When partaking in your Ho Chi Minh City tour, you might want to consider trying Chinese cuisine here. It has been in Vietnam for several generations and it is still able to keep its own signature while unceasingly increasing the diversity of local cuisine.
Chinese is one of the most populated ethnicities in Vietnam, and Ho Chi Minh City is where you can find the largest Chinese community. Although they have settled down in this land for several generations, it is apparent that their culture is well-preserved and still continues to pass on. If you visit the Chinatown in Ho Chi Minh City, you would easily find lots of Chinese-related things: architecture, merchandise, and, of course, food.
The Chinese community in Ho Chi Minh City still usually holds important festivals of their culture
There are two indisputable characteristics of the Chinese: they have a flair for running businesses, and their cuisine is incredible. Thanks to the combination of those two factors, we have numerous Chinese restaurants everywhere in Ho Chi Minh City. Unlike many other dishes which have been adjusted to please the local’s preference, the majority of Chinese foods is still able to keep their original taste.
A typical restaurant of a Chinese family in Ho Chi Minh City
Although one of the reasons that help Chinese cuisine preserve its identity is the resemblance between the Chinese and Vietnamese food culture, Chinese recipe itself still owns tons of outstanding features.
The utmost important things in Chinese cuisine are completeness and balance. A qualified dish should provide enough nutrition and balance between the “positive” and “negative” - or usually known as Yin and Yang. According to Chinese belief, every ingredient has its own characteristics which decide whether it is “cold” (Yin) or “hot” (Yang). When making a dish, the cook needs to make sure not to overuse ingredients from just one side to avoid bringing harms to our body. This unwritten rule has raised the value of Chinese cuisine.
Another attractive thing about Chinese foods is the way they wake up all of your senses. Good taste is not enough; they also have to possess an eye-pleasing look and a mouth-watering aroma. Not all Chinese dishes have an opulent presentment, but each displays its own unique and captivating signatures.
Chinese cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City welcomes you with hundreds of choices. So what are the dishes that you should not miss? Here are our suggestions.
Dumpling is a must! In Ho Chi Minh City, the common types of dumpling you can look for is Shui Jiao, Wontons, Har Gow, and Siu Mai. They can be steamed or fried, and either served alone with suitable sauces or accompanied with soup and noodles. Make sure you miss none of them.
Wontons with soup
For your snack time, take a look at Banh Bo, Banh Tieu, Cadé Sticky Rice, and Bot Chien. With Banh Bo - Chinese Sponge Cake - and Banh Tieu - Chinese Doughnut, you can try them either separately or together. Banh Bo has many versions, but when served with Banh Tieu, it is usually steamed. Both of them have a slightly sweet taste, and their combination offers a spongy, soft, and crispy texture in one bite.
Cadé Sticky Rice is an option for those with a sweet tooth. Cadé is a mixture of yolk, milk, and sugar made with a secret recipe which creates harmony inside your mouth. And Bot Chien - Fried Flour - though simple, they have captured the hearts of many local people.
If you want something more adventurous, we recommend Pha Lau, one of the extreme food in Vietnam. It is made from pig or cow intestines and eaten with instant noodles or bread.
Banh Bo (white) and Banh Tieu
Cadé Sticky Rice
Bot Chien - Fried Flour
Now let’s get to the main courses. Chinese cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City is famous for all types of noodles. Some of the most popular ones are Mi Vit Tiem - Noodles with Stewed Duck, Mi Xao Gion - Crispy Fried Noodles and Mi Hoanh Thanh - Noodles with Wontons. And in a close category with noodles is Hu Tieu. Not all Hu Tieu in Ho Chi Minh City, so look for Hu Tieu Ca - Fish Rice Noodles, Hu Tieu De - Goat Rice Noodles, Hu Tieu Ho, Hu Tieu Sa Te - Satay Hu Tieu, those are originated from China.
Mi Vit Tiem - Noodles with Stewed Duck
Mi Xao Gion (Chinese Fried Noodles)
Wonton Noodle Soup
Chinese rice noodles are flat and soft, and usually handmade
Finally, you would not want to miss desserts. The sweet soup would be a great choice, and in hundreds of options, check out Che Tra Hot Ga - Sweet Soup With Boiled Egg Cooked With Chinese Tea and Che Me Den - Black Sesame Sweet Soup.
