Banh mi, pho, hu tieu,…are signature dishes familiar to all visitors and locals in Vietnam. But do you know that there are cultural delicacies that require you a bit of bravery to digest?

So, if you thrive for adventure and look to challenge your appetite, here is the list of the weirdest Vietnam local treats.

1. Coconut worms – Duong dua

Coconut worms – Duong dua

Eating bugs can be more bearable than biting wriggle larvae. It’s such a weird thing to feel that a creature is moving inside of your mouth but you have to crunch it.

Coconuts worms are served live in fish sauce, seasoned with chilly and some parsley. You eat by picking up a worm with chopsticks and munching, caring not about it moving. People like the larvae because they have a greasy taste resulted in them savoring coconut stem. These worms are also clean as they don’t expose to the outside environment.

2. Blood soup – Tiet canh

Blood soup – Tiet canh

Viet people suppose that ingesting curdled animal blood is a way to enrich blood. The major ingredient is blood from pigs, ducks, geese, or chickens. Although the blood is raw, the dish is seasoned to bring taste.

To prevent the blood from premature coagulation, people mix it with fish sauce first then pack. When brought to react with oxygen, the blood will become jelly-like. More ingredients like peanuts, minced pork and organs, chilly, and some greens are added, creating a topping layer.

The dish doesn’t taste irony at all. Plus, the flavor of many additional herbs eliminates the metallic smell, making the dish easy, yet yummy to eat.

3. Snake


Snakes are sacred in many cultures but in Vietnam, it’s a common dish. There are farms of snakes to supply for restaurants in the city. Therefore, the snakes are harmless kinds and edible.

Viet locals can create a variety of dishes from snakes. But they always keep the heart and blood to mix with rice liqueur. Snake blood liqueur is believed to be a natural Viagra for men.

A lot of people say that snakes taste like chicken with a tendency to fish. It does bring a fishy odor that is not very easy to apparent. When cooked, the meat becomes firm as if you are cooking tuna or salmon.

4. Intestine soup – Pha lau

Intestine soup – Pha lau

Pha lau is a popular street delicacy loved by many. It’s a hybrid dish that combines Viet and Chinese cuisine. As described in the name, Pha lau consists of pig or cow organs cooked in milk and many kinds of herbs.

Preparing the ingredients is a dedicated work as the cook has to wash the organs multiple times to remove the odor and bacteria. Intestine soup is served with banh mi or noodles. It’s easy to find street stalls that sell Pha lau around any city, and the dish is cheap.

Pha lau is cooked to have no odor left. An experienced cook can make the intestines soft, chewy, and spiced to match with the soup. For expats, pha lau seems to be a weird thing but it’s sure a delicious treat.

5. Balut – Hot vit lon

Balut – Hot vit lon

Balut is quite familiar and more acceptable now by expats when coming to Vietnam. However, many are still scared of the ready-to-be-born baby duck when looking inside of the egg. But balut is a rich source of protein and vitamins that can boost your energy in an instant.

Unlike in The Philippines, hot vit lon in Vietnam is served with more side dishes. In Saigon and most cities in the south, a combo of hot vit lon comes with flagrant knotweed, pepper salt, chilly, and kumquat. A better variant can be found from Binh Thuan to the middle of Vietnam where people add garlic, pickles, special sauce, and green chilly to spark more flavors.

Quail eggs are smaller but delivering the same taste. Many people prefer quail eggs because they don’t discourage the appetite.

Besides the dishes that require a bit of courage to eat, there are ones that are indeed tasty. Would you try any of the recommendations?


Facebook Conversations