Saigon market eateries serve an array of appetizing snacks

By Di Vy   September 17, 2019 | 05:00 pm GMT+7

Ban Co market in District 3 is the place to head for if you are feeling hungryish and fancy a delicious bite or two.

Pancakes (banh xeo)

Inside the market located at 664 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, District 3, diners find the crunchy pancakes, the Vietnamese cousin of crepe, that is popular in the central and southern Vietnam. The filling boasts pork and pawn, bean sprouts and a crunchy juicy fruit named jicama, which tastes a bit like pear but less sweet and thicker. The spirit of the tropical dish lies in the sweet and sour dipping sauce that has slices of papaya and carrots. A serving costs VND7,000 ($0.3). Photo by VnExpress/ Di Vy.

Inside Ban Co market at 664 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, one can find the crunchy pancake, the Vietnamese cousin of the crepe that is popular in the central and southern regions. The filling consists of pork, pawn, bean sprouts, and a crunchy juicy fruit called jicama, which tastes a bit like a pear but is less sweet and thicker. 

The spirit of this tropical dish lies in the sweet and sour dipping sauce that has slices of papaya and carrots. A banh xeo costs VND7,000 ($0.3). 

Crispy mini-pancake (banh khot)

A delicious bite sized treat, banh khot is a combination of rice flour with a pinch of turmeric giving them a beautiful yellow coat, and coconut milk that make it extra creamy and rich. Finally, the topping is usually shrimp, diced up green onions, and extra coconut milk. Banh khot is served with raw vegetables such as broccoli, lettuce, and perilla. Just like banh xeo, a bowl of fish sauce is key. A serving of five is VND 20,000 ($0.87). Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy.

A delicious bite-sized treat, banh khot is a combination of rice flour with a pinch of turmeric, which gives it a yellow coat, and coconut milk that make it creamy and rich. The topping is usually shrimp and green onion.

Banh khot is served with raw vegetables such as broccoli, lettuce, and perilla. Just like for banh xeo, a bowl of fish sauce is the key. A serving of five is VND20,000 ($0.86). 

Hue treats

At Ban Co market, there is a stall that sell rice cakes from central Vietnam like this one, which is a type of savory rice cake (banh beo). It has been selling here for 30 years and knows the recipes to these treats like the back of her hand. A serving with a mix of options is VND30,000 ($1.3). Photo by Thanh Tuyet.

At Ban Co Market is a stall selling savory rice cakes banh beo from central Vietnam for 30 years. A serving with a mix of options costs VND30,000 ($1.3). 

The stall also serves Hue-style grilled pork rolls and crispy pork skin. The claustrophobic space is always crowded, so there are many service staff to keep up with the demand. It opens at 1 pm and would have all its plastic chairs filled by then. Photo by Thanh Tuyet.

The stall also serves Hue-style grilled pork rolls and crispy pork skin. The small space is always crowded and so there are many waiters around. It opens at 1 p.m. and immediately all its plastic chairs are taken. 

Lotus root salad with pork and shrimp (goi ngo sen tom thit)

A fairly healthier option than the above options, the salad has its special taste from lotus root, carrot, tender pork, shrimp, shallot, coriander, mint, onion, and roasted peanut. The main ingredients are toppled with a dressing. At Hanhs stall, located at the beginning of the alley leading to the market at the street intersection, the salad is served at VND30,000 a portion. Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy.

A healthier option than the earlier ones, the salad gets its unique taste from lotus root, carrot, tender pork, shrimp, shallot, coriander, mint, onions, and roasted peanuts. The main ingredients are topped with a dressing.

At Hanh's stall, located at the entrance to the alley leading to the market, the salad costs VND30,000 ($1.3) a portion.

Pork skin noodle (bun bi)

Quan Tu Loan noodle soup is famous for the Mekong delta dish among other varieties. The dish comprises fresh noodles, raw vegetables and the crunchy, indispensable ingredient: pork skin. The stall opens from 11am to 5pm every day. A serving of pork skin noodle ranges from VND25,000 - 35,000 ($1 - 1.5). In addition to vermicelli, the restaurant also has grilled pork and spring rolls served with vermicelli. Photo by Thu Ky.

Quan Tu Loan shop is famous for this Mekong Delta dish. It is made from fresh noodles, raw vegetables and a crunchy, indispensable ingredient: pork skin. The stall is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. A serving of pork skin noodles costs VND25,000 - 35,000 ($1 - 1.5). The restaurant also serves grilled pork and spring rolls with vermicelli. 

Tieu’s porridge (chao Tieu)

In 1942, the first bowls of porridge were sold by Chaozhou street vendors from China on Nguyen Thien Thuat Street, also District 3, which then became a stall in Ban Co market. The rice porridge marries well green onions, ginger and the aroma of ground pepper. An egg topping is optional. A serving with all the ingredient costs VND65,000 ($2.8), whereas less options cost VND40,000 ($1.7). Open from 3:30 pm to 11:00 pm, but its peak time is 7pm. Photo by Thanh Tuyet.

In 1942 the first bowl of such porridge was sold by street vendors from Chaozhou, China, on Nguyen Thien Thuat Street, also in District 3, which later became a stall in Ban Co Market.

It contains green onion, ginger and the aroma of ground pepper and an optional egg topping. A serving with all the ingredients costs VND65,000 ($2.8), other options cost VND40,000 ($1.7). Open from 3:30 pm to 11:00 pm, but its peak time is 7 pm. 

Sour pho (pho chua)

A specialty from Lang Son City, up north Vietnam, the stall offers a whole different variety of the

Selling a specialty from Lang Son Province up in the north, the stall offers a completely different variety of the iconic pho noodles. With no broth, the dish is served with an appetizing sweet and sour sauce and pork, shrimp and green onions. It costs VND45,000 ($1.9). 

Fried rice flour cake (bot chien)

Dat Thanh stall opens at 4 pm every day at 5 pm and it’s rarely ever empty. The crispy dish is made with rice flour cakes chopped into chunky squares and fried on a large flat pan before being topped with whipped eggs and chopped spring onions. You can find the stall near Ban Co market at 277 Vo Tan Street Street for this VND26,000 per serving dish ($1.1). Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy

Dat Thanh shop opens at 4 p.m. every day, and is rarely ever not crowded. The crispy dish is made by chopping rice flour cakes into chunky squares and fried on a large flat pan before being topped with whipped eggs and chopped spring onion. You can find the stall near the market at 277 Vo Van Tan Street. The dish costs VND26,000 ($1) per serving. 

 
 
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