Hotpot is created and enjoyed in different unique ways. Chinese people like to get the deep sweetness of broth from bones like Sichuan hot pot, Thai seafood hotpot focuses on species. Meanwhile, Japanese hot pot sauce is less seasoned but respects the lightness of vegetables and herbs.
With many diners, Vietnamese hotpot is highly appreciated for its variety and freshness from using various vegetables, creating harmony in enjoyment.
In this post, Vietnamdrive introduces each famous type of hotpot and suggests a popular address to taste this food at the end of each part.
Let’s go along the country, from North to South Vietnam, to discover the unique hotpot dishes in each region!
1. Duck hotpot braised with Sau fruits (Lau Vit Om Sau)
Sau fruits are typical ones in North Vietnam with their mild sour taste and light aroma as well as easy processing of many dishes. Many people use this type of fruit in the braised duck hot pot, creating a must-tried food you can find when you have the opportunity to visit Hanoi.
To cook this appetizing dish, Sau fruits must be carefully selected – not too big and not too small, Also, the duck meat is processed meticulously. The slight sourness from these fruits helps to balance the greasy duck meat that creates a tasty hotpot. This dish is also interesting whether eating in the cool or chilly weather of the capital.
Address to taste duck hotpot: Vit 29 Restaurant, 29 Nguyễn Thượng Hiền, Hanoi, Vietnam
>> Please see more famous restaurants to taste duck hotpot cooked with Sau fruits in Hanoi.
2. Ninh Binh goat hotpot (Lau De Nui Ninh Binh)
Ninh Binh not only attracts tourists with majestic wild beauty but also gives a typical mountainous specialty, Ninh Binh goat meat.
Why is the goat meat here special? Due to being growing in nature plus fresh green grass from abundant soil conditions, the quality of Ninh Binh goats is fresher and more flavorful than other regions.
Goat hotpot is a favorite dish because of its high nourishing effect on the body, especially in keeping warm in the cold season. To cook goat meat, it is recommended to stew the goat at low heat, skim foam continuously to make the broth clear.
Another tip is to add red coconut juice to create goat meat more delicious. Also, cooking this meat with lemongrass and turmeric will both help deodorize and enhance the natural flavor of goat meat.
Depending on each person’s taste, choose a dipping sauce to eat, but this goat hotpot mixed with a little chili, lemon, and sugar is the “right post”.
Address to taste this hotpot: Duc De Ninh Binh Restaurant at 29/458 Nguyen Hue Street, Ninh Binh City, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam
3. Sour bamboo shoots hotpot (Lau Mang Chua)
The starting is the specialty of Northwest Vietnam. To make completed products, the locals have to spend a lot of time from selecting to preliminarily processing and then brewing bamboo shoots most thoroughly.
Also from such an elaborate process, sour bamboo shoots give a very typical cool and sour taste.
Almost with sour bamboo shoots hotpot, you can add fish or meat, which is suitable for processing. Served with sour bamboo shoots hotpot is rice or vermicelli.
With sour bamboo shoots, many people use them to add to soups or stir-fries to neutralize the taste of meat and fish and increase taste buds.
With unique ingredients of sour bamboo shoots, there are a series of hotpot dishes: sour bamboo shoots hotpot, sour bamboo shoots frog hotpot, sour bamboo shoots salmon head hot pot, sour bamboo shoots fish hotpot, etc.
Address to taste sour bamboo shoots hotpot: Cha Ca Vong Ngu, 29 Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, Dong Da District, Vietnam
4. Hai Phong crab hotpot (Lau Cua Dong Hai Phong)
Although Hai Phong is a famous beach city, freshwater crab hotpot become a well-known dish in this area.
The main ingredients to make this food are freshwater crabs. To have golden crab dishes, the yellow crab parts are taken out separately. The crab meat should be filtered so that when cooked, it will float into plump pieces on the surface of the pot.
As eating the crab hotpot, red rice-paper cake often comes with it. Try to imagine a hotpot with lots of colors from vegetables, sweet broth, which can attract you at the first sight.
Address to taste Hai Phong crab hotpot: Minh Quynh restaurant at 188 Van Cao Street, Ngo Quyen District, Hai Phong City, Vietnam
5. Phan Thiet seafood hotpot (Lau Tha Phan Thiet)
Lau Tha Phan Thiet, also called Seafood hotpot, is a popular dish made from easy-to-find ingredients right from the local area and sea. Many guests put it on the list of must-try when coming to this sunny and windy land.
The highlight of this hotpot is the presentation: all ingredients are placed on a plate, including apricot fish, sliced eggs, vegetables, rice vermicelli,… Each ingredient is contented in a banana flower pedal like a boat. And the red hot pot is in a terracotta bowl, accompanied by white rice vermicelli, making the overall hot pot more eye-catching.
Phan Thiet seafood hotpot is a delicate harmonious combination of the five elements: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth, corresponding to the five flavors of spicy, sour, bitter, salty, sweet; and five colors of white, green, yellow, red and black. With this typical food, you can discover and enjoy a full range of flavors with deep philosophies and meanings of Vietnamese cuisine.
Address to taste Lau Tha Phan Thiet: Soc Nau Mui Ne Restaurant at 3B Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam
6. Chicken hotpot with é leaves (Lau Ga La E)
E Leave is one of the famous Vietnamese herbs that is used a lot in cooking and eating fresh raw vegetables in Vietnam. The taste of é leaves is sour, slightly acrid when eaten raw. Chicken hotpot with é leaves comes with the habit of tasting these leaves in the life of Phu Yen people, but now it’s famous in Dalat.
