Muslim travelers always seem to have the shorter end of the stick when it comes to enjoying food abroad. In the case of Vietnam though, we would like to call the bluff on that. In fact, we would go as far as saying that besides the pork (and some other strange meat) dishes, there will be halal equivalents of almost every popular Vietnamese dish. You just need to know where to find them.
So we have heard it all before. Dubious restaurant owners claiming to serve Halal cuisine just to rip off the thousands of Muslim tourists who visit Ho Chi Minh city each year. The fact of the matter is, not all Halal restaurants take a strict stance in adhering to proper food handling procedures. As such, we have taken the extra step, and gone out in search of our favourite Muslim fare, that we have also confirmed is Halal certified.
[updated on 11 March 2018] Chinatown in District 5 is home to most Chinese Vietnamese living in Saigon. These Chinese are very proud of their heritage and have even set up schools and markets to preserve their culture. This uniqueness is best demonstrated along Tran Hung Dao and Nguyen Trai street in which red lanterns are hung in front of literally every house as an indication that a Chinese family resides within these 4 walls.
“Banh xeo” is considered one of the most popular street snacks in Southern Vietnam. It is a pancake made from rice flour, water and turmeric powder or coconut milk topped with pork, shrimp and bean sprouts. The cake is then wrapped in a variety of leaves (such as mustard leaves, lettuce leaves, mint leaves, basil, fish leaves) and herbs, and dipped into a special Vietnamese fish sauce called “nuoc mam”.
Pho (pronounced as ‘fer’) is a popular Vietnamese beef and noodles soup, cooked with basil, lime, bean sprouts and peppers. Pho as we know it today, have evolved into the various types and styles, each representing a certain culture or period in time. You can enjoy Pho both at a normal street corner or in a gorgeous restaurant. It has become so synonymous with Vietnam that if you do not try the Pho here, you have not been to Vietnam.