishes but should try in Vietnam

'Scary' dishes but should try in Vietnam

Duck eggs, blood soup, and fried rice are dishes that can initially intimidate many international guests, but often leave a lasting impression and desire for more after they give them a try. 

Nikhita Rathod, a food and tourism writer from South Africa, shared her curious observations about these dishes, describing them as “scary at first glance but a must-try when visiting Vietnam.”

One of the dishes she highlighted is balut, a famous dish not only in Vietnam but also in the Philippines. Balut consists of partially developed duck eggs that are boiled until they reach a semi-solid state.

While it may appear daunting, Vietnamese people have embraced it as a delicacy. Balut is often enjoyed with a sprinkle of salt, a dash of pepper, and a garnish of coriander. Once you try it, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised and even developing a liking for it.

See more: Five delicious dishes for first-timers to Long Xuyen, Vietnam

‘Scary’ dishes but should try in Vietnam

Balut eggs are often present in the top scary dishes in the world, but are loved by many people.
Balut eggs are often present in the top scary dishes in the world, but are loved by many people.

Another dish mentioned by Nikhita Rathod is fried frog thighs with garlic butter. She explained that in some places, it’s common to have sautéed frog legs in garlic butter as a late-night snack while enjoying beer. Locals often compare the taste of frog legs to that of chicken wings or fish. Rathod encourages international visitors to give it a try, noting that it pairs well with beer. She also suggests exploring other frog dishes such as curry, braised frog, frog soup, or frog hot pot.

Rathod also touched upon the topic of coconut worms, describing it as a delicacy and a specialty of Tra Vinh. While acknowledging that putting a worm in one’s mouth may not be for the faint of heart, she assured readers that it is a delicious dish worth trying.

Another dish mentioned is blood pudding, made from animal blood. It is typically served with coriander, mint leaves, and peanuts. Additionally, she mentioned cha ruoi, which consists of worms beaten with eggs, meat, and fried.

In her observations, Rathod also emphasized the Vietnamese approach to dining. She noted that eating in Vietnam is not about rushing through a meal but rather about enjoying a comprehensive experience. The locals savor their food and drinks while engaging in conversations with friends. She also observed that meals among friends often resemble a lively party, and the festivities continue until everyone is content and perhaps a little tipsy. Rathod suggested that street stalls, rather than high-end restaurants, are the best places to fully immerse oneself in this vibrant dining culture.

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