Saigon food – Explore the foodie heaven (Part 2)

Saigon food #6: Bot chien

Bot chien - Saigon food

Bot chien – Saigon food. Source: Google

Bot chien is a simple street dish from China, penetrating to Vietnam very long time ago. And years by years, the Vietnamese Chinese has turned it into local version but it is not much different from the original version.

In Singapore and Malaysia, Bot chien is known as a carrot fried cake. But in Vietnam, Bot chien is basically made from fried rice cakes. The cake before being cooked is a big square cake and it is sliced into smaller pieces. Then those pieces will be fried on a big flat pan with stirred eggs and onion leaves.

The dish used to be for everyone but nowadays, only the young love the dish. It is one of the Saigon food that makes their childhood.

Saigon food #7: Ốc – snail/clams/shells or seafood in general

Luckily Saigon is not so far away from Can Gio and Vung Tau beach, where it inherits the resourceful seafood to serve the hungry stomachs of the Saigonese.

Grilled octopus - Saigon food

Grilled octopus – Saigon food. Source:

One Oc stall may have up to 10 types of snails or shells or shrimps and crabs and several types of dishes for each type. Therefore, you should be prepared before going out for Oc because the taste, the flavor of each dish will rock up your senses.

Hairy shell - Saigon food

Hairy shell – Saigon food. Source:

Eating Oc can be a culture of the Saigonese, a special feature of Saigon food, where people are gathering around, sitting on small plastic chairs and drinking beer together.

Cang ghe - Saigon food

Cang ghe – Saigon food. Source: Google

Saigon food #8: Bo la lot – Grilled beef wrapped in wild betel leaves

Bo la lot - Saigon food

Bo la lot – Saigon food. Source: Google

One of the dishes that I have missed for my first 18 years of my life is this one.

The most unique thing about the dish is its smell. The smell is too sweet and strong that you literally can smell it meters away. The dish will be served with a plate of herbs, rice papers, rice noodles and a small bowl of special dipping sauce. Everything will be wrapped within the rice paper and like that, bon appetit!

Saigon food #9: Banh trang nuong (grilled rice paper) & Banh trang tron (rice paper salad)

Banh trang nuong - Saigon food

Banh trang nuong – Saigon food. Source: NVPT Photography

You cannot miss these two snacks of Saigon food during your stay at Saigon. Even though they are cheap and street, they have their own special taste and textures that impact greatly on Saigonese people and people in Vietnam.

Banh trang nuong is grilled rice paper but it is stuffed with bunch of grinded pork, onion leaves, quail eggs and many other ingredients. People say its texture is like a cracker on the outside but it becomes softer when it gets in your mouth. It’s a great combination of saltiness and sweetness.

Banh trang tron - Saigon food

Banh trang tron – Saigon food. Source:

Banh trang tron is different. It’s cut rice papers and they create a bag of salad out of it. The salad will have shrimp, boiled quail eggs, oil, beef jerky, fried scallion,… I first tasted this when I was 7 and now I am 21, I still have it sometimes.

Saigon food #10: Che – Vietnamese sweet soup

Corn sweet soup - Saigon food

Corn sweet soup – Saigon food. Source:

Sweet soup is the signature of the South of Vietnam. Since the South of Vietnam adores sweet dishes so much, there are uncountable of types of sweet soups here and diabetes just become one of the main financial resource of any hospital (haha I’m just joking).

Che was, is and will be one of the dishes that should be in the top 10 of Saigon food that you should never miss during your stay in Saigon, period!

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