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Vietnamese-style ‘pizza’, a popular street food



Lê Hương

Street food lovers in Việt Nam do not miss bánh tráng nướng (baked rice pancake with full toppings) and pizza hủ tiếu (full topping on crispy noodle base) as the dishes bear the creativity of Vietnamese people.

Baked rice pancake with full toppings

Baked pancake with full toppings. Photo from Instgram of 

The dish is popular in Đà Lạt, Nha Trang and HCM City and other localities throughout the country.

Cool nights in Đà Lạt can be warmed up beside a brazier with baked rice pancake on top. The dish has been indispensable at night markets in the mountain city.

Named Vietnamese-style pizza as its appearance looks like a pizza from Italy, its top can be filled with various kinds of toppings of various colours such as pork liver paste, eggs, dried beef, sausages, slated shredded meat, onion, cheese and chilly sauce.

Tasty snack at a reasonable price. VNS Photo Thanh Huy

“Though Vietnamese-style pizza is sold only in the streets while Italian pizza is served in luxurious restaurants, they have the same value in terms of taste and lure,” said visitor Mai Thanh from Hà Nội while trying baked rice pancakes in Đà Lạt Night Market. “I think the reasonable price of the baked pancake makes it attractive as well.”

Culinary expert Nguyễn Bắc said that Italian pizza and Vietnamese-style pizza have their own values in terms of culture and culinary art.

“We cannot confirm which dish tastes better,” he said. “We can just say baked pancake with the appearance like Italian pizza is delicious.”

After covering the pancake with some oil, the seller puts all the toppings on top of the pancake and then bakes it on a brazier.

Depending on the size of the pancake and the thickness of the topping layer, each pancake has its own time to be well-baked.

When it is well-baked, the seller will put chilly sauce on top and fold the pancake. The crispy pancake will blend well with the fragrant toppings, which contain all the tastes of salty, sweet, spicy, and fatty.

It’s a popular street food in Đà Lạt. Photo

“The more I eat it, the more I like,” said local Nguyễn Đình Nghiêm in Đà Lạt.

Nghiêm said the dish can be found at Đà Lạt Night Market, and in the daytime at 112 Nguyễn Văn Trỗi and Bánh Tráng Dì Đinh Shop at 26 Hoàng Diệu Street.

“You can find at a small shop at any corner and lane in Đà Lạt a gathering of a group of diners enjoying the dish,” he said. “So, it’s a kind of a local delicacy you should try in Đà Lạt.”

Hủ tiếu pizza

A popular delicacy in the southern province of Cần Thơ, hủ tiếu pizza was initiated by a traditional noodle restaurant a few years ago, and has become more and more popular as a local delicacy.

If you have a chance to visit Cần Thơ, stop by Sáu Hoài noodle shop to see the traditional process of cooking local noodles. With 40 years in the trade, the shop has produced various kinds of noodles to sell in the province and in other neighbouring localities.

The Sáu Hoài pizza hủ tiếu (full toppings on a base of crispy noodle) has been granted a patent by local authorities.

Since the shape of the dish is like that of Italian pizza, it takes the name of pizza. The chef should be skillful enough to create a crispy noodle base.

Crispy noodle pizza. VNS Photo Hiền Hòa

Tapioca starch is used to make the noodle, which is then poached in boiling water. The steamed noodle should be formed into a circle before being fried deep in boiling oil until it gets light brown and crispy.

The toppings include stew pork, fried egg and fatty coconut milk. The final pizza should be topped with some onion, coriander and roasted peanuts.

“The dish is a perfect flavor of the western region of Mekong Delta,” noted visitor Ngô Thái from Hà Nội. “The crispy noodle matches well with the salty, sweet and fatty toppings.”

Both Vietnamese-style pizzas can stun even foreigners with the creativity of Vietnamese people, who make delicious dishes at reasonable prices.

Try once to see the endless creativity of Vietnamese people! VNS

Pizza hủ tiếu Sáu Hoài, a patented brand name in Cần Thơ Province. Photo



Gold covers terraced rice fields in Ha Giang



Hoang Su Phi is a mountainous district located in the western reaches of the northwestern province of Ha Giang. It boasts spectacular landscapes of gigantic mountains and terraced rice fields.


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A spicy treat from Hải Phòng cuisine



Minh Phương

Among all versions of the iconic Vietnamese sandwich, the spicy bánh mì of Hải Phòng might be the smallest, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s any less than its larger siblings.

Hải Phòng’s spicy bánh mì is unique. Instead of fillings like meat or vegetables, this bánh mì is only filled with pate and eaten with a special chilli sauce, known as ‘chí chương’.

The traditional recipe from the city’s original ingredients of pate and chilli sauce is key to ensuring diners keep coming back for more.

Vietnamese people have long been proud of their bánh mì, so much so the word was added to the dictionary in 2011.

Proving the popularity of the Hải Phòng style, it’s easy to find vendor stalls all over the city selling this spicy bánh mì.

Bánh Mì Cay – Chính Hiệu Bà Già (Spicy Bánh Mì – Old Lady) was one of the first spicy bánh mì shops to open in Hải Phòng. This little business has customers queuing up for this spicy treat from early morning until late at night.

Bánh Mì Cay – Chính Hiệu Bà Già (Spicy Bánh Mì – Old Lady) was one of the first spicy bánh mì shops in Hải Phòng. VNS Photos Minh Phương

Phạm Thị Thúy, the owner of the shop, said: “Our family has been selling spicy bánh mì for nearly 40 years, since my grandma’s time.

“This bánh mì consists of a baguette and pate filled inside. The pate has meat and liver as the main ingredients.

