Saigon chefs up the weird and the wonderful

By Chuong   May 31, 2016 | 02:13 am PT
The land of rivers in the west of southern Vietnam has long been a go-to destination for its fruit gardens, floating markets and legendary gastronomy that encompasses in itself the heat of the land and the hospitality of local people.

Last week, a trade fair was held for Saigoneers to rediscover the delights their city has to offer.


Roast free-range chicken is even more mouth-watering sizzling inside an open metal pot.


Almost everything from the region is wrapped in ‘cuon’ (fresh spring rolls), and grilled river fish is no exception.

Đủ món ngon miền Tây hội tụ tại Sài Gòn

Tamarind-sauteed crab is a must-try experience. Tiny compared to sea crab, fresh water crab are left almost untouched and can be eaten whole, offering both the crisp sound and taste and the joy of not having to remove the outer shell.


Locals in Saigon are used to the bizarre, but roast sparrows on skewers still offer a fresh surprise.


Eel simmered in a pumpkin. Similar to the way pumpkin soup is served in some restaurants, only this time you use chopsticks.


Chilli-salted roast mouse: from the fields, not the city.


Tamarind sauteed fertilized duck eggs are among the specialties that put Vietnamese gastronomy on the list of the most bizarre menus in the world.


Ground dragon fish (freshwater), eaten with tamarind fish sauce.


Purple taro pie, quite a heavy snack.


Pig skin pudding mimicks the chewiness of its namesake.

A kind of snack made of cassava

A kind of snack made from cassava.

Spicy snack

Spicy snack.


Sweet ‘banh tet’, the vertical version of the famous Tet holiday’s ‘banh chung’. In an attempt to turn a main course into a dessert, ground green beans and pork in the filling have been replaced by banana and pineapple leaves.


Steamed banana coated in grated coconut, brought to you from the province of Tien Giang.

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