It is not too difficult in processing, this hotpot only needs to choose firm chicken for a sweet broth with fragrant meat. In particular, the E leaves must pick up the young ones to create the inherent aroma.
Until it was introduced to Da Lat, chicken hotpot with é leaves became a famous dish more than ever. Perhaps only when eating é leaf chicken hotpot in the cold weather of Da Lat can you feel all the typical taste because of its warm feelings and sweet broth with fragrant smell.
Address to taste this food: Lau Ga Restaurant, 28 Huynh Thuc Khang Street, Da Lat City, Vietnam
>> Please see more the famous hotpot restaurants in Dalat City.
7. Vung Tau stingray hotpot (Lau Ca Duoi Vung Tau)
More than 100km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City to the southeast is the crowded coastal city of Vung Tau. And if you have traveled around this area, you have not tried the popular stingray hot pot, it’s really flawed.
This fish is not typical, but it can be caught all year round, so the stingray hotpot restaurant is also bustling. The main point that attracts a lot of Vietnamese diners to come back to eat this hotpot is every piece of fresh fatty fish meat that is tight when cooked. Especially, the fish bones are soft like cartilage.
The hotpot broth is rich in various ingredients, eaten with plenty of vegetables of water spinach, bananas, mint, etc. Stringray fish is best eaten when it is just taken out of the hot pot with pure fish sauce.
One note is that the stingray hotpot is a little fishy taste for first-time diners, especially if you are a foreigner. So, try it with small peace during the first.
Address to try this dish: Stingray HotPot Tran Restaurant, at 42 Nguyen Truong To Street, Ward 3, Vung Tau City, Vietnam
8. Beef hotpot (Lau Bo)
For a long time, beef has been known as a food of high nutritional value, favorably appearing in many family menus, and restaurants. The ingredients for Vietnamese beef hotpot are not picky – of course, the beef meat and its bone; the basic spices are easy to find in the kitchen, such as satay, chili, and lemongrass.
However, the broth of beef hotpot takes a long time to simmer the beef bones and meat to get tasty soup. The two indispensable ingredients of the hot pot are anise and cinnamon, without which, the taste of beef hotpot will be completely lost.
Enjoying beef hotpot is also based on the preferences of each person. It is because there are various types of beef hotpot, including mixed beef hotpot, beef tendon hotpot, or oxtail hotpot.
Address to eat this food: Beef Hotpot Hoang Thu Restaurant, 84/1 Ho Thi Ky Street, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
9. Keo fish hotpot (Lau Ca Keo)
The Mekong region in Vietnam is naturally endowed with a wealth of freshwater and brackish water products, also has a familiar aquatic species in people’s meals – Keo fish (long goby). Long gobies are very popular because it prefers brackish water rivers, ponds, and canals in this area.
This type of fish is processed with many flavor dishes at meals or parties, such as long goby braised with laksa leaves, grilled long goby, deep-fried long goby,… In which, Keo fish hotpot is attractive to foodies because of the sweetness from fish meat dissolved in soup.
When eating this hotpot, just a little fresh vermicelli and a little bit of spinach, water spinach, it’s better than buying yellow squash flowers, then all members of the family can gather together and enjoy the flavorful hotpot.
Optionally, you can add different types of herbs to the long goby hotpot: acid leaves, laksa leaves, coriander, etc.
Address to taste this food: Keo Fish Hotpot Ba Huyen Thanh Quan, 87 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan Street, Ward 7, District 3, HCMC, Vietnam
10. Fish sauce hotpot (Lau Mam Mien Tay)
When you travel to the south of Vietnam, you will find out a lot of types of fish sauce hotpots, which is the typical food in the river land.
Once it’s fish sauce hotpot, you need to eat it with plenty of vegetables of the floating season, such as yellow burrhead, crab vegetables, banana flowers, and mints. Then, you can feel the rich flavor spreading from fish sauces of small carp (ca linh), choke fish, snakehead fish, …
The secret to eating fish sauce hotpot in the Mekong Delta is not required to get lots of shrimp, meat, and fish, but depending on the season and favorite taste of each person. That’s why the fish sauce hotpot is diverse and unique in its own way, which is rare in other regions.
Only the main fish sauce ingredient can be created a lot of hotpot types, such as snakehead fish sauce hot pot, linh fish sauce hot pot with danchi flowers (bong dien dien) …
Although fish-sauce hotpot is originated from the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, you can find many famous restaurants selling this dish in Saigon.
Here is a suggested address to taste this food: Lau Mam Chi Sen (Chi Sen Fish-sauce Hotpot Restaurant) at 40 Vinh Khang Street, Ward8, District 4, HCMC, Vietnam.
Along with the countless beautiful scenes of the country, Vietnamese cuisine comes with the locals’ life, giving a lovely flavor for the diners. And hotpot fully carries the message of people and the lifestyle of the people.
Eating Vietnamese hotpot seems that you have to try plenty of vegetables and herbs, which come with different ingredients such as beef, port, fish, chicken, or ducks.
Each type of hotpot has its own taste and flavor. If you try hotpots in Vietnam for the first time, you need to pay attention to the kinds of fish hotpots that can come fishy taste and smell. Thus, beef – chicken – crab or seafood hotpot can be a good choice.
One thing to notice when eating hotpots is that you have to put the vegetables in the pot to boil them before eating and do the same with other ingredients.
Now is your turn to choose a hotpot dish to enjoy with your friends or relatives.