“It is called spicy bánh mì, so it always serves with chilli sauce. This sauce is special and originates from Hải Phòng. We always leave the sauce outside so customers can choose whether to put it in or not.”

Good pate should be smooth in texture, with pork evenly spread over the surface. VNS Photo Minh Phương

Good pate should be smooth in texture, with pork evenly spread over the surface. The pate should be slightly pink with white spots of pork fat. The flavour must be liver and garlic. The maker will add seasonings, including salt or pepper, to suit taste. 

The unique chilli sauce ‘chí chương’ is a mixture of chilli, tomatoes, garlic and salt. The spicy of this sauce stimulates your taste buds.

Thúy said: “Spicy bánh mì is only filled with pate, so the pate is the ingredient that determines whether bánh mì tastes delicious or not. Therefore, making pate becomes one of the most important processes when making this bánh mì,” she added.

“We must choose high-quality ingredients, maintain the pate quality and even make it better every day.”

At the cost of VNĐ3,000 (0.13 US cents) each, this small bánh mì is a perfect breakfast choice or a small meal during the day for residents. To have a stomach full, five to six bánh mì is enough.

Each spicy bánh mì only costs VNĐ 3,000 (0.13 US cents). VNS Photo Ly Ly Cao

Nguyễn Ngọc Tuyến, a local resident, said that the spicy bánh mì is his first choice for breakfast. Many in Hải Phòng eat spicy bánh mì as a habit from their childhood.

Tuyến said: “I usually eat this spicy bánh mì. This bánh mì is small, only two fingers in width, so you can eat a lot, two, three or even 10.

“I sometimes buy it and send it to my friends in other localities as a gift.”

Tourists are also curious about this speciality. Many try it whenever they have a chance to visit the city.

Visitors are curious to try the spicy bánh mì of Hải Phòng. VNS Photo Ly Ly Cao

Nguyễn Tường Quân, a visitor from Nghệ An, with his girlfriend also enjoy eating this modest bánh mì.

Quân said: “Hải Phòng is famous for its spicy bánh mì, this bánh mì shop is near where we stay on our trip, so we decide to drop by to try.”

“This bánh mì is crusty. However, it tastes delicious even though its only filling is pate. I feel like this bánh mì still keeps the taste of the traditional bánh mì, which I had during my childhood.

“It is small, so it does not take much time to eat. I think about five of these is enough for breakfast.”

Võ Như Hà is paying a working trip to the city for two days. Despite her busy schedule, she found time to find a spicy bánh mì shop to taste this local food.

Hà said: “The spicy bánh mì is a delicacy of Hải Phòng, so I took the time to pass by here to try some local food. It looks different to what I usually see in HCM City.

“In HCM City, we often called it bread stick, which is longer than this. I will try to see how it tastes.”

This coastal city is like culinary heaven for food lovers and the spicy bánh mì has helped add more taste to the city.

Thúy said: “Customers buy spicy bánh mì for their family as a small meal and some buy it as a gift for their friends. Sometimes, I even receive an order on Vietnamese Women’s Day to deliver it to their female friends living in other provinces.

“I feel thrilled that now many people, even foreigners, love eating this bánh mì. Many people even choose Hải Phòng as a travel destination to enjoy this bánh mì.” — VNS


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Beef Yakiniku – Grilled Wagyu beef with vegetables



Executive Sous Chef Nguyễn Chí Thành of Meliá Hanoi

Yakiniku, meaning “grilled meat”, has been a traditional way of cooking for hundreds of years in Japan. Even today, the dish is still considered a favourite by many people in every corner of the country. To no one’s surprise, Tokyo is the home of the best Yakiniku restaurants in the world.


  • Wagyu beef tenderloin: 170g     
  • Bok choy: 30g
  • Shitake mushroom: 20g
  • Baby corn: 20g
  • Broccoli: 20g
  • Steamed Japanese rice: 100g
  • Butter: 10g
  • Asparagus: 20g
  • Sliced leek: 15g
  • Sliced garlic: 10g
  • Kikkoman soy sauce: 20ml
  • Mirin: 10ml
  • Corn syrup: 10ml
  • Sancho pepper: 2g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sake rice wine: 30ml
  • Grilled onion: 50g
  • Micro leaves: 5g
  • Baby flower: 1g
  • Kimchi: 20g
  • Yakiniku sauce: 15ml
  • Pink ginger: 10g

Beef Yakiniku


  • Grill the onion and leek for aroma, then in a mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Pour the sauce into a saucepan over medium heat and bring it to the boil. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat, keep cooking for 60 minutes, and allow the sauce to thicken to 25 per cent of the original volume.
  • Remove from the heat, strain the sauce through a sieve and allow to cool. 
  • Season the beef with Himalayan salt, pepper, and two spoons of Yakiniku sauce. Let the meat rest for 5-6 minutes at room temperature.
  • Pan sears both sides of the beef for 2 minutes on an iron cast. Then, grill it in an oven at 185C for 7-8 minutes until the meat reaches a medium state (pink on the inside). This process can be shortened or prolonged depending on personal preference.
  • In boiling water, cook all the side vegetables such as mushrooms, bok choy, asparagus, broccoli, and leek; then stir-fry them with butter, Kikkoman soy sauce, and garlic.


  • Cut the beef into bite-size pieces and serve with steamed Japanese rice. The side vegetables should be decorated around the iron cast pan.
  • The dish can be garnished with seaweed, sesame, and Japanese pink ginger. Extra sauce or kimchi are also optional to elevate the dish’s flavours.

You can enjoy this dish and many other flavourful food creations by chef Thành and his talented team at El Patio Restaurant in Meliá Hanoi Hotel, 44B Lý Thường Kiệt St, Hoàn Kiếm Dist, Hà Nội. Tel: (84)24 3934 3343.


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