A look at Hanoi breakfast
There’s no surprise when “pho”, one of the world’s most famous dishes, is chosen for the very first meal of a day of many Hanoian.
Apart from dinner which is considered as a daily occasion for family gathering, breakfast is also of importance to Hanoi people. This can be seen easily when walking around streets in early morning. There is a variety of choice for people to choose from such as “bún bò(beef and noodle soup), “miến lươn (ell vermicelli), etc. However, the most popular and preferred dishes are the ones below:
1. Pho Bo (beef rice-noodle soup)
At the top of Hanoians’ breakfast list is Pho Bo. With few minutes searching, we can find so many food stalls serving this dish around our living area. A hot bowl of Pho full of long white and thin rice noodles, thinly sliced beef, added with some chopped green spring onion is really an irresistible attraction to both adults and children in this bustling capital. Hanoi residents’ breakfast also has Pho Ga (chicken rice-noodle soup) or Pho Bo Sot Vang but this traditional dish, Pho Bo, is still more intriguing than anything else.
2. Banh Mi (Vietnamese bread)
Ranking only after Pho in terms of worldwide popularity, Banh Mi is also greatly prefered. Conveniently taken away, this kind of dish seems to be chosen mostly by students or those who wake up late. Though including a wide range of fillings such as meat, uncooked vegetable, chili sauce or even fried egg, each bread is made within only 3 minutes. Hanoi’s Banh Mi also has Banh Mi Cay of Haiphong (Haiphong’s banh mi with pâté and chili sauce) or Doner Kebab bread (adopted from Turkey).
3. Xoi (sticky rice)
Perhaps, Xoi is the most special dish among breakfast dishes of Hanoian as it has various kinds which not every dish has. People often find themselves in confusion when buying a pack of Xoi for their breakfast since they have various choices, from sweet Xoi such as Xoi Che (Sticky rice with sweet soup), Xoi Gac (Bright red-coloured sticky rice made from Gac fruit) to savory Xoi like Xoi Xeo (yellow-coloured sticky rice with fried onion and mung bean) or Xoi Ngo (sticky rice mixed with corn). Due to that variety, perhaps, buyers have to spend much time making a choice and only deciding when realizing that their favorite types of Xoi are almost sold out.
4. Chao Quay (Rice Porridge)
With some porridge, well-cooked pork ribs or minced meat and yellowish breadstick, we have a delicious bowl of Chao for breakfast. Unlike other kinds of breakfast, in Hanoi, Chao Quay is often sold in blocks of flat, markets or places having small children. The image of porridge vendors with bowls, spoons, etc is often seen in those places. Chao Quay is served all year round but mostly, people eat it in winter as it is a useful way to deal with the coldness of the North.
5. Banh Cuon (steamed rice rolls)
It would be impossible not to talk about Banh Cuon when speaking of Hanoi breakfast. Banh Cuon, especially Banh Cuon Thanh Tri, is an exceptionally famous specialty of Hanoi. People often have Banh Cuon, like Banh Mi or Pho, served to them at any time in a day but normally, they eat this dish in early morning. Hanoi’s Banh Cuon is often served with Cha Lua (Vietnamese pork rolls), Cha Com (Pork roll made with young green rice) in autumn, or even with egg which is tasty and exotic.
6. Bun Cha (Rice noodle with grilled pork)
Bun Cha holds a big part of Hanoi people’s demand for breakfast. A set of Bun Cha including a plate of white rice noodle and a bowl of sauce filled with grilled pork, sliced carrots and green papaya will totally satisfy diners. Similar to many other areas, Hanoi locals also eat Bun Cha with herbs which are a perfect combination for a quick but healthy morning meal.