6 Weird Vietnamese Foods to Try in Ho Chi Minh: Vietnamese Balut, Mouse Meat & More
The entire Asian cuisine contains dishes that you wouldn’t normally dream of, such as this weird Vietnamese food.
However, that doesn’t make it any less tasty or appealing. (Or, at least appealing to some people since the weird and unusual foods you will find in this article will make you think twice about how edible this stuff is.)
If you though that the Vietnamese cuisine is all about the lovely spring rolls, Pho or Vietnamese pancakes, you need to think again because the Vietnamese are known to consume a lot of unusual stuff.
You will find some of this weird Vietnamese food in the article below so prepare yourself—and perhaps it’s better to eat before you read this because by the end there’s a big chance you’ll lose your appetite.
Vietnamese Balut, or Hot Vit Lon
Also known as Balut, this odd-looking Vietnamese food becomes even more intriguing when you find out what it really is.
If you’re going to order Balut, you should know that you’re going to eat a duck egg that went through a gestation period between 19 and 21 days.
At this stage, the features of the embryo are already starting to form so, in case you’re not a big fan of eating a baby duck with possible feathers and bones, you should let the locals do it as it is considered a very nutritious dish in the local culture.
The cooking process is very simple—the egg is boiled around 5 minutes and is served with black pepper, salt and a couple of laksa leaves or some lime juice.
You need to first sip the lime juice and then eat the Balut and this experience will be one to remember since it’s a very interesting combination of flavors.
Although it is not so unusual anymore since more and more countries consider frog legs as a delicacy, the Vietnamese have a very special way of preparing frog meat. It all starts by being season with chili, lemongrass and ginger and then it gets grilled as this is the most popular cooking option for street food.
If you’re having second thoughts about eating frog, you should think again since the meat has a very smooth texture and tastes like a combination of fish and chicken and the flavors from the lemongrass and other spices will fill your mouth joy.
Another plus when it comes to frog food is that it’s very nutritious and healthy and, compared to the dishes that will follow, it’s among the ‘normal’ ones
The coconut worms are considered by the locals a gift from nature because, even though they do harm the coconut trees by drilling holes in the trunks and slowly killing them, cooking the worms makes a very nutritious and tasty dish.
The larvae are usually cooked with butter or friend in flour and that’s the way you’re going to find most of them in Ho Chi Minh; however, there are some locals that prefer to eat them alive by dipping them in chili fish sauce first.
Just in case you still have any food left in your stomach, here’s a video of someone frying these coconut worms:
Mice are caught by the local farmers when trying to eat the rice or other cereal from their barns and, since it would be a pity to waste food, they usually fry it or even marinate it first and make a barbecue out of it.
You will be able to find a lot of restaurants or street-food places that serve mouse meat and it goes excellently with beer or a strong liquor.
Yet another traditional dish served in northern Vietnam, the blood soup isn’t just a fancy name for a red soup.
It is actually prepared using blood of an animal, most frequently duck blood is used for preparing this delicious treat.
The blood is mixed with herbs and peanuts and then everything is boiled together until the desired soup consistency is obtained.
Some locals also use pig blood since it can be collected and kept frozen for cooking this unusual soup. It has the consistency of jelly when ready and the recommendation is to swallow it directly instead of chewing it.
Fried White Cricket
If you thought you’re done with the unusual insects or animals that Vietnamese turn into food, once again, you need to reconsider your position as this last dish we’re showing follows the same directions.
White cricket is fried in butter or sometimes coconut oil and then served with herbs or the traditional laksa leaves.
Even though it seems weird and unusual, the taste of cricket is very similar with shrimp or crab and it’s believed they have the ability to cure different aches, rheumatism and obesity.
Also, this dish goes perfect with beer or whine for a complete taste experience.
Weird Vietnamese Food
If you think this article contains all the unusual dishes you can try in Vietnam, there’s some bad news coming your way as this is just a small part of the extreme diversity that makes up the Vietnamese cuisine.
If you’ve traveled to Ho Chi Minh (or anywhere else in Vietnam) before and tried weird Vietnamese food, share your thoughts in the comment section below and let everyone know how delicious they are.