Che Tra Hot Ga (Chinese Tea Eggs)
In case you are wondering where to find these wonderful dishes, keep on reading!
There are several luxurious Chinese restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. However, we would love to show you the delicious yet super affordable places where you can find good food and friendly service. Some of these stores have been opened for years and their recipes could be claimed as a treasure for their families.
Address: 57A De Tham, Cau Ong Lang Ward, District 1
Opening hours: 4 PM - 9 PM
Price: VND 8,000/ Chinese steamed stuffed buns, VND 20,000 - 50,000/ serving of dumplings for 8-18 pieces
Note: Takeaway only
This small dumpling stall is nearly 20 years old, and the quality is said to be maintained after all those years.
Address: 49 Lao Tu, Ward 14, District 5
Opening hours: 6 AM - 6 PM
Price: VND 4,000/piece of Siu Mai, VND 5,000/piece Har Gow filled with pork and shrimp, VND 30,000 - 32,000/combo of Har Gow for 5-10 pieces
Dumplings at Ha Cao Gia Hoa
Locating in a local market, Ha Cao Gia Hoa still amazes customers by serving hot, newly-cooked dumplings in bamboo steamers.
Address: 145 Cach Mang Thang 8, Ward 5, District 3
Opening hours: 4 PM - 10 PM
Price: VND 5,000 - 8,000
You will always receive a hot, newly-fried Banh Tieu from this stall!
Address: 451 Tran Phu, Ward 7, District 5
Opening hours: 7 PM - 12 AM (midnight)
Price: VND 15,000/serving of Cadé Sticky Rice
Cadé Sticky Rice here is wrapped in banana leaf
Address: 51 Nguyen Van Lac, Ward 21, Binh Thanh District
Opening hours: 4 PM - 9 PM
Price: VND 18,000-26,000
Note: The space for this store is quite small, so we recommend you to take away
Address: 243/30 Ton Dao, Ward 15, District 4
Opening hours: 3 PM -10 PM
Price: VND 20,000
Address: 1 Huynh Man Dat, Ward 19, Binh Thanh District
Opening hours: 3 PM - 11:30 PM
Price: VND 95,000/serving of Mi Vit Tiem, VND 40,000-65,000/serving for other types of Mi, VND 40,000-60,000/serving of Hu Tieu
Mi Vit Tiem at Luong Ky Mi Gia
Address: 270/20 Hoa Hao, Ward 4, District 10
Opening hours: 7 AM - 12 PM (noon)
Price: VND 20,000-32,000
Address: 98 Bui Huu Nghia, Ward 8, District 5
Price: VND 17,000/serving of Che Me Den, VND 18,000/serving of Che Tra Hot Ga, VND 16,000-40,000/serving for other Che
Address: 83 An Diem, Ward 10, District 5
Opening hours: 7 PM - 9 PM
Price: VND 19,000/serving of Che Me Den (only available on Saturdays), VND 21,000/serving of Che Tra Hot Ga, VND 18,000-51,000/serving for other types
55 Dong Du, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
6th Floor, Saigon Center, 65 Le Loi, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
29B Tran Hung Dao, Ward 6, District 5
2nd Floor, 202 Hoang Van Thu, District 6, Phu Nhuan District
Opening hours: 10 AM - 10 PM
88 Nguyen Tri Phuong, ard 7, District 5
Ground Floor, The Garden Mall, 190 Hong Bang, Ward 15, District 5
Opening hours: 6:30 AM - 10:30 PM
54 - 56 Dong Khoi, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
Windsor Plaza, 18 An Duong Vuong, District 5
Opening hours: 10 AM - 10:30 PM
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Together with the immigrants, Chinese cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City has come and been loved by the locals for decades. If you walk around Cho Lon, you can easily spot some food stores with signature Chinese decoration. Whenever you are hungry, feel free to stop by to get your stomach the best treats.
Contact us now for a food tour quote to experience Ho Chi Minh's culinary culture!
© Written by Mai Bui for itourvn.com