Explore the Delights of Hoi An's Traditional Cuisine

Explore the Delights of Hoi An's Traditional Cuisine

Explore the Delights of Hoi An's Traditional Cuisine

Food & Drinks Linh Nguyễn 1156 Monday, 02/10/2023, 15:15

Enjoys traditional food is the good way to discover a new land. Here are 7 famous hoi an traditional food you must try when visiting this peaceful old town.

Hoi An – The Charming Old Town

Hoi An.jpg

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Hoi An used to be the important trading port

(Photo: Internet)

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Hoi An held a prominent position as a vital trading port in Southeast Asia. This historical significance is well-reflected in its present-day cultural richness.

Hoi An's unique heritage is a result of its role as a cultural crossroads. In the 16th century, it welcomed traders from various parts of Asia, including Japan, China, and India, as well as Western merchants. This convergence of cultures has left an indelible mark on the town's identity.

Today, Hoi An continues to exude its timeless charm. The town's streets are adorned with elegant, yellow-painted houses that harken back to its trading heydays. Notable landmarks such as the Chinese Assembly Halls, the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge, numerous 'Old Houses,' and various museums stand as testaments to its rich history and architectural diversity.

The allure of Hoi An extends beyond its physical beauty. Its appeal lies in a combination of factors, including its pleasant climate, awe-inspiring architecture, diverse religious influences, vibrant festivals, and a delectable array of traditional foods. All these elements come together to create an enchanting destination that captures the essence of centuries of cultural exchange.


Hoi An earned UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1999

(Photo: Internet)

Exploring a new destination can be greatly enhanced by indulging in its traditional cuisine. When you have the opportunity to visit Hoi An, make sure to savor the local culinary delights. Here, we present a list of seven famous dishes that you simply must try when exploring this beautiful and tranquil old town.

Cao Lau


Cao Lau is the most local specialties in Hoi An

(Photo: Internet)

When discussing the culinary delights of Hoi An, it would be a significant oversight not to mention Cao Lau. Cao Lau is a distinctive dish characterized by its thick, long, yellow noodles, accompanied by succulent barbecue pork slices, crisp beansprouts, crunchy croutons, and an assortment of fresh herbs sourced from Tra Que village, all bathed in a flavorful pork-based gravy. What sets this dish apart is the use of freshly harvested sticky rice and water from the renowned Ba Le well, combined with the unique thousand-year-old noodles of Cao Lau.

With its unmistakable and delectable flavors, Cao Lau is an absolute must-try during your visit to Hoi An. The town boasts numerous eateries and street vendors, each offering their own interpretation of this iconic dish, allowing you to savor the diverse nuances of Cao Lau prepared by different culinary artisans.

Com Ga


Com Ga is Com Ga is a famous Hoi An traditional food

(Photo: Internet)

While you can find Com Ga, or chicken rice, throughout Vietnam, the version found in Hoi An stands out as a traditional specialty that distinguishes itself from the rest.

Com Ga primarily consists of chicken, rice, sauce, and pickled carrots. What sets it apart is the use of free-range chickens raised in the rural gardens surrounding Hoi An. These chickens are boiled with fragrant herbs like ginger to infuse them with a unique flavor. The rice, an integral component of Com Ga, is cooked using the chicken broth, adding depth to the dish.

A typical plate of Com Ga features vibrant yellow rice, tender chicken meat, refreshing peppermint, crisp papaya, zesty salted onions, and the renowned chili sauce. This sauce carries a fiery kick that may leave your tongue tingling, but it's an indispensable part of the cultural gastronomic experience in Hoi An. The combination of flavors and textures in Com Ga reflects the rich culinary heritage of this charming town.

Banh Mi


Banh Mi – A worth trying street food in Hoi An

(Photo: Internet)

Banh Mi, one of Vietnam's renowned street foods, is readily available on street corners across the country, from bustling cities to tranquil villages. However, when you have the opportunity to visit Hoi An, you can savor a uniquely flavored Banh Mi that has gained international recognition. Hoi An's Banh Mi derives its distinctive character from its core ingredients: fresh baguette, pate, pork, an assortment of fresh herbs, pickled carrots, and chili.

In Hoi An, the delight of Banh Mi is accessible every day, at any hour, starting from the early morning and stretching well into the night. Enjoying a hot Banh Mi curbside allows you to immerse yourself in the tranquil lifestyle of this charming old town. It's a culinary experience that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also offers a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry of Hoi An.

