[Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam] Lunch at Bến Thành Market

We were hot and tired when we arrived, since we had some problem with the motorbike ‘mafia’. When you parked on the street, somebody would act like a security guard gave you a ticket with a number to keep an eye of your property, of course you need to pay. I don’t think it’s legal, as the hotel told us that parking is illegal on the street in HCM.

Bánh bèo Huế - Water fern cake, steamed rice pancake with scallion, shrimp flashes, floor mung beans
I didn’t recall what was in the middle, it was another type of wide rice noodles.

Bánh cuốn nóng- steamed rice sheet with minced wood ear mushroom, ground pork, minced shallots etc. Ate with the pork pate, bean sprout.

Bánh Khọt - Knot cake - mini rice pancakes with shrimp, coconut cream, the yellow colour was ground turmeric

Sauce for the mini pancakes.

Mì Quảng - Quang style noodle, originated from Quang Nam province, central Vietnam. Rice noodle with turmeric, shrimp, fish, peanuts, rice sesame crackers.

The stand no. 1092

Each stand tried their best to grab the attention from the passing potential clients.


The Bun Rieu Cua here was fabulous. I first had that in Paris many years ago when a couple of American friends (long-term Paris residents) introduced me to what they called “red pho”. It tasted so good, I dreamt of it for years afterwards - until I came across the dish again at this very stall in your pic at Ben Thanh. Must-not-miss!

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How did you find the food in the market? I am curious how the same dishes taste there versus elsewhere in the world.

@klyeoh I haven’t found a bun rieu that I love yet in the SFBA. One day would love to go straight to the source.

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You simply have to. I found the food in Vietnam itself tasted so much better than the renditions I’ve had elsewhere.

Peter is very right, you need to go to Vietnam. I think there are basic problems why the renditions aren’t as good:
1/ It’s difficult to find quality Vietnamese fish sauce outside Vietnam, restaurants use cheaper Thai fish sauce, might not be the same quality.
2/ You can’t find abundance herbs nor same types outside Vietnam without paying a high price.
3/ Street food are in fact very specialized, each stall cooks the same dish everyday for years, they become expert. A restaurant outside Vietnam cook all types of dishes and therefore more a generalist.

(Very strange. Actually wrote this draft for years, and forgot to post it)