The world's famous chef Gordon Ramsay has listed many dishes from Vietnam among the best in Asia and globally.
|Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay. Photo: Getty Images
Ramsay, the owner of many restaurants, a TV star, and a famous cooking show judge, has recently expressed his love for Southeast Asian cuisines, including Vietnamese ones.
Specifically, he shared in an interview with a Korean YouTuber that Vietnam and Laos were two of his favorite culinary destinations.
When asked, “Where would you say is the No.1 food destination?”, Ramsay picked three names, including two from Southeast Asia: Vietnam and Laos.
“Vietnam is an extraordinary melting pot of food. I fell in love, there’s just such a humble approach to eating food,” he exclaimed. He added that “I recently came out of Laos, and going back to the provinces and spending time in the countryside away from the tourist traps, the food was just off the charts.”
It prompts a question what is good about Vietnamese and Laotian cuisines that mesmerized the influential man in the world cuisine?
Laos and Vietnam have more than one representative in the ‘50 of the Best Street Foods in Asia’ list, released by CNN in August 2022.
|Pho bo or Beef noodles, one of the most famous dishes in Vietnam.
In the list of 50 exemplary dishes across the continent, Vietnam contributed three entries which are also very familiar dishes to all Vietnamese: pho or Vietnamese traditional noodle soup; banh mi or Vietnamese-style sandwich; and ca phe sua da or iced coffee with condensed milk.
These three Vietnamese dishes are named among the best Asian street foods.
While pho is extremely popular among Vietnamese people, few Vietnamese street foods can compete with pho in terms of popularity with international friends, according to CNN.
Pho can be found on every street in Vietnam in general and in the Northern region in particular, served in chic restaurants and roadside stalls. The ingredients for pho are not complicated at all. Little springy rice noodles with tender protein (usually beef or chicken), bone broth, and scallions make for a delicious bowl of pho. Depending on their preferences, Vietnamese people often eat pho with herbs, bean sprouts, bagel twists, lime, chili sauce, or fresh slices.
A brand of Vietnamese pho that has enjoyed international fame and opened restaurants worldwide: Pho Thin. Pho Thin has become a global brand with its restaurants in foreign countries.
|Vietnamese famous dish banh mi. Photo: Kenh 14
The next one is banh mi. Regarding national popularity, banh mi is roughly equal to pho. It is known that the original baguette is not originally from Vietnam, but the French introduced it.
Through local creativity, banh mi has now taken on a unique taste and has become a signature dish for Vietnamese people.
With different ingredients and tastes depending on the region, the fillings sandwiched between crispy baguettes vary from north to south. They can be pork, chicken, sunny-side-up egg, a smear of pâté, pickled vegetables, coriander, and chili.
The third entry from the S-shaped country in CNN’s list of the best Asian street food is iced coffee with condensed milk. Unlike the cappuccino enjoyed in spacious stores in Europe or America, Vietnamese coffee is served by street vendors or roadside cafes.
Tourists can drink pure black coffee brewed with metal filters or mix it with condensed milk, sugar, or coconut milk - it’s all up to your preference.
As described by CNN, with a cup of iced coffee, you need to sit down on a plastic stool to enjoy the refreshing drink while making new friends.
Meanwhile, the specialties of Laos in CNN’s list of the best street foods across Asia are khao jee and naem khao.