Ball Vac


The English name is White Rose Dumpling because of the beautiful appearance like a rose

(Photo: Internet)

Resembling the delicate petals of a white rose, Banh Vac is a local appetizer that should not be missed during your visit. This exquisite dish features a filling crafted from either succulent shrimp or savory pork, encased in a translucent white skin made from rice flour. Similar to Cao Lau, the local artisans in Hoi An utilize the pristine water from the Ba Le well to achieve the perfect whiteness of the rice skin, enhancing the overall flavor.

When served, Banh Vac is elegantly presented on a plate, garnished with crispy deep-fried onions, and accompanied by a sweet and tangy fish sauce. The combination of textures and flavors in this dish creates a delightful harmony that reflects the culinary finesse of the region. Tasting Banh Vac not only treats your palate to a unique blend of tastes but also provides a window into the culinary artistry of Hoi An.

Mi Quang


The deliciousness of Mi Quang depends a lot on the broth

(Photo: Internet)

Mi Quang is a specialty dish hailing from several provinces in Central Vietnam, and indulging in it while in Hoi An promises to be a remarkable culinary adventure.

This unique dish is characterized by its abundance of fresh greens and a minimal amount of broth, resulting in a delicate and elegant flavor profile. Mi Quang offers a delightful variety of meat options, including pork, chicken, shrimp, beef, and more, allowing you to tailor your culinary experience to your preferences.

When exploring Hoi An's Old Town, you'll find numerous street vendors serving up delicious Mi Quang, making it easily accessible for visitors looking to savor this iconic dish. The marriage of flavors and textures in Mi Quang showcases the culinary diversity and regional richness that Vietnam has to offer, making it a must-try for any food enthusiast.

Hen Xao – Banh Dap


One of interesting traditional food in Hoi An is the Hen Xao – Banh Dap (Photo: Internet)

Hen Xao – Banh Dap is a delectable fusion of mussels and crispy rice paper, showcasing the flavors of Hoi An's culinary heritage. To create this dish, the small, delectable mussels sourced from the Thu Bon river are meticulously prepared. The mussels are first boiled, and their tender flesh is painstakingly separated from the shells. Subsequently, the mussel meat is stir-fried to perfection with a medley of aromatic herbs, spring onions, zesty peppers, spicy chili, invigorating ginger, and crunchy peanuts.

Complementing the mussels is Banh Dap, an essential component of this dish. Banh Dap features a layer of delicate rice noodle rolls delicately positioned between two pieces of grilled girdle cakes. The harmonious marriage of textures and flavors in Hen Xao – Banh Dap reflects the culinary finesse of Hoi An and provides a delightful gastronomic experience for those seeking to explore the local cuisine.

Xi Ma


A bowl of Xi ma – A signature food of Hoi An

(Photo: Internet)

Xi Ma, originally a Chinese dessert from Fujian province, has evolved over time to become a signature dish of Hoi An. This delectable dessert is crafted from a blend of black sesame, coconut, herbs, rice flour, and sugar, making it not only a traditional and flavorful treat but also a source of nourishment.

At first glance, the dessert's deep black color might surprise you, but once you taste it, you'll be enchanted by its unforgettable flavor. Xi Ma is at its most delightful when served hot, a sweet soup that warms both the heart and the palate.

Hoi An, with its charming ambiance, is perfect for leisurely early morning or late afternoon strolls when the sun's intensity has waned. This dreamy ancient town in central Vietnam boasts lush gardens, enchanting lantern-lit evenings, and stunning beaches. While exploring this romantic destination, don't forget to indulge in the delightful local dishes that contribute to the culinary tapestry of Hoi An.

Hoi An, an ancient town renowned for its rich and diverse cuisine, is a destination that beckons food enthusiasts from around the world. Above, Innoviet offers recommendations for dishes that are a must-try when you embark on your journey to Hoi An.

If you harbor aspirations for special culinary experiences and aspire to delve deeper into the region's gastronomy, we encourage you to get in touch with Innoviet. Our team specializes in crafting personalized travel programs across Vietnam, with a particular focus on the captivating Mekong Delta. We firmly believe that your visit to the Mekong Delta will create enduring and cherished memories that you'll treasure for a lifetime.

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