Famous for its delicious specialties, Vietnam is also the home of equally unique snacks with various interesting names and textures, bringing different flavors and experiences. Let me introduce to you the top 11 must-try Vietnamese snacks.

Table Contents
vietnamese snacks
Source: Dieuah.cng

1 - Top 11 Vietnamese snacks: Cu-do Candy

As the best-known specialty of Ha Tinh Province, Cu-do candy is made from peanuts, fresh ginger cane sugar, covered by two pieces of sesame rice paper. The whole thing has a round shape with a rough surface but is very fragrant and rich in flavor, a harmonious combination of chewiness, sweetness and a bit of spiciness with a pleasant scent.


vietnamese snack

Cu-do candy is one of the best snacks in Vietnam - Source: Internet

The ingredients to make a piece of Cu-do candy are very simple, but carefully selected and prepared. The molasses used in candy must be clear, sweet, fragrant, golden, and thick like honey, stored in crockery or porcelain jars to keep the characteristic sweetness. Peanuts must be medium-sized, with no scratches and worms, while rice paper is not too thick nor too thin and must be evenly sprinkled with sesame and ginger.

Because this Vietnamese snack food is inherently sweet and spicy, it is often served with a warm cup of green tea. Although it is a rustic dish, this speciality has become an indispensable part of the life of the Ha Tinh people, a traditional beauty of the land.

2 - Mung bean cake - top 11 best Vietnamese snacks 

Also known as green bean cake, this Hai Duong province's square-shaped specialty dish is related to the folktale of the last emperor of Vietnam - Bao Dai. Like its name, Mung bean cake is made entirely from pure mung bean powder, added sugar, cooking oil and pomelo flower essential oil, all of which must be guaranteed clean or / and quality with certificates of origin. To make this Vietnam snake, ripe green beans and slightly yellow inside are roasted, finely ground and then mixed with other ingredients, bringing a delicious, greasy taste that is very attractive and especially hard to describe. As when enjoying most other sweet-tasting cakes, many people also have a cup of warm green tea with this mung bean cake, which is considered the perfect addition to help balance the sweetness and bring out a richer but lighter flavor.

3 - Top 11 Vietnamese snacks: Burnt rice

You can easily see burnt rice dishes everywhere in Saigon, but this dish originally comes from the land famous for its landscapes - Ninh Binh Province. So what makes this burnt rice dish different from the everyday burnt rice remaining at the bottom of the rice cooker? It lies in the ingredients and sophisticated cooking method - the carefully selected clammy rice is cooked in a thick cast iron pot, and must be kept with enough water and fire to have a crispy crust.


snacks in vietnam

Burnt rice is one of the most famous snacks in Vietnam - Solurce: Green Cat

In the Ninh Binh Province, people often eat this dish with a sauce made entirely from mountain goat meat - another specialty of the region, bringing a strong, aromatic and meaty taste. In addition, the simpler version of this burnt rice dish with salted shredded meat, a little bit of sweet fish sauce and a little bit of onion fat, minced shrimp, is also attractive enough for you to not stop eating more. 

4 - Top best Vietnamese snacks: Bim bim (Packaged crisps)

Bim bim is one of the familiar snacks for many Vietnamese people, especially children and youngsters. Not only are they made from thinly sliced, shredded or mashed potatoes, many bim bim are made from flour, then shaped and deep-fried, dried and bagged. When eaten, these snacks have a crunchy, mouth-watering taste with various flavors coming from spices like spicy, beef, shrimp, crab, or sweet like corn. 

Currently, snacks are usually produced in the form of packages, in addition to the tubes and boxes influenced by foreign countries. Available in handy containers, these best Vietnamese package snacks come in a variety of eye-catching flavors, shapes and colors at affordable prices, starting at $0.2 / pack. Popular bim bim brands in Vietnam can be named such as O'star, Oishi, Swing, Toonies, Poca, Slide, Lay's Cheetos, Corn Chip, Flutes, etc.

5 - O mai

Also known as xi muoi, o mai is a snack made from different fruits such as plums, tamarinds, peaches, etc. by the drying method. The fruits used in making o mai must be fresh and delicious, without any worm or bruise. After being bought, the fruit would be washed, salted, left outside to dry and steamed. Then, to make this Vietnam snack the makers will soak and process (fried or dried) the fruit together with spices such as sugar, salt, ginger, chili, and licorice.


snacks vietnam

O mai - Source: Kenh14

That’s why, depending on the making, o mai can have different tastes, ranging from sweet to sour, but most of the time it’s a combination of sour, salty, spicy, and sweet flavors. There are also wet and dried types of o mai, suitable for everyone regardless of preference or age. Thanks to its mouthwatering taste and variety, this snack in Vietnam often appears on tea tables and is an indispensable typical Tet food of Vietnamese people.

6 - Top Vietnamese snacks: Nem lui 

vietnamese snack food

Nem lui - Source: Internet

Although it is a light dish, or served with other dishes, Nem lui or Lemongrass skewers pork is elaborately and sophisticatedly created. Lemongrass skewers pork is made entirely from lean pork tenderloin pounded and marinated with spices including soup powder, fish sauce, pepper, sugar, monosodium glutamate, minced onion, garlic and so on. Then, the ingredients of this Vietnam snack food are wrapped in fresh lemongrass and grilled on charcoal to have a golden and fragrant outer cover.

