Travelers coming to the southern coastal town Vung Tau can enjoy many local specialties, such as fried mini pancakes, salted egg sponge cake, stingray hotpot, and snail dishes.
Vung Tau, 100 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, is not just a warm and sunny destination with pleasant temps that are perfect for beach activities, it also offers a wide range of delicious dishes. If you’re planning to visit Vung Tau, but still don’t know what to eat, here are some of the dishes that you should not miss when there.
Lau ca duoi – stingray hotpot
This hotpot is one of the most favored dishes among travelers. Only the adult stingrays have bones, but they are soft and crunchy, and thus the stingray meat is firm. A hotpot set includes marinated stingray cut into pieces and a sour and spicy broth made of various ingredients. A side of sour bamboo, water morning glory, elephant ear taro, herbs, fresh vermicelli plus chili fish sauce are served along with the hotpot. Diners can enjoy stingray hotpot all year round since stingrays are always available in Vung Tau.
Soft stingray meat cooked in a rich, sweet and sour broth. Photo by VnExpress/Khanh Thien.
Suggested venues: 18 Hung Vuong Street, 15 Nguyen Truong To Street, 68 Nguyen Truong To Street, 1 Hoang Hoa Tham Street, 44 Truong Cong Dinh Street.
Banh khot – savory mini pancakes
Banh khot – fried mini pancakes – are made of rice flour and are topped with shrimp before being cooked on an aluminum or stainless steel platter with a series of slots. When frying the cake, the chef will fill the platter with oil, then add the flour and shrimp, and cook until the pancakes become golden. When placing the cake on the plate, the cook will add shredded shrimp and scallion oil.
The mini pancakes are served hot and have a crispy crust. They are filled with rich coconut milk. A set of banh khot is served with shredded papaya, mustard greens, lettuce, herbs, and sweet and sour fish sauce.
The crispy savory mini pancakes are served with sweet and sour fish sauce. Photo by VnExpress/Huynh Nhi
Suggested venues: 3 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, 42 Tran Dong Street, 14 Nguyen Truong To Street, 1 Hoang Hoa Tham Street, 59 Ba Trieu Street, 19 Hoang Hoa Tham Street.
Banh bong lan trung muoi – salted egg sponge cake
The salted egg sponge cake is soft and full of butter flavor, with a taste of rich salted egg.
The cake can be a great choice of gift for friends and relatives if you’re looking for something to bring back from your trip to Vung Tau.
Baskets offering salted egg sponge cakes at a shop in Vung Tau. Photo by VnExpress/Khanh Thien
Suggested venues: 17B Nguyen Truong To Street, 6 Do Chieu Street, 14B Nguyen Truong To Street, 129 Le Lai Street, 11 Nguyen Kim Street, 36 Ba Trieu Street
Tourists should not miss seafood while in Vung Tau, as this is a city by the sea. Vung Tau has a diverse variety of seafood for you to try.
There are many types of fresh snails in Vung Tau. You can choose different cooking methods such as grilled, steamed, or sautéed. Try the stir-fried snails with tamarind sauce, stir-fried snails with coconut milk, stir-fried snails with garlic butter, grilled oysters with cheese, steamed snails with lemongrass, or grilled scallops with scallion oil. Dipping sauces such as lime and chili salt, lime and pepper salt, and sweet and sour fish sauce are served with these dishes.
Stir-fried snails with tamarind sauce are one of the favorite dishes among diners in Vung Tau. Photo by VnExpress/Khanh Thien.
Suggested venues: 3 Tran Phu Street, 121 Ly Tu Trong Street, 23 Pham Ngoc Thach Street, 32 Le Quy Don Street, 37 Nguyen Truong To Street, 89 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, 2 Hoang Dieu Street
Banh canh ghe – sentinel crab noodle soup
Another seafood dish that is a must try while staying in Vung Tau is sentinel crab noodle soup. The thick noodles have a milky white color, are firm and chewy, and are eaten with shredded sentinel crab meat (or a whole sentinel crab in some places), crab cake, pork blood pudding, quail eggs and greens. The rich and thick broth with a strong seafood aroma is the soul of this dish.
Suggested venues: 62 Tu Xuong Street, 73 Le Lai Street, 125 Vo Thi Sau Street, 109 Vo Thi Sau Street, 88 Le Lai Street, 33A Hoang Hoa Tham Street
Hu tieu muc – squid noodle soup
This noodle soup attracts diners thanks to the special taste that emanates from the white noodles combined with fatty egg yolks, eaten with lean meatballs, chives, fresh squid, and a rich broth simmered from bones. Sauces such as green chili salt and soy sauce are recommended when enjoying a bowl of squid noodle soup.
Fresh squid added to the bowl creates a unique flavor. Photo by VnExpress/ Di Vy
Suggested venues: 1 Vo Van Kiet Street, 19 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, 32 Dong Khoi Street, 73 Hoang Hoa Tham Street, 3 Le Hong Phong Street
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