Tuesday, 20/09/2022 08:43

Vietnamese-style ‘pizza’, a popular street food

Lê Hương

Street food lovers in Việt Nam do not miss bánh tráng nướng (baked rice pancake with full toppings) and pizza hủ tiếu (full topping on crispy noodle base) as the dishes bear the creativity of Vietnamese people.

Baked rice pancake with full toppings

Baked pancake with full toppings. Photo from Instgram of 

The dish is popular in Đà Lạt, Nha Trang and HCM City and other localities throughout the country.

Cool nights in Đà Lạt can be warmed up beside a brazier with baked rice pancake on top. The dish has been indispensable at night markets in the mountain city.

Named Vietnamese-style pizza as its appearance looks like a pizza from Italy, its top can be filled with various kinds of toppings of various colours such as pork liver paste, eggs, dried beef, sausages, slated shredded meat, onion, cheese and chilly sauce.

Tasty snack at a reasonable price. VNS Photo Thanh Huy

“Though Vietnamese-style pizza is sold only in the streets while Italian pizza is served in luxurious restaurants, they have the same value in terms of taste and lure,” said visitor Mai Thanh from Hà Nội while trying baked rice pancakes in Đà Lạt Night Market. “I think the reasonable price of the baked pancake makes it attractive as well.”

Culinary expert Nguyễn Bắc said that Italian pizza and Vietnamese-style pizza have their own values in terms of culture and culinary art.

“We cannot confirm which dish tastes better,” he said. “We can just say baked pancake with the appearance like Italian pizza is delicious.”

After covering the pancake with some oil, the seller puts all the toppings on top of the pancake and then bakes it on a brazier.

Depending on the size of the pancake and the thickness of the topping layer, each pancake has its own time to be well-baked.

When it is well-baked, the seller will put chilly sauce on top and fold the pancake. The crispy pancake will blend well with the fragrant toppings, which contain all the tastes of salty, sweet, spicy, and fatty.

It's a popular street food in Đà Lạt. Photo phongnhaexplorer.com

“The more I eat it, the more I like,” said local Nguyễn Đình Nghiêm in Đà Lạt.

Nghiêm said the dish can be found at Đà Lạt Night Market, and in the daytime at 112 Nguyễn Văn Trỗi and Bánh Tráng Dì Đinh Shop at 26 Hoàng Diệu Street.

“You can find at a small shop at any corner and lane in Đà Lạt a gathering of a group of diners enjoying the dish,” he said. “So, it’s a kind of a local delicacy you should try in Đà Lạt.”

Hủ tiếu pizza

A popular delicacy in the southern province of Cần Thơ, hủ tiếu pizza was initiated by a traditional noodle restaurant a few years ago, and has become more and more popular as a local delicacy.

If you have a chance to visit Cần Thơ, stop by Sáu Hoài noodle shop to see the traditional process of cooking local noodles. With 40 years in the trade, the shop has produced various kinds of noodles to sell in the province and in other neighbouring localities.

The Sáu Hoài pizza hủ tiếu (full toppings on a base of crispy noodle) has been granted a patent by local authorities.

Since the shape of the dish is like that of Italian pizza, it takes the name of pizza. The chef should be skillful enough to create a crispy noodle base.

Crispy noodle pizza. VNS Photo Hiền Hòa

Tapioca starch is used to make the noodle, which is then poached in boiling water. The steamed noodle should be formed into a circle before being fried deep in boiling oil until it gets light brown and crispy.

The toppings include stew pork, fried egg and fatty coconut milk. The final pizza should be topped with some onion, coriander and roasted peanuts.

“The dish is a perfect flavor of the western region of Mekong Delta,” noted visitor Ngô Thái from Hà Nội. “The crispy noodle matches well with the salty, sweet and fatty toppings.”

Both Vietnamese-style pizzas can stun even foreigners with the creativity of Vietnamese people, who make delicious dishes at reasonable prices.

Try once to see the endless creativity of Vietnamese people! VNS

Pizza hủ tiếu Sáu Hoài, a patented brand name in Cần Thơ Province. Photo thanhnien.vn

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