Can Tho is a city located in the southwestern region of Vietnam, known for its rustic and unique cuisine. The local food scene is an essential part of any trip to Can Tho, and visitors will find themselves spoilt for choice when it comes to delicious dishes full of southwest flavors. This article will explore some of Can Tho’s specialties, from grilled snakehead fish to noodles in coconut cream.
Grilled Snakehead Fish: A Can Tho Specialty
One of Can Tho’s most famous dishes is grilled snakehead fish. Also known as banana or fruit fish, this fish has little bones, fragrant meat, and is nutritious. The advantage of snakehead fish is that it does not need to be scaled and can be grilled extraordinarily by being buried in dry straw and lit on fire. When eating, people will scrape the outer crust to enjoy it. Snakehead fish, after being cooked, has a sweet, firm taste, best when eaten hot. The grilled fresh fish gives off a nose-splitting aroma, and the yellow color stimulates the taste buds. As soon as you take the first bite, you will feel why grilled snakehead fish is so memorable. This Can Tho specialty dish is often served with chili salt, with an unforgettable flavor.
Visitors can enjoy grilled snakehead fish at Quan An (No. 15 – 19 – 21 Tran Van Hoai Street, Ninh Kieu District), Dong Que Cuisine (14). – 16 Luong Dinh Cua Street, Ninh Kieu District), Man shop (No. 184 Huynh Cuong Street, Ninh Kieu District).
Fish Sauce Hot Pot: A Can Tho Delicacy
Another famous Can Tho specialty is fish sauce hot pot (lau mam). Although the name may sound skeptical, when you taste it, you will feel the full flavor of this dish. The main ingredients of fish sauce hotpot are fish sauce, fresh fish, and dipped vegetables. In a standard lau mam, there must be at least three types of fish sauce: butter catfish sauce to create sweetness and color for the dish, gourami fish sauce to bring up the aroma, and lady carp fish sauce to make an attractive fatty taste. Through the skillful hands of the chef, hot pot with fish sauce has become a specialty dish of Can Tho for many years.
Can Tho fish sauce hotpot have a lot of ingredients such as basa fish, catfish, goby, catfish, eel, snail, frog, and more seafood fish such as tiger shrimp, octopus, anchovies… The chef also puts in fresh beef, chicken, and duck in many restaurants. The fish sauce pot was full of brown color, but it was not dull when eating because dozens of vegetables served as morning glory, bean sprouts, spinach, banana flower, and broccoli.
Hot pot with fish sauces – this delicious dish in Can Tho is often eaten at family parties, year-end parties, or simply sipping on hungry days when friends gather. Coming to Can Tho, you easily It is easy to enjoy delicious fish sauce hotpot even at popular restaurants. Restaurants along Ninh Kieu wharf or Moi market, Bai Cat, Khuong dunes, Hoang Van Thu and Nguyen Van Cu streets, and eco-tourism areas… all serve.
Pancakes: A Can Tho Snack
Another popular snack in Can Tho is banh xeo or pancakes. These pancakes are more than adult size, fried on a hot pan for a beautiful golden color. The thin crust is crispy and melts in the mouth when eaten. The filling of banh xeo is highly diverse, including pork, chicken, duck, and green beans combined with shrimp and bean sprouts. One variety that should not be missed is the coconut tofu pancake, which is made from the upper part of the coconut tree, including young buds and petioles. Banh xeo is not eaten with rice paper but is often eaten with raw vegetables and diluted fish sauce.
Visitors can try banh xeo at Muoi Xiem restaurant (No. 13/3 Street 917, Binh Thuy District), Tan Dinh Pancakes (Water Park Roundabout, Ninh Kieu District), Ngoc Ngan Banh Xeo (No. 74, Le Loi Street, Ninh District), De Tham Banh Xeo (No. 34 De Tham Street, Ninh Kieu District).
Grilled Spring Rolls in Cai Rang: A Can Tho Treat
Another delicious treat in Can Tho is the grilled spring roll in Cai Rang. Unlike grilled spring rolls in other regions, these are round, made from meatballs strung together and grilled over a burning charcoal stove. The pork must be new and marinated with spices, including garlic, fish sauce, salt, seasoning powder, sugar, and ground pepper. These spring rolls are served with rice paper, herbs, sour star fruit, green bananas, pineapple, and a bowl of finely ground soy sauce with greasy peanuts.
Tourists in Can Tho should try grilled spring rolls at Thanh Van grilled spring rolls (No. 17, Hoa Binh Boulevard, Ninh Kieu District), Hai Van grilled spring rolls (No. 98, De Tham, Ninh Kieu District), Sau Sen grilled spring rolls (35/48a Pham Ngu Lao Street, Ninh Kieu District).
Noodle in the Coconut Cream: A Can Tho Specialty
Noodle in the coconut cream, or banh tam bi, is a delicious dish in Can Tho that contains its unique flavor, leaving a lasting impression on the taste buds. Banh tam bi is made from rice flour, similar to vermicelli, but with more extensive and softer fibers. A serving of banh tam bi includes skin, lean meat sliced into thin strips, bean sprouts, and non-aromatic dried onions. The unique feature of this dish is the thick, fragrant coconut milk that covers the top. Visitors can try banh tam bi at 16B1 Ung Van Khiem Street, the street cake shop Alley 2 Pham Ngu Lao Street, and the Hoi That shop at 56 Tran Binh Trong Street.
Fried Shrimp Cake: A Can Tho Delight
Finally, another delicious dish in Can Tho that visitors should not miss is the fried shrimp cake or Banh Cong. This dish is made from flour, green beans, and shrimp and is cheap and delicious. The shrimp used must be fresh and not peeled to ensure crispness. Fried shrimp cakes are delicious when they have an eye-catching yellow color, and the inside is cooked evenly.
Visitors can try Cong cake at Ba Ut Lu restaurant at 18 Tran Van Hoai Street, an heirloom cake shop that has attracted diners for more than 30 years.
In conclusion, Can Tho is a city rich in delicious and unique dishes visitors should not miss. From grilled snakehead fish to noodles in coconut cream, these specialties will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. When visiting Can Tho, try these dishes and discover the unique flavors of Can Tho’s rustic and outstanding cuisine.