Da Nang Food Guide: 7 Iconic Dishes to Try

Da Nang Food Guide: 7 Iconic Dishes to Try

It’s time we give Vietnam’s central region the foodie recognition it deserves. Boasting a multitude of heritage sites, coastal wonders and highland attractions, Da Nang in Central Vietnam makes for a more laid-back vacation which promises to fulfil your need for a getaway amongst complex cave systems and pristine beaches. But while you’re there, don’t forget to have a taste of they have to offer too!

1. Mi Quang 

Image credit: Alpha

Pho isn’t all there is to Vietnam when it comes to legendary noodle soups. Meet Mi Quang, Da Nang’s trademark dish and its pride and glory.

Here, the broad rice noodles are thicker and chewier than other rice noodle varieties found in Vietnam. The turmeric-laced broth takes on the essence of the meats, and the entire thing is completed with the addition of crushed peanuts, banana blossom, crispy toasted rice crackers and a generous handful of fresh herbs.

2. Banh Trang Cuon Thit Heo (Boiled Pork Rice Rolls)

Vietnamese food often stands out for being intensely flavourful, and usually brightened up with herbs. Banh Trang Cuon Thit Heo is a perfect example. Huge triangles of delicate rice paper are served alongside boiled pork belly slices, fresh herbs and a pungent anchovy dipping sauce.

There’s a protocol to eating this: you pick up a sheet of rice paper, place the herbs and pork in, then roll it up. It is eaten with a dipping sauce, made from a powerful concoction of fermented anchovy paste, crushed pineapples, lime juice, sugar and chillies.

3. Banh Nam (Tapioca Dumplings in Banana Leaf)

Image credit: Kirk K

If you’re scouring the streets of Da Nang for a quick snack, Banh Nam might just be what you’re looking for. Think of it as a Vietnamese tamale of sorts, or a Vietnamese Kuih. Tapioca flour and rice flour are cooked together to make a paste and spread thinly into a rectangular shape over a banana leaf.

Image credit: Kirk K

Minced pork and sometimes shrimp is stir-fried and seasoned before added on top or mixed together with the paste. The entire package is wrapped up and steamed to form dense little savoury snacks.

4. Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Sizzling Crepe)

Image credit: Michelle Lee

It’s probably not your first time hearing of Banh Xeo, the crispy golden rice crepes stuffed with bean sprouts, pork slivers and shrimp. Don’t be intimidated by all the various plates that will be placed on your table when you order this though! We’ll guide you through the assembly.

Image credit: stu_spivack

First, grab a rice paper sheet. Then, pick up one of those turmeric-gold crescent crepes, and place it on top of the rice paper. In Da Nang, Banh Xeo usually comes with Nem Lui (lemongrass pork skewers). Remove the pork from the lemongrass stalk and place it atop your Banh Xeo, before finishing up with some herbs and vegetables.

Roll everything together and dip it into the peanut sauce. In fact, this peanut sauce is what makes Banh Xeo in Da Nang different from the rest of Vietnam! Elsewhere, a clear dipping sauce made primarily of fish sauce takes the place of Da Nang’s peanut rendition.

5. Bun Mam Nem (Vermicelli in Fermented Anchovy Sauce)

Image credit: Ẩm Thực Đam Mê

This looks like an ordinary noodle salad-esque dish, but there’s more than meets the eye. If you’re not used to the pungent seafood flavours so often seen (and smelled!) in Vietnam and Southeast Asian cuisine, you might not fancy Bun Mam Nem.

Image credit: Duy Nguyen

Mam Nem is fermented anchovy sauce, and is a staple in Central Vietnam. Bun Mam Nem is, therefore, vermicelli in this very fermented anchovy sauce. It’s a cold noodle dish made of rice vermicelli, pork, shreds of young jackfruit, peanuts and fragrant fried shallots.

The magic lies in the vibrant red chilli oil and pungent mam nem dressing, which transforms the dish into something spectacular!

6. Goi Mit Tron (Young Jackfruit Salad)

You probably know of the sweet juicy jackfruit available throughout Southeast Asia. But eating it while it’s still unripe? Pretty much unheard of. A classic street snack in Da Nang, however, is Mit Tron, a young jackfruit salad akin to Thailand’s som tam.

The unripe jackfruit is boiled and shredded, before getting tossed with fish sauce, chilli jam, a little pork or shrimp, pork rinds and Vietnamese mint. As with most dishes in Da Nang, the cherry on top are the fried shallots and crushed peanuts. An undoubtedly, the best part of this dish lies in the ever-so-crispy rice cracker it comes with! Break off shards of it and use it as edible spoons.

7. Cua Rang Me (Crabs in Tamarind Sauce)

Image credit: Charles Haynes

Seafood in Da Nang is affordable, accessible and pretty darn amazing. No traveller leaves the area without dedicating a night to feast on the bounty of the nearby shores, paired with a local beer.

Image credit: Brayant Gonzales

Whether it be blanched whole baby squids with unripe mango, or sea snails fried in an almost volcanic chilli sauce, options are plenty. Perhaps the most popular though, is Cua Rang Me. Fried crabs dredged in a tangy tamarind sauce makes for a messy affair perfect for a late night out over some chit-chat. And if you’ve got extra sauce left over? Get some banh mi (Vietnamese baguette) to lather up the rest!

About Author

Shen Lee Ng
Shen Lee Ng

A world record holding powerlifter and wannabe patissiere, Shen currently spends her days as a social media manager, English teacher and content (the fun stuff) and copywriter (the drab stuff). Her only goal before she starts the treacherous journey that is college is to inspire those around her and to eat as many as opera cakes as possible.


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