Challenge Yourself With 8 “weird” Vietnamese Foods

Vietnam is well known for fresh, delicious food, besides Pho, Banh My, Bun Cha… Vietnam also has some weird food that few Westerners would ever try, many expats challenge themselves with some of those foods and they become addicted to them, others try but no, never again.

Mam Tom

Mam Tom is made from fermented shrimp paste and is a traditional Vietnamese condiment. It is strong and has quite a pungent smell which is often difficult to accept for many Westerners, and yet it is a very flavourful condiment that is often used as a dip or seasoning for various dishes throughout Vietnam. The shrimp paste is typically mixed with garlic, chilli, sugar, and other ingredients to create the savoury flavour.

The strong smell of the fermented shrimp paste can be terrible to some, however, Mam Tom remains a staple ingredient in many Vietnamese dishes and is a culturally significant part of the country’s culinary heritage.

Nem Chua

Nem Chua is made from fermented pork and is a very popular Vietnamese dish that is usually served as a snack or a starter and is available at many street food stalls and restaurants. It is made by marinating thinly sliced raw pork, with a mixture of garlic, chilli, salt and sugar. The mixture is then left for several days to ferment, allowing the pork to become tender and the flavours to absorb into the meat.


The process of fermenting gives the pork a distinct sour taste and a slightly chewy texture.

Nem Chua can be enjoyed either on its own or with some herbs, or with sliced cucumbers and vegetables to balance out the flavours.

Chan Ga Sa Ot

Chân gà sả ớt is a Chicken feet based dish, the chicken feet are marinated with lemongrass and salt, sugar, garlic and vinegar. The dish is found in many Vietnamese restaurants and is typically served as an appetiser or snack.

The lemongrass and chilli combination gives the dish a refreshing spicy/tangy and satisfying flavour.


You may be hesitant to try chicken feet at first and may think there is little to no meat to eat on the chicken feet themselves, but you WILL be surprised by the taste. Guaranteed. Chicken feet are actually a hugely popular ingredient and are often served in restaurants worldwide, and are used in many Asian cuisines for their unique texture and flavour.

Pork intestine

In many countries, pork intestine is considered a delicacy and is enjoyed for its unique texture and flavour. Here are some common dishes made with pork intestine:

Vietnamese Pork Offal Porridge is a popular dish in Vietnamese cuisine that is typically consumed as a breakfast or a comforting meal. It is made with rice porridge that is cooked with a variety of pork offal, such as liver, heart, intestines, and sometimes even stomach.

The resulting porridge is rich, creamy, and flavourful, with the pork offal providing a satisfying texture and a depth of flavour to the dish. It is often garnished with fresh herbs such as cilantro and green onions, as well as crispy fried shallots, which add a nice crunch to the dish.

chao long

Grilled pork intestine: In some countries, pork intestine is grilled or barbecued over an open flame to create a crispy and flavourful dish. The intestine is usually marinated in a mixture of spices and herbs before grilling to enhance its flavour.

long nuong

Stuffed pork intestine: The pork intestine is stuffed with a variety of fillings such as ground pork, rice, and spices. The stuffed intestine is then boiled or steamed until it is cooked through and the filling is tender and flavourful.

long doi

Pork intestine can be a challenging ingredient for some people to try due to its distinct texture and flavour. However, for those who enjoy exploring new and unusual foods, pork intestine can be a delicious and rewarding culinary adventure.

Fertilized Duck Eggs/ Balut

They are a popular and nutritious snack in Vietnam. The eggs are rich in protein and are often served with a variety of seasonings and condiments such as salt, pepper, chili sauce, and lime juice.

While fertilized duck eggs may not be to everyone’s taste, they are a popular and iconic dish in Vietnamese cuisine and are worth trying for anyone interested in exploring the diverse and exciting world of international cuisine.

trung vit lon


Duran, also known as durian, is a tropical fruit that is popular in many Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam. It is a large, spiky fruit with a distinctive odour that has been described as both sweet and pungent. The flesh of the Duran is creamy and yellow, and it is often used in a variety of different dishes in Vietnamese cuisine. It can be eaten raw, or it can be used as an ingredient in desserts, smoothies, and other dishes.

Duran is also known for its potential health benefits. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and fibre, and it has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments.

However, many people find the smell of Duran to be overpowering or unpleasant, and it is not uncommon for the fruit to be banned in certain public spaces or modes of transportation due to its distinctive odour.


Oc (Sea snails dishes)

“Oc” is the Vietnamese word for sea snails, and it refers to a variety of different snail species that are commonly used in Vietnamese cuisine. Sea snails are a popular dish in Vietnam, and they are typically served in a variety of different preparations and sauces.

A popular way to prepare sea snails in Vietnam is to boil them in a flavourful broth with lemongrass, ginger, and other aromatic herbs and spices. The snails are then served with a dipping sauce made from fish sauce, salt, pepper, and lime juice.

Sea snails are also often used in noodle dishes and stir-fries in Vietnam. They can be added to a variety of different dishes to add texture and flavour, and they are especially popular in seafood-based soups and stews.


Ga ac tan thuoc bac (Black chicken in herbal soup)

Ga ac tan thuoc bac, also known as black chicken in herbal soup, is a traditional dish in Vietnamese cuisine. As its name suggests, the dish features a unique variety of chicken that has black feathers and skin due to a genetic mutation.

The chicken is then simmered in a flavourful broth with a variety of herbs and spices, which gives the soup its distinctive aroma and flavour. Common herbs and spices used in Ga Tan Den include ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and various medicinal herbs, such as goji berries, dried longan, and astragalus root.

This dish is believed to be good for the immune system, and is commonly consumed during the winter months or during times of illness.


Written and shared by Youin Travel Team

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