Food GuideHo Chi Minh CityTravel GuideVietnamFoods to help you beat the heat in Saigon

In this article, I'd like to focus on a completely different dish: Rolls - a specialty in Vietnamese cuisine.
Almira HadesJune 20, 201916 min

In the heat of summer, ice creams, bubble teas and desserts may be the first dishes that come your mind to cool yourself down. However, in this article, I’d like to focus on a completely different dish: Rolls – a specialty in Vietnamese cuisine.

Vietnamese-style rolls are a combination of meats, seafood, and vegetables with sauces such as fish sauce, soy sauce, peanut sauce, Mam Nem, etc. In addition to being a snack, the rolls are also a solution the hot days in Saigon by providing full nutrients without making people feel too weighted down. Each of them creates a variety of special flavors. Let’s take a look at the must-try rolls in Saigon for the hot season!

1. Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Spring Rolls)

In 2017, Goi Cuon reached the top 30 most delicious dishes in the world following a survey by CNN. Goi Cuon has many variations depending on each region, but the most well-known is Goi Cuon Tom Thit of the South.

This specialty is a combination of rice paper made from rice flour, a layer of vegetables placed on top, including: herbs, lettuce, chives, a layer of rice vermicelli, and then topped with shrimp and boiled pork belly. It is served with peanut sauce, and many people add spicy chili, or other sauce like Mam Nem.

Thanks to the clever hands of the chefs, this rustic dish is wrapped up and easy to eat. Dipping into the peanut sauce and taking a bite, the combination of all these ingredients will surely impress you!

Goi Cuon in Mountain Retreat

2. Bo La Lot

Bo Nuong La Lot, also known as Bo La Lot, is one of the most popular dishes in Saigon, easily found on Co Giang Street.

The beef is sliced, marinated with spices, then rolled with the lolot leaf, and charcoaled. To best enjoy a dish of Bo La Lot, peanuts will be sprinkled on top.

A layer of rice paper is place on the hand or plate with lettuce, herbs, small vermicelli, a slice of green banana and star fruit and rolled – tightly and, finally, dipped into peanut sauce or fish sauce.

Bo La Lot should be eaten when it is hot because the meat is tender at high temperatures.

Bo La Lot in The Hue House

3. Nem Nuong

Nem Nuong is made from minced pork, mixed with pork skin and spices for flavor, then put on a skewer. Like Bo La Lot, Nem Nuong is grilled with charcoal, until it is cooked completely and served on the table.

Depending on the region, Nem Nuong has many varieties and many flavors. However, the most popular Nem Nuong is Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa which is one of the top 100 typical Vietnamese dishes.

Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa’s taste impressies diners with a variety of sour flavors of fermented pork, pickled radish and carrots or slice of green mango, acrid taste of bananas, plus a smooth flavor of cucumber and lettuce, herbs and crispy rice paper and small vermicelli. It is served with a special sauce in order to enjoy the full taste of this rustic specialty.

Nem Nuong in Que Quan

4. Bo Bia (Po Piah)

Bo Bia is a common snack to Vietnames locals which comes from Chinese cuisine and is widespread in the East Asian countries.

Savory Bo Bia includes sausages, fried chicken eggs, carrots, lettuce, peas and dried shrimp which are sliced and rolled in rice paper. This is served with a mix of peanut sauce and chili paste.

On the other hand, sweet Bo Bia has fewer ingredients than savory Bo Bia. A thin candy bar is placed between rice paper and sprinkled with coconut and black sesame.

5. Banh Cuon

Similar to the rice paper, Banh Cuon is made from steamed rice flour, filled with: minced pork, herbs, ear mushroom inside and rolled. The cake will be cut into small pieces for easy eating. The sauce of Banh Cuon is also quite simple, made up of sweet fish sauce and an optional chili. Depending on the restaurant, they may add bean sprouts, Vietnamese sausage, fermented pork roll and shrimp cakes as side dishes.

Remember to eat Banh Cuon while it is still hot!

Banh Cuon Thap Cam in Banh Cuon Nho

As the local snacks, these dishes can be easily found in any markets or street vendors or you can try the mentioned restaurants above. In addition, you can also enjoy them at:


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