Streetfood tour by bike: experience Vietnamese cuisine in Ho Chi Minh
In Asia you can experience great food, full of new flavours and ingredients that you didn’t even know exist. Vietnam is no exception and is famous for culinary highlights like Bahn Mi, Bun Cha and Pho. However it can be a hit and miss to find the best local places to eat. In Vietnam I wanted to do it right, I wanted to eat where the locals eat and truly learn about their food and customs.
Street food tour by bike?
In big Vietnamese cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh distances can be great and local places hard to find as a tourist. Ho Chi Minh can feel hectic and daunting at first, so when I came across this Airbnb experience I booked it immediately. I got picked up at my hotel Au Lac Charner in district 1 by two local english speaking students. As soon as you jump on the back of the motorbike you feel a rush of adrenaline and excitement going through your body. Immersed in a blur of traffic and neon-lights you make your way to your first culinary stop coconut water and beef jerky salad. At your first stop you will also meet the rest of the group, doing a tour is a great way to meet people and have an authentic interaction with locals.
Tip: communicate your dietary wishes beforehand so your guides can adjust the tour accordingly. For every diet there’s something in Vietnam, so don’t worry!
During the tour you will taste around 10 different dishes, each served at a different local hotspot. Your guides will tell you something about the food and explain how to eat it best. At the end of the tour you will have experienced everything from Vietnamese snacks, drinks, main courses and desserts. During my tour I got a taste of the following dishes!
Dừa Tắc Coconut water
I have to be honest and say I was a bit disappointed when I learned we were going to taste coconut water during the tour. What could be exciting about that? It’s great, but does it deserve a spot in a culinary tour? Well I can tell you, it does! The coconut water is sold from a cart and comes fresh out of the coconut. Dừa Tắc comes in two varieties: pineapple and Kumquat. Both very refreshing and a joy to try out.
Gỏi Đu Đủ: Papaya salad with beef jerky
Papaya and beef jerky might sound like a strange mix at first, but the fresh fruity tastes combined with the powerful taste of beef jerky combine really well. The dish is obviously not vegetarian or vegan friendly, but even for meat lovers it might be a more adventurous dish than expected. At the end of this post I’ll tell you why.
Bánh Xèo: Mekong style pancake
Bánh Xèo is a crispy pancake filled with a mix of pork, shrimp and vegetables. Made in a wok with an extremely thin layer of rice batter. The guides showed us how to wrap the pancake tightly in a mix of lettuce and mustard leaf. To top it off you dip it in a bit of fish sauce. Bánh Xèo is definitely one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes.
Bánh Tráng Nướng: Vietnamese pizza
A twist on italian pizza with crispy rice paper instead of dough. It comes topped with different vegetables and meats based on your choice. It offers a crispy bite, but can’t compare to a real pizza at all if you ask me.
Chuối Nướng: grilled banana with coconut milk
A very heavy but tasty snack for lovers of sugary and sweet. The coconut milk is thick and creamy. Definitely a dish you might want to go easy on as it fills you up quickly.
Dessert: Sesame pudding and Flan with ice and coconut cream.
The sesame pudding was truly one of the big surprises for me during this tour. It’s warm and looks dark and unidentifiable, but it’s actually great! The sweet taste of the pudding combined with the warmth makes for a great little dessert. The Flan also mixed great