Vietnam is known as one of the countries which have the best cuisine in the world. Each dish is diverse in flavor and ingredients, low in fat and high in carbohydrates. The recipes focus on the balance of salty, sweet and sour. Traveling to Vietnam, food lovers definitely try signature dishes such as Pho, rice noodle with grilled pork, Vietnamese crispy pancake, traditional bread, etc. However, in Vietnam’s cuisine, there is a group of dishes that are probably strange to the tourists. You may think these foods are horrible and weird, but in fact, Vietnamese people love it.
Balut Egg (Duck Embryos)
The list cannot complete if you skip balut egg. Foreigners say that it is the most horror dish in Vietnam Cuisine. A balut is a developing bird embryo that is usually boiled or steamed and eaten with a mix of source including salt, pepper, lemon or kumquat. There are 2 ways to savor balut. In northern, local peel the shell, put the egg in a bowl then add laksa leaves and spices. While in Southern people will make the source first, then they put the egg on the egg cup, make a small hole on the top of the egg to drink the juice. Finally, they pour source into the egg and use a spoon to eat the balut in the shell.
The reason why this dish horrifies tourists is that you can see the entire shape of a young duck from face, feet, bone when breaking the shell. But actually this dish contains a lot of vitamins and vital minerals like protein, lipid, calcium and the taste is really good. Therefore, it is a common dish for breakfast.
This dish is very similar to Vietnamese people, but for foreigners, it’s very scary. Blood pudding (tiet canh in Vietnamese) is a traditional dish of animal blood (duck, goose) and cooked meat. People take fresh blood from animal then prevented from premature coagulation by mixing with some fish sauce. Next adding chopped meat or viscera of duck in the shallow dish. You have to wait until the mixture condenses then put a sprinkling of crushed peanuts and minced herbs such as coriander, mint, etc.
Blood Pudding is one of the most favorite foods of Vietnamese people because it contains great protein. But nowadays this dish is not common anymore due to unsafety blood from the sick animal
Undoubtedly, dog meat is on the top of this list. There are around 5 million dogs were killed for meat every year in Vietnam. For Vietnamese people, especially men dog meat is one of the indispensable dishes on the special events
On the other hand, pets (especially dogs and cats) in Western countries play an important role in people’ life. Dogs are taken to Veterinarians when they sick and taken care of as one of the family members. Dog is a loyal animal and they can show as much love as anyone. That’s the reason why foreigners never eat dog meat or cat meat. They consider that killing or eating dogs is unacceptable.
Coconut worms or Duong Dua in Vietnamese is one of the most famous specialties in Mekong Delta. In Vietnam’s cuisine, it is a delicious dish due to its rich in protein and non-pesticide. However, watching the fat worms crawling in the plate and the local put them into their mouth when they are still alive can make foreigners horrify
There are more than 10 different ways of cooking Duong Dua such as steaming, frying, or simply boiling in coconut water. But the best way to taste it is that you pour some fish sauce on them then eating alive
Fermented shrimp paste
Scared visitors with its unique smell, however, fermented shrimp paste is an indispensable part of Vietnam’s cuisine. Like Australia, in Vietnam, fermented shrimp paste always served along with rice vermicelli dishes such as vermicelli and sour crab soup, grilled fish seasoned with turmeric, or the most famous one is vermicelli with fried tofu and shrimp paste. But be careful because its unique smell can “haunt” you all day