During your Vietnam travel journey, besides visiting famous tourist attractions, enjoying Vietnamese bun dau mam tom should be one of the top activities on your bucket list. This special dish features the typical characteristics of the S-shaped country’s cuisine. Read on to discover the flavor of bun dau mam tom and some fantastic restaurants serving this attractive delicacy.
1. What’s special about the bun dau mam tom recipe?
Bun dau mam tom is one of the most well-known dishes in Vietnamese cuisine in general and Hanoi cuisine in particular. As the name suggests, this dish consists of vermicelli, deep-fried tofu, and fermented shrimp paste. Traditionally, this dish features clumps of soft tangled rice vermicelli and the best tofu from the then Mo Village. Now, many other kinds of toppings are available to be enjoyed, including boiled pig’s leg, pork belly, pig offal, green rice, pork nuggets, and fried spring rolls.
The side dish of this special Vietnamese food consists of fresh herbs and vegetables, such as fish mint, perilla leaf, basil, oregano, and cucumber. The dipping sauce – mam tom or shrimp paste – is the feature of this dish. It has a distinct pungent taste that goes extremely well with all the toppings. People who are not used to shrimp paste can use fish sauce with chili and lemon extract instead.
2. The proper way to enjoy bun dau mam tom Vietnam
Bun dau mam tom – rice vermicelli with fried tofu and shrimp paste – is a delicious dish that can be enjoyed at any time of the day, either for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Because the “soul” of bun dau mam tom is the dipping sauce, you should carefully prepare it before enjoying the dish. First, add some cumquat juice or lemon extract, a little sugar, and sliced chili into fermented shrimp paste. Remember to add them little by little while tasting the sauce to make sure that the flavor is to your taste. Then, stir up this mixture until bubbles are formed on the surface.
After making a small bowl of shrimp paste, you should use chopsticks to take a piece of vermicelli or other ingredients and dip them in the shrimp paste. After the meal, you will be given a chewing gum to help you remove the odor of the food from your mouth.
3. Hanoi – where to get the authentic flavor of bun dau mam tom
Bun dau mam tom is no longer just a common street food but also a typical traditional Vietnamese dish. You can find numerous places offering this special dish in Vietnam. If you are on the hunt for the best bun dau mam tom in Hanoi, here are some suggestions:
3.1. Bun dau mam tom Hang Khay Co Tuyen
- Address: No. 31, Hang Khay Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 7.00 am – 9.00 pm
- Price range: 40,000 – 80,000 VND
Bun dau mam tom Hang Khay Co Tuyen is the most famous Hanoi vendor for bun dau. Located in Hanoi Old Quarter, this place is extremely crowded, especially on weekends. The bun dau here is placed onto the banana leaves, which makes it look more appealing. The feature of bun dau mam tom served by Co Tuyen is the boiled meat, which is delicious and tender without much fat.
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3.2. Bun dau Trung Huong
- Address: No. 49, Phat Loc Alley, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 7.00 am – 9.00 pm
- Price range: 20,000 – 50,000 VND
Bun dau Trung Huong is also a must-visit place for those who are craving for an exquisite dish of bun dau mam tom. The mam tom dipping sauce here is imported from Thanh Hoa province, which is famous for its high-quality shrimp paste. Every customer who has been here will definitely remember the special delicious shrimp sauce, which is widely regarded as the soul of bun dau.
3.3. Bun dau Doan Tran Nghiep
- Address: No. 42, Doan Tran Nghiep Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 10.00 am – 1.30 pm
- Price range: 20,000 – 40,000 VND
The highlight of bun dau Doan Tran Nghiep is doi ran (fried pork sausage). Normally, other shops just serve boiled doi luoc (boiled pork sausage) with bun dau mam tom. However, the doi ran here are deeply fried to create a beautiful color for the dish. If you want to try the unique doi ran, you should visit bun dau Doan Tran Nghiep during your trip to Hanoi.
3.4. Bun dau Nghia Tan
- Address: No. 104 C3, Nghia Tan Street, Cau Giay District, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 9.00 am – 9.00 pm
- Price range: 15,000 – 45,000 VND
Bun dau Nghia Tan is familiar to many street food enthusiasts in Cau Giay district. Different from the above-mentioned bun dau shops, this one is larger, so you can leisurely enjoy a delectable dish of bun dau mam tom while chatting with your friends without worrying about bothering other diners.
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3.5. Bun dau Ngo Gach
- Address: No. 03, Gach Alley, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 10.00 am – 9.00 pm
- Price range: 25,000 – 50,000 VND
Despite the fact that this is only a sidewalk vendor, bun dau mam tom Ngo Gach (as known as bun dau Goc Da) is always the first choice of locals. This place is clean and the service is amazing, which will definitely satisfy even the most fastidious customer.
In addition to exploring Hanoi cuisine, there are many other Hanoi tourist attractions that you should take your time to visit, especially VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium. They are both located in Vincom Mega Mall Times City and are widely regarded as the most appealing attractions in the city for young families and teenagers.
At Vinpearl Aquarium, you can immerse in a colorful world of the mysterious ocean. This place has set numerous records and is now home to almost 30,000 sea creatures. Meanwhile, VinKE is an ideal place for children to try their dream jobs while having fun with their parents.
>>> Book tickets of VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium to have an interesting and memorable experience with your whole family!
Besides Hanoi, you can also find a good place to enjoy bun dau mam tom in Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, etc. If you are planning a trip to these destinations, you should stay at the hotel and resort system of Vinpearl to experience world-class amenities and services.
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- Vinpearl Nha Trang welcomes visitors with a classic Asian beauty that includes Indochine architecture and scenic beaches. This resort is a tranquil haven for those looking to recharge their energy and unwind, as well as a dream destination for couples embarking on a journey of happiness.
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If you want to explore Vietnamese food culture, it is recommended that you try bun dau mam tom – rice vermicelli with fried tofu and shrimp paste. This dish features the typical characteristics of the S-shaped country’s cuisine. Although the fermented shrimp dipping sauce is quite pungent and may be challenging for some foreigners, once you get used to it, you will know why bun dau mam tom is preferred by numerous Vietnamese people. Remember to try this special dish at some above-mentioned shops during your trip to Vietnam.