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Adventurous Eats: Exploring Strange Food in Vietnam

Huyen Nguyen
Vietnam is a country renowned for its rich culinary heritage, boasting a diverse array of flavors and unique dishes that entice food enthusiasts from around the world. While Vietnamese cuisine is known for its delicious pho, fresh spring rolls, and flavorful banh mi, there's a whole world of unconventional and adventurous eats waiting to be discovered.

In this blog post, we'll take you on a gastronomic journey through the lesser-known side of Vietnamese cuisine, as we unveil some of the strange and exotic food that will challenge your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

1. Balut: Delicacy with a Twist

One of the most unique and controversial dishes in Vietnam is balut. This unusual delicacy consists of a developing bird embryo (usually duck or quail) that is boiled and eaten from the shell. While it may seem daunting at first, balut is considered a local favorite and a must-try for those seeking an authentic Vietnamese food adventure. The combination of flavors and textures, from the rich broth to the tender yet chewy embryo, is a true culinary experience that pushes boundaries. Even though balut is listed as one of world's worst rated egg dishes by TasteAtlas, I personally think it is really delicious.

Grilled balut with salt and chili.jpg
Grilled balut with salt and chili.jpg

2. Boiled Snails: A Culinary Adventure

One of the peculiar delicacies you'll encounter in Vietnam is boiled snails. Found in street food stalls and local restaurants, these slimy creatures offer a unique texture and flavor experience. From escargot to sea snails, each variety comes with its own distinct taste profile. Whether you prefer them dipped in flavorful sauces or cooked with fragrant herbs and spices, trying boiled snails is a must for adventurous foodies seeking a taste of the unexpected. Moreover, if you like the flavor of snails, you can also try snail noodle soup.

Boiled snail with fish sauce.jpg
Boiled snail with fish sauce.jpg

3. Raw Blood Pudding: A Bold Delight

For the truly daring, raw blood pudding is an unconventional Vietnamese dish that pushes the boundaries of culinary exploration. Made from fresh pig's blood mixed with herbs and spices, this dish offers a rich and velvety texture with a distinctive iron-like flavor. Served with herbs, peanuts, and lime, raw blood pudding is a unique cultural experience that showcases the Vietnamese penchant for utilizing every part of the animal in their cuisine. However, you should be careful when you eat them such as choose to eat from a reliable restaurant.

Raw blood pudding (made from goat).jpg
Raw blood pudding (made from goat).jpg

4. Chicken and Duck Feet: A Delicacy for the Adventurous

Chicken and duck feet may seem unusual to many, but in Vietnam, they are considered a delicacy. These crunchy and gelatinous treats are often marinated in flavorful sauces and then grilled or braised to perfection. The feet's unique texture, combined with the rich flavors of the marinade, creates a mouthwatering dish that is both intriguing and satisfying. Don't let the appearance fool you – chicken and duck feet are a testament to the Vietnamese culinary philosophy of utilizing every part of the animal in creating delightful and unforgettable dishes.

Grilled chicken feet.jpg
Grilled chicken feet.jpg

5. Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm: A Flavorful Encounter

No exploration of unconventional delicacies in Vietnam would be complete without mentioning Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm. This dish combines various elements to create a unique and flavorful experience. Bún Đậu, a dish consisting of rice vermicelli noodles and tofu, is paired with Mắm Tôm, a pungent shrimp paste sauce. While the intense aroma of Mắm Tôm might be overwhelming at first, its complex umami flavor adds depth to the dish. Accompanied by fresh herbs, boiled pork belly, and fried tofu, Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm tantalizes your taste buds and offers a true taste of Vietnamese street food culture. Don't be shy to give it a try and embark on a culinary adventure that combines contrasting flavors in a truly unforgettable way.

Bun dau mam tom.jpg
Bun dau mam tom.jpg

6. Let our Local Buddies be your guide

Your Local Buddy will not only introduce you to the best places to eat but also guide you on how to eat right. They will provide insights into the cultural significance of each dish, teach you proper dining etiquette, and help you navigate any language barriers. They will explain the ingredients, cooking techniques, and flavors of each dish, allowing you to fully appreciate and understand the culinary traditions of Vietnam.

Moreover, your Local Buddy will take into account your preferences, dietary restrictions, and any specific requirements you may have. Whether you're a foodie seeking adventurous eats or someone looking for a more familiar dining experience, your Local Buddy will tailor the food tour to suit your tastes and ensure you have a memorable gastronomic journey.

By having a Local Buddy by your side, you can discover authentic local eateries that may not be easily found by tourists. They will share their personal recommendations, insider tips, and secret spots, guaranteeing that you have an immersive and unforgettable culinary adventure.

So, let your Local Buddy be your culinary companion, guiding you to the best places to eat and helping you make the most out of your dining experiences in Vietnam. Get ready to embark on a delectable journey filled with strange, unusual, and delightful flavors, all curated by your trusted Local Buddy.


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