I was actually thinking of one specific dish: mi quang. So I checked out the food blogs and found entries on noodlepie. He mentioned that he ate some at the Ben Thanh market. Why, I happen to live right by Ben Thanh market! So I went searching for the specific stall and ordered mi quang. I then realized that while I’d eaten a couple of times in the market, I really hadn’t given it enough of a chance. There’s so many food stalls with so many dishes, only minutes away. I decided to give myself a challenge to eat my way through, stall by stall. I have three months left! Here is what I have eaten so far:
Mi Quang at Stall 1092, 25,000 dong. Mi quang is a yellow noodle dish, a specialty of Da Nang that has a soupy sauce, but isn’t quite a soup. Like my mom’s, this one had cha (ground pork patty) and shrimp. Unlike my mom, it also had delicious meatballs. When I asked, I was told it consisted of pork and crab. So good and sweet!! Unfortunately, the banh trang (the sesame crackers on top) were very stale so didn’t really add that required crunch. I think I remember my mom deep frying them, which added more decadence!
Banh Cuon at Stall 1006, 20,000 dong. Banh cuon, described on the sign as steamed rolled rice pancake, is stuffed with ground pork. It was good as expected, but nothing special.
Banh cam (mobile), 3000 dong. While I was eating my banh cuon, a lady came by selling banh cam, a deep fried dough rolled in sesame seeds and stuffed with green beans. Perfect meal ending!
Thach at Stall 1010, 15,000 dong. Stall 1010 sells all sorts of sweets, cakes and thach, the Vietnamese version of jello. Well, The Boyfriend would disagree it’s like jello; it’s a bit too crunchy for his taste. Aren’t the shapes and colours pretty though? Some of the flavours include coconut, coffee and la dua (pandan leaf). I'm not sure if the pink is maybe strawberry?
Banh cam at Stall 1128, 3000 dong. I was looking for more banh cam and was pointed to this stall. I’ve noticed these are more densely packed with beans than back home and the sesame seeds aren’t all over the outside, rather it’s part of the syrup that is poured on top. When I took the picture, the lady made me wait to rearrange them so it would look nicer!
Bun Cha Gio at Stall 1124, 25,000 dong. After reading a few food blog entries about cha gio (fried spring rolls), I had to find myself some. It was a bit disappointing, burnt and stale. But a bowl of bun (vermicelli) with nuoc mam (fish sauce) always makes me happy.
Banh cuon thit nuong at Stall 1018, 10,000 dong for two rolls. I’ve actually been to this stall but didn’t have my memory card in my camera. So I decided to come back and try these rolls with grilled meat, herbs and noodles. I’ve never actually eaten these. It was quite good and I especially liked the accompanying peanut sauce.