To enjoy this delicious dish, you must eat it hot, served with figs, pineapple, carrots, thinly sliced cucumbers, raw vegetables and so on. You take a piece of rice paper and put the ingredients together on it, then roll the rice paper and pull out the lemongrass stick. In addition, to add more flavor to the dish, you have to dip the roll into a cup of thick dipping sauce with lean meat and pureed liver, bringing the fleshy, greasy taste of crushed roasted peanuts.

7 - Donuts

vietnamese snack foods

This is one of the best Vietnamese snacks - Source: Kenh14

Donut is traditional Vietnamese street food made with rice flour and can be added with a little mashed potato, shaped into round balls, filled and fried until yellow. There are two types of donuts, sweet donuts and savory donuts - the main difference is in the filling. Sweet donuts are filled with green beans and coconut milk, and the outside is sprinkled with sesame seeds with a characteristic crunchy, chewy taste. Savory donuts filled with pork, vermicelli, wood ear, dried onion and pepper, served with sweet and sour dipping sauce and pickles. The shell of this Vietnam snack food is thick and crispy and flexible, combined with the delicious filling inside, which is made according to each shop's own recipe.

Donuts are an extremely suitable Vietnam snack for every morning before work, or on cold and rainy days, giving warmth and coziness. When your stomach starts to feel a little empty, the donuts will soothe your hunger but won’t make you too full, let you still be able to eat dinner.

8 - Top best snacks in Vietnam: Bo bia 

vietnam snacks

Bo bia or rolls - Source: Internet

Originating from China, bo bia with its two types of salty and sweet has become a favorite Vietnamese snack, especially for youngsters. Sweet bo bia is a combination of rice paper made from flour, malt candy rolled with grated coconut and a little bit of black sesame, bringing the typical sweetness of sugar and a little bit of fleshy, crunchy coconut shredded. Meanwhile, rolled in rice paper made from flour, salty bo bia has a filling consisting of sausages, eggs, carrots, lettuce, cassava roots, kohlrabi, dried shrimp, and finely chopped herbs. This snack in Vietnam is served with mixed chili sauce and crushed roasted peanuts fried in cooking oil with dried onions. You can easily find bo bia in small carts along the sidewalk, near school gates, or along the West Lake area in Hanoi.

9 - Top Vietnamese snacks: Me xung

Me xung or Squared sesame candy - a special food of Hue imperial capital, made from malt and peanut oil, covered with sesame and cut into small squares with glossy paper wrappers outside, is one of the best snacks to buy in Vietnam. There are two most popular types of squared sesame candy, which are flexible sesame and crispy sesame, bringing a sweet taste that melts in your mouth, better served with tea. You can roll or bend a flexible sesame candy bar, while the crispy sesame candy is harder, with more bean paste and less sugar, wrapped in a layer of baked rice paper. Hue people often have the habit of drinking tea and eating sesame sticks, while enjoying a good book.

10 - Banh gio

vietnam snack food

Banh gio - Source: Nhut Minz

As one of the snacks that are very familiar to Vietnamese people, banh gio is often used in breakfast because of its convenience and nutrition. This Vietnam snack food has a pyramid shape, made entirely from plain rice flour and tapioca flour mixed with bone broth. Banh gio has a rich filling made from minced lean meat with wood ear mushrooms, onion, pepper, fish sauce, salt and quail eggs. This snack in Vietnam then will be wrapped with banana leaves and steamed in a pot for 30 to 40 minutes.

In Saigon and the Southern provinces of Vietnam, people eat banh gio with only a little soy sauce or diluted sweet fish sauce, while Hanoians often use it together with other food such as fried spring rolls, grilled skewers, fried sausages, and so on, letting you feel the savory taste melting in your mouth after taking a bite.

11 - Top 11 Vietnamese snacks: Mut 

As one of the popular Vietnam snacks to bring home, Mut or Jam is extremely favored in Lunar New Year for generations. Mut is both made from fruits and is focused on sweetness with fruit soaked and coated in sugar to keep the freshness. In Vietnam, there are 2 different foods that both get called mut, but you should not mistake this snack of sugar-coated fruit with jam.

The most popular mut can be mentioned are ginger, coconut, tamarind, sweet potato, grapefruit, lotus seed, soursop, marmalade, etc. Most types of mut have a sweet, delicious taste that once you eat it, you will just want to keep taking another piece. The sweetness is also the reason why Vietnamese people often eat mut together with a cup of green tea, neutralizing the sweetness and bringing an unforgettable ethereal taste.

Vietnam is indeed a country that possesses a unique and diverse cuisine with countless delicious dishes, in which the snacks are superior with delicious and unforgettable flavors. Hopefully, after reading about 11 delicious Vietnamese snacks mentioned above, you will have an interest in visiting this S-shaped country and trying out its cuisine

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Being born and living here in Vietnam, I got a chance to see lots of beautiful places, try countless great dishes, & experience many interesting things in places I visited. And It's so great to share all things I know about Vietnam to you.

Giang Pham — Giang Pham



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