Top 5 quirky Vietnamese foods not for the fainted heart

Home to a rich culinary world, Vietnam is where one can find anything from gourmet, affordable dishes, yummy street foods to an abundance of weird dishes. Below, we shortlist the top 5 most weird food across the country.
November 23, 2020 | 07:50
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Blood Pudding is the favorite choice of many Vietnamese men (Photo: Youtube)

Blood pudding (Tiết canh)

Tiet Canh (or blood pudding) is a fresh dish, of which main material is the blood of an animal. In order to prevent the premature coagulation, the blood will be mixed with fish sauce or diluted salt water. After that, the chopped innards of animal or meat will be added to the dish to enhance the blood coagulation, as reported by Viet Fun Travel. When trying the dish, the dinner will add some roasted peanuts and chopped herb as lemon, mints, etc.

There are two popular kinds of Vietnamese blood pudding – the pig blood pudding and duck blood pudding. Besides, this dish can be made of other animal’s blood such as goose, goat, snake or even crab, lobster, etc.

That kind of preparing food is very popular in Vietnamese cuisine, from the North to the South region. And this dish is hardly seen in any other places in the world. Due to the weirdness of preparing process and the scary look of the dish, the blood pudding is certainly listed in top most scary dishes all over the world.

Dog Meat (Thịt chó)

It is consumed in Vietnam to varying degrees of acceptability, though it predominantly exists in the North. It’s a winter food which believed to keep you extraordinarily warm on cold nights.

Dog meat is eaten in a variety of ways, from grilled, stuffed in spring rolls, stir fried, to added to soups. There are multiple dishes featuring dog meat, and they often include the head, feet as well as internal organs. Dog meat restaurants can be found throughout the country. If you are in Hanoi and you are eager to try this dish, please come to a restaurant on Nhat Tan Street – Tay Ho District. Typically, a chef will choose one of seven ways to cook dog, collectively known as “cầy tơ 7 món“. You can choosesteamed dog meat, dog sausage, steamed dog in shrimp paste, ginger and rice vinegar, grilled dog meat, bamboo shoots and dog bone marrow or fried dog in lemon grass and chili. Here, you can see groups of customers who seated on mats spending their evenings on sharing plates of dog meat and drinking alcohol.

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Dog meat can be cooked into different dishes (Photo: Media Mart)

Dog meat is supposed to raise the libido and sometimes considered unsuitable for women. In other words, eating dog meat can serve as a male bonding exercise. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for women to eat dog meat. The consumption of dog meat can be part of a ritual life which usually occurring in the end of the lunar month for reasons of astrology and luck. Restaurants which mainly exist to serve dog meat may only open for the last half of the lunar month, Vietnam Discovery said.

Peanut worms (Sá sùng)

The peanut worms will make many people terrified by its scary appearance. However, the dish from peanut worms is irresistible.

The peanut worms look like other worms, however, they are much bigger and their innards are mainly sand. They usually live in deep underground caves.

In Vietnam, those worms can be used for foods. They are grilled and served with salt, chili and lemon juice or they can be marinated with salt and chili before being grilled. Many restaurants use this dish as a nosh and it is sometimes served with beer as well. The peanut worms are crunchy, soft but quite tough and have a special taste.

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Peanut worms (Photo: Tap Chi Du Lich)

Coconut worm (Đuông Dừa)

You might have had your fair share of raw food (like the fascinating raw salmon or prawn…sushi) in the past but the coconut worm takes the game to the next level. Do you dare to pick the live fat coconut worm swimming in a bowl of fish sauce and put it in your mouth? Coconut worm is a yellow larva with a brown head. It usually lives inside the coconut stem and eats coconut tubers. In the Mekong Delta, live coconut worm is a specialty dish.

Coconut worm is most yummy when it is still alive. It will surely be a little scary at first glance because the worm will still be moving in between your chopsticks. But if you can get over your fear and eat it, you will love the flavor. If you are not a big fan of fish sauce, you can have the live coconut worm with cold beer, according to Guide.

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Coconut worm (Photo: Cung Cau)

Vietnamese Fermented Pork Roll (Nem Chua)

Nem Chua is a favorite dish of many people, thanks to its special taste. This dish is made of the fresh pork, with “thính” (a kind of Vietnamese spice made of rice), garlic, and chili. After being fermented in 3 days, nem chua is ready to serve.

Nowadays, at some areas of Ha Noi, nem chua is also a dish to eat when drinking. To make the dish suitable for drinking, nem chua is grilled and fried. This dish is extremely attractive due to its unique taste and smell. On passing by, you may not have a look at the sign of the food stall, you may not observe other people eating, but you can smell the dish from a long distance.

Some South-east Asia nations have the similar dish as Nem Chua (the same taste and smell). In Laos, this dish is called Som mou, while in Thailand, it is called naem (nham).

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(Photo: Vietnam Tourism)
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