Good Morning, Vietnam!

Vietnamese breakfast

Like the country itself, Vietnamese breakfast is a complex subject, changing in overall culture and flavor from north to south. Most Vietnamese don’t cook breakfast at home, they usually have breakfast on their way to work. So it’s common to see banh mi and sticky rice pre-wrapped in food carts and ready to go, and if they do have time to stop for breakfast it is usually pretty basic and quick like pho or com tam.

Up in Hanoi cold winters have sculpted unique breakfast dishes that can be found every morning along the streets and the trung vit lon (duck embryo) is by far the dish of choice. Crack the top, suck out the steamy liquid inside (it’s the best part) and then take spoonful after spoonful of the protein, garnished with Vietnamese coriander and ginger. For the fainthearted, chao long (rice porridge) is a dish that warms the Hanoian heart. Rice porridge filled with boiled pork offal like stomach, intestine, heart, kidney and many others come together to make a wholesome porridge. Chao long is served with a fried bread stick called banh quay which is made with wheat flour and originated in China.


Coming from Phan Thiet a personal favorite of mine, and very popular in Central Vietnam, is banh hoi long heo. It’s a dish of thin rice noodle woven into intricate bundles, which tastes similar to vermicelli. The dish is brushed with chopped spring onions in oil and is commonly served with boiled pork organs and spring rolls. To eat, select a sheet of rice paper, add herbs and noodles inside, top that with some boiled meat and a small spring roll, roll it all up, and then dip it in chili garlic fish sauce.

Quan Banh Hoi Nia: 187 Phung Van Cung, Phu Nhuan

Images by Ngoc Tran & Adam Robert Young

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