Located at 220 Phung Hung Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Phung Hung market is also called Thu Do market because it is located near Thu Do theater. This local market is considered as the paradise of exotic street foods which could not be missed by foodies. Most of the dishes were created by Chinese people who have lived in Saigon. Let’s do a Saigon street food tour in Phung Hung market and see what to eat there.
1. Stuffed bitter melon, eggplant and chili pepper (Khổ qua cà ớt) at Chế Trang (or Che Trang) street food stall
Long yard bean
Stuffed okra and chili pepper
Stuffed bitter melon, eggplant and chili pepper includes many kinds of vegetables stuffed with pork and fish, fried and served with a broth and dipping sauce. The stuffed vegetables include bitter melon, eggplant, chili pepper, long yard bean, okra. The broth is cooked from dried pork skin, pork bone, daikon, blood pudding, green onion and topped with green onion, and ground black pepper. The special dipping sauce is the key to the food. What is better than dip some vegetables in the tasty viscous sauce, tuck in and sip some warm broth on cold days at Che Trang street food stall in Phung Hung market. It has been said that Ms. Trang – the owner of the stall is very nice and friendly.
2. Crab soup (Súp cua)
Crab soup can warm your stomach and satisfy your taste. A bowl of healthy, tasty and smelling Crab soup contains not less than 10 ingredients for Sup cua: chicken, crab meat, mushroom, quail egg, corn, green onion, coriander, chili pepper, pea, tapioca starch, pork bone, etc. The broth is cooked from pork bone so that it is rich and flavorful. Tapioca starch and egg white make the broth thick and velvety. Top the soup with aromatic green coriander, and eat with minced/sliced chili pepper and fish sauce.
3. Dim sums at Kiều Kí (Kieu Ki) street food stall
Although dim sums are Chinese dishes, they are very popular in Saigon. At Kieu Ki street food stall in Phung Hung market, they serve Har gow (Fun guo, Há cảo in Vietnamese), (Siew mai, Xíu mại in Vietnamese), Chive dumpling (Bánh hẹ in Vietnamese), Steamed jiao zi (Bánh xếp in Vietnamese), Steamed sticky rice with chicken in lotus leaf (Xôi lá sen in Vietnamese), Cha siu bao (BBQ pork bun, man tou, Bánh bao xá xíu), Custard bun (Bánh bao ca dé). All of them are delicious and worth your try. One of the highlights of this food stall which attracts customers is the special sauce made from soybean sauce and sautee.
Cha siu bao and Custard bun
Pork and shrimp inside a Har gow
Tiny, white Har gows look nice and mouth-watering
Siu mai and har gow
A portion of Xoi la sen looks nice and attractive with green lotus leaf wrap. After unwrapping the portion, the shining white steamed glutinous rice is revealed. When eating, you will find out there is a delicious filling inside the steamed glutinous rice. The filling of Xoi la sen is made from chicken, dried shrimp, salted duck egg yolk, pork. The sellers usually keep Xoi la sen warm in a simmering pot so that the steamed glutinous rice is still warm when it is served to customers. The perfect mix of sticky steamed glutinous rice, chewy shiitake, sweet-tasty chicken, salty buttery salted duck egg yolk can satisfy the most difficult foodies.
4. Fried young oyster and egg (Hàu chiên trứng)
Fried young oyster and egg is crispy outside and tender, greasy and buttery inside. It is served with salad and a secret dipping sauce. This is a strange and delicious recipe which any foodie should not miss at Phung Hung market.
5. Stewed organs (Phá lấu, Pha lau) at Tâm Ký (Tam Ky) street food stall
Tam Ky street food stall has been famous for the most delicious Stewed organs. The Pha lau is cooked from organs of pig, chicken and duck with a secret recipe. At this stall, you can order Vietnamese bread filled with Pha lau or buy Pha lau to eat with plain bread, noodles, steamed rice. This food pairs well with beer.
6. Vietnamese cendol with worm-like jelly, agar agar, mock pomegranate seed (Chè bánh lọt sương sa hạt lựu)
Vietnamese cendol with worm-like jelly, agar agar, mock pomegranate seed is a sweet dessert which contains droplets of worm-like jelly, agar agar, mock pomegranate seed, coconut milk, mung bean, syrup, and ice. The soul of this food are droplets of green worm-like jelly (Bánh lọt) which is made from rice flour, tapioca flour, pandan leaf juice. Mock pomegranate seed is made from beet and tapioca flour. A portion of the food looks colorful and attractive with green worm-like jelly, red mock pomegranate, translucent white agar agar, yellow mung bean paste, opaque white coconut milk. The cendol is a perfect mix of greasy, chewy, buttery, sweet and crunchy tastes. Because it is served with ice, the food is a great choice to beat the heat in the summer.
Eating Saigon is a great thing to do on your trip. How to eat the city to its fullest? It is easy to eat at fine dining restaurants which are for rich people and tourists. However, the real Saigon is at local restaurants which are favorite places of many Saigon people. Reaching the local restaurants outside of District 1 sometimes is difficult for foreigners. A Saigon Food Tour is a great choice to immerse into the city life, enjoy all the exotic foods with your tour guides as friends.