Hot Snacks in Hanoi Winter

The cold winter weather in the capital is the best time to enjoy hot snacks, from crispy pancakes to savory porridge.
Hot Snacks in Hanoi Winter
Hot banh duc (Photo: VN Express)

Hot banh duc

Banh duc (steamed rice flour) is traditionally served cold. However, the young generations prefer hot banh duc in the winter.

In this variation, instead of being served with soy sauce, banh duc is poured into a medium bowl with stir-fry pork and sweet and sour fish sauce. Wood ear mushroom, fresh coriander, fried tofu, and fried onions are usually added.

A bowl of hot banh duc costs VND 15,000 - 20,000 (US$0.65 - 0,9), which is reasonable for an afternoon break.

Le Ngoc Han street, Trung Tu residential areas, and Nguyen Hien street are home to famous and long-standing banh duc stalls.

Hot Snacks in Hanoi Winter
Fried sticky rice balls with bean and meat fillings. (Photo: VN Express)

Fried sticky rice balls

When the chill air visits Hanoi, banh ran (fried sticky rice balls) starts to be sold on the streets. The dish can be easily found in every market and every street of the capital. Banh ran comes in different sizes, shapes, and fillings, from sweet potato, bananas, and corn, to beans, pork and egg.

The sizzling sound of boiling oil, the golden color of the crust, and the aroma of the filling wins the hear of diners, therefore, banh ran is a signature dish in the cold weather.

The sweet fried ball is made up of mashed green beans covered in a thin layer of sticky rice flour and sesame, while the savory version is more complicated.

To make the savory fillings, the cook finely grounds and stir-fries pork with rice vermicelli, wood ear and shiitake mushroom. Savory balls are served with picked and sweet and sour dipping sauce. Each ball is sold at VND 3,000-5,000 (US$ 0.1-0.2).

Hot Snacks in Hanoi Winter
Boiled snails (Photo: VN Express)

Boiled snails

Boiled snails, as its name suggests, is a simple dish but has a strange appeal on cold days, especially to young people.

In the late afternoon and evening, people often gather around a small stall with boiling pots of snails, lemongrass, and lime to enjoy the dish and chat. Snails are served with salty, sweet, and spicy dipping sauce.

Snail stalls often sell other snacks, such as juice, quail eggs, clams, fermented pork roll. A plate of snails costs from VND 20,000-50,000 (US$ 0,9-2,2). To enjoy the dish, drive to college areas such as Chua Lang and Ton That Tung streets or the old quarter.

Hot Snacks in Hanoi Winter
Pork porridge (Photo: VN Express)


Pork rib and mussel porridge are among the most favorite breakfast and afternoon snacks in Hanoi's winter. The hot and light dish is served with cripsy "quay" and pepper. Each bowl costs about VND 20,000-35,000 (US$ 0.9-1,5).

Hot Snacks in Hanoi Winter
Sweet sesame and bean balls (Photo: VN Express)

"Floating" sweet balls

Che troi nuoc (floating sesame and bean balls) is more popular on cold days because it is cooked with ginger.

A bowl of che troi nuoc often includes three balls, a sesame, a green bean, and a sesame mix with coconut.

Each bowl costs VND 15,000-25,000 (US$ 0.7-1.1). The dish is easy to find, especially in the old quarter. Most sweet soup stalls sell che troi nuoc in the winter only.

Hot Snacks in Hanoi Winter
Grilled pork (Photo: VN Express)

Grilled pork

Students love eating grilled pork as an after-school snack thanks to the cheap price and moderate servings.

Some stalls also sell sausages, banh mi with grilled pork filling and pickles. Ham Long, Kham Thien, Quang Trung streets, and Nghia Tan market are famous for the dish.

Hot Snacks in Hanoi Winter
Grilled corn (Photo: VN Express)

Grilled corn and sweet potatoes

Grilled corn and sweet potatoes in Hanoi are simple and do not need any seasoning or butter.

The corn and sweet potatoes are carefully selected to ensure the dish's rustic taste. Grilled sweet potatoes look ugly on the outside but tender and delicious on the inside. The dish is sold on every corner and street of Hanoi, mostly in the evening.

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