Noodle: Ingredients That Make Up The Symbol Of Vietnamese Food

Popular Noodle Types in Vietnam

Noodle Types in Vietnam
Written by Merry Taylor

Kinds of Vietnamese Noodles

Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors, vibrant ingredients, and diverse array of noodle dishes that tantalize the taste buds. Noodles play a central role in Vietnamese culinary culture, offering a variety of textures and flavors that vary from region to region. Let’s explore some of the most beloved and iconic noodle dishes across Vietnam:

1. Pho

Pho is perhaps the most iconic Vietnamese noodle dish, originating from Northern Vietnam, particularly Hanoi. It consists of a clear, aromatic broth made by simmering beef or chicken bones for hours, served with banh pho (flat rice noodles), and topped with thinly sliced meat (usually beef or chicken), fresh herbs like Thai basil and cilantro, bean sprouts, and lime wedges. Pho has gained immense popularity both within Vietnam and globally for its comforting flavors and nourishing qualities.

Vietnamese Pho Noodles

– Variations:

  • Pho Bo (Beef Pho): Featuring various cuts of beef, such as brisket, flank, or meatballs.
  • Pho Ga (Chicken Pho): Made with tender chicken meat and sometimes with chicken organs for added depth.
  • Regional variations like Pho Hai Phong, Pho Hue, and others showcase local preferences and ingredient availability.

– Toppings and Condiments: Pho is typically served with a side plate of fresh herbs, bean sprouts, chili peppers, and lime wedges. Hoisin sauce and sriracha are commonly added to enhance the broth’s flavor profile.

2. Bun

Bun Noodle_vermicelli noodles

Bun are thin, round rice noodles that are incredibly versatile and enjoyed both in hot and cold dishes. They are notably different from banh pho due to their thinner texture. Bun dishes are often served with a variety of toppings, including grilled meats, fresh herbs, pickled vegetables, and crispy spring rolls.

– Types of Bun Noodle Dishes:

  • Bun Thit Nuong: Grilled pork served over vermicelli noodles, typically garnished with fresh lettuce, herbs, and roasted peanuts.
  • Bun Cha: A Hanoi specialty featuring grilled pork patties served with a dipping sauce and fresh herbs.
  • Bun Bo Hue: A spicy beef noodle soup from the central region, flavored with lemongrass and shrimp paste.
  • Bun Rieu: A tomato-based soup with crab or shrimp paste, served with freshwater crab or shrimp, tofu, and herbs.

Bun dishes vary widely across Vietnam. Southern variations like Bun Mam use fermented fish broth, while Central Vietnam’s Bun Bo Nam Bo features stir-fried beef with peanuts and herbs.

3. Mi – Vietnamese Egg Noodles

Vietnamese Egg Noodles

Mi  are yellow wheat noodles with a firm texture, often used in soups and stir-fries. They stand out from other Asian egg noodles due to their unique preparation and flavor absorption properties.

– Popular Mi Noodle Dishes:

  • Mi Quang: A central Vietnamese dish featuring turmeric-infused noodles with shrimp, pork, fresh herbs, and crispy rice crackers.
  • Hu Tieu Mi: A clear broth noodle soup from Southern Vietnam, typically served with a variety of meats, seafood, and quail eggs.

– Comparison to Asian Egg Noodles: Mi noodles are distinct for their firm texture and ability to absorb flavors in soups and stir-fries, making them a versatile choice in Vietnamese cuisine.

4. Cao Lau – Specialty Noodles from Hoi An

Cao Lau - Specialty Noodles from Hoi An

Cao Lau is a regional specialty from Hoi An, known for its unique chewy texture and distinct flavor profile. The noodles are made from rice and water sourced from specific wells in Hoi An, giving them their signature texture and taste.

– Ingredients and Preparation: Cao Lau noodles are topped with slices of tender pork, fresh greens, crispy pork cracklings, and a small amount of savory broth. This dish reflects the influences of Chinese and Japanese traders who visited Hoi An centuries ago.

– Cultural Significance: Cao Lau holds cultural significance in Hoi An, serving as a culinary bridge between Vietnamese and international influences due to its historical roots in trade.

5. Other Popular Noodles

Mien _Clear Noodles
  • Mien (Clear Noodles): Made from mung bean starch, transparent and commonly used in soups and stir-fries.
  • Banh Canh (Thick Rice Noodles): Thick rice noodles served in various broths with pork, shrimp, or fish cakes.
  • Banh Da Cua (Crab Brown Noodles): Thick, flat rice noodles served with crab meat in a flavorful broth.
  • Banh Hoi (Rolled Rice Noodles): Fine rice vermicelli sheets rolled into bundles, served with grilled meats and fresh herbs.
  • Banh Cuon (Steamed Rice Rolls): Delicate rice rolls filled with minced pork and wood ear mushrooms, served with “nuoc cham” (the dipping sauce).

Basic Vietnamese Rice Noodles Recipe


  • 300g specialized Vietnamese noodle flour (rice flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 150ml cold water

– Instructions:

Vietnamese Rice Noodles Recipe

Step 1: Preparing the noodle dough: Mix the noodle flour and salt thoroughly in a large bowl.

Step 2: Kneading the dough: Gradually add cold water to the flour mixture, kneading until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

Step 3: Forming the noodles:

  • Divide the dough into smaller portions and knead each portion on a work surface, using additional flour to prevent sticking.
  • Knead the dough for about 10-15 minutes until it becomes smooth and no longer sticks to your hands.

Step 4: Cooking the noodles:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Roll out the dough thinly and cut it into noodle strands (or use a noodle maker if available).
  • Place the noodles into the boiling water and cook for about 1-2 minutes until they float to the surface and are cooked through.

Step 5: Preparing the dish:

  • Once cooked, drain the noodles in a colander to remove excess water.
  • Serve the noodles with your choice of broth, meats, vegetables, and garnishes.


Vietnamese noodles offer a tantalizing journey through the country’s rich culinary landscape, highlighting regional flavors, ingredients, and cultural influences. Whether you’re savoring a bowl of iconic Pho or exploring the unique textures of Cao Lau in Hoi An, each dish reflects Vietnam’s culinary heritage and the artistry of its noodle traditions. Embrace the flavors, explore the varieties, and enjoy the warmth of Vietnamese noodle dishes that continue to captivate food enthusiasts worldwide.

About the author

Merry Taylor

Hello, I'm Merry Taylor - culinary traveler. I have a passion for food because food brings me invisible happiness when enjoying a delicious dish. I explore the cuisine of many countries and especially love Vietnamese food the most. On my journey of culinary discovery, I have compiled recipes, tips for delicious dishes as well as places to eat worth trying and write all in this website. Hope you find it interesting!

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