Saigon foodies queue up to buy Chinese stone-grilled sausages

By Ngoc Ngan   January 20, 2024 | 01:31 am PT
Saigon foodies queue up to buy Chinese stone-grilled sausages
Customers wait to buy stone-grilled sausages at a street-side stall in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Ngan
For more than a week, Saigonese youth have stood in line at street-side stalls to buy stone-grilled sausages after the popular street food originating from China recently stormed social media.

Thu Thao queued up behind a dozen people and waited more than 15 minutes in front of a fast-food truck on Cach Mang Thang Tam Street in Tan Binh District to buy six grilled sausages on Tuesday evening.

The 25-year-old girl said she was curious because this dish originated from China.

The sausages are arranged on a stone tray and underneath is an electric stove. The seller uses Chinese chili powder to sprinkle on the sausages to enhance their flavor.

"Delicious, fragrant and spicy," Thao said. "Even though I had to wait in line for a long time to buy it, I felt it was worth it."

The grilled sausage dish has just appeared in HCMC, with 10 selling points located on Phan Huy Ich Street in Go Vap District, Cach Mang Thang Tam Street and Le Van Sy Street in Tan Binh district and Pham Van Xao Street in Tan Phu District.

The street food quickly became popular because it was shared on TikTokers, sparking curiosity among Saigonese youth.

Ly Thanh Liem, 20, owner of a sausage cart on Le Van Sy Street, said the customers were mainly young people.

His stall offers diners with many options such as traditional sausage, salted egg-covered sausage, and beef sausage.

Hekou sausage imported directly from China is also favored by customers, with prices costing VND15,000 per stick.

Liem said he knew about the Chinese street food through TikTok, so he decided to buy baking tools to try luck.

"Not all types of stone can be used for grilling. I had to buy black stone costing VND50,000 per kilogram," Liem said.

A grilled sausage ctall on Le Van Sy Street in Tan Binh District. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Ngan

A grilled sausage stall on Le Van Sy Street in Tan Binh District. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Ngan

"The black gravel cooks the dish evenly, and the sausage is rich and fatty, without the smell of smoke. The sausage flavor is rich, a bit sweeter than Vietnamese sausage."

Every day, he sells 600 sausages. The dish was well received because it fits the snacking culture of Saigon youth.

Nguyen Chi Thanh, owner of a grilled sausage cart on Le Van Sy Street, said that the chili powder sprinkled on the sausages was a plus for the snack.

This type of powder is imported from China and has a spicy aroma of crushed spices.

"People who can eat spicy food will love it," Thanh said.

Last year, Korean-inspired coin-shaped cake, hand-pounded lime tea, clay-pot milk tea and fruit-based noodles sparked culinary fever among Vietnamese youth, with many willing to queue for hours to try the trendy dishes.

However, they were mostly out of fashion quickly.

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