Are you a seafood lover? Vietnam is no doubt a must-see destination in Southeast Asia for all seafood lovers. With more than 3000 km of coastline, 12 lagoons and bays, 115 estuaries, thousands of islands and islets, our country offers visitors an exceptional variety of seafood. This article presents a selection of Vietnamese seafood to taste during your tour to Vietnam. From the majestic Halong Bay in northern Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin to Phu Quoc Island in the far south, you are free to enhance your gastronomic discoveries with marine flavors.

Top Vietnamese Seafood to Savor

1. Cha muc – Squid pancakes

Top 20 Delicious Vietnamese Seafood to Savor

One of Asia’s top 10 dishes, squid pancakes are made from fresh squid caught in Halong Bay, then pounded by hand. Clear, fluffy, fragrant and so delicious yellow patties will surely leave you with unforgettable taste memories.

Besides, you can find this one of the best Vietnamese seafood in different dishes. The best flavor is with sticky rice or with Vietnamese dumplings.

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2. “Sam” – The horseshoe crab

A tasty specialty of Halong, the horseshoe crab is a marine arthropod always living in pairs. You can prepare delicious dishes with varied tastes from the horseshoe crab. There are raw horseshoe crab dishes, lightly sauteed horseshoe crab legs, sauteed horseshoe with lemongrass and peppers, etc.

3. “Sa sung” – Naked siponcle

This marine worm whose unique habitat is found on Quan Lan – Minh Chau Island resembles a light pink earthworm. Very rare and expensive, the bare siponcle is used to prepare nutritious dishes whose taste is exceptional according to many gourmets. Its few variations not to be missed are roasted siponcle with chili, fried siponcle with garlic, etc.

4. “Ngan” – Clam

“Ngan” is a species close to the clam found only in Vietnam in the Quang Ninh region. This type of clam can be cooked in several ways: grilled, steamed, boiled, sauteed with noodles or with vegetables. A flavored version with alcohol exists and is often savored by men.

5. “Banh da be be” – Vermicelli with mantis shrimp

Fresh mantis shrimp vermicelli with green cabbage, naked shrimp, spring onions, dried onions, cilantro, and tomatoes could make you salivate at first sight. Let yourself be tempted by the exquisite taste of the squill or mantis shrimp called “be be”, a shrimp resembling a praying mantis. Such a delight of cuisine!

6. “Oc” – Sea snails

Vietnamese people love sea snails. There are a dozen dishes of this one of the tastiest Vietnamese seafood such as:

– Snails with a tamarind sauce (“Oc Mong Tay Sot Me”)

– Snails with a spicy sauce (“Oc Tu Hai Xao Tuong ot”)

– Grilled and sometimes stuffed snails (“Oc Gai Nuong”)

7. “Chao Trai” – Oyster porridge

It is a popular dish in Halong Bay, so the oyster porridge has a reasonable price from only $2/ bowl. The smooth, sticky porridge has the sweetness of the seafood and the smell of rice flavored with laksa leaves and coriander. Once the fragrant rice is cooked, people put it in and boil it evenly until the porridge is comparable. When you eat, you should add a little onion and pepper to smell better.

8. “Goi ca Nam O” – Fish salad from Nam O Beach

It is a special type of fish salad in the Nam O beach area. The best way to enjoy this dish is to eat fish with many kinds of herbs and vegetables (lettuce, young bananas, cucumber, leaves of basil, fish with mint, etc.). Then roll all the ingredients in rice paper, dip in the fish sauce and enjoy the remarkable taste!

9. “Lau hai san” – Seafood hotpot

Potée is a soup containing a variety of vegetables and ingredients, prepared with a pot of soup broth on a burner right on your dining table. The seafood stew usually includes shrimp, clams, squid, fish, crab with tomato, mushrooms, and cilantro. Especially, a Vietnamese seafood hotpot is perfect for a cooler day on the beach and even more perfect for real gourmets. It’s a great way to enjoy many types of seafood.

Top 20 Delicious Vietnamese Seafood to Savor

10. “Goi Oc” – Snail Salad

It is one of the best seafood to savor in Nha Trang. Most customers order this dish without even consulting the menu! The salad is a combination of multiple ingredients. There are boiled snails, carrots, onions, several herbs mixed in garlic and spicy fish sauce with chili, garnished with crushed roasted peanuts. Grab a lettuce leaf with your chopsticks and put it on the crispy shrimp patty served with the dish and taste the perfect balance of sour, spicy, salty and sweet flavors. Incredible taste!

11. “Ghe rang me” – Blue Crab in Tamarind Sauce

A large blue crab is emptied of its shell, sliced ​​in half and sauteed in oil with garlic before adding sweet and sour tamarind sauce and a little chili powder.

12. “Hau” – Oysters

The oysters in Vietnam are also magnificent, very fresh and delicious. Enjoy them with Wasabi or grilled cheese, they are perfect for those who can eat raw or barely cooked seafood. They are roasted in a wood-fired oven with cheese and eggs until the cheese is well melted and the egg has a perfect texture. All of these dishes taste better when they are still hot.

13. “Ngheu Hap Sa” – Spicy Clams Boiled with Lemongrass

Medium-sized clams are cooked with lemongrass, ginger, red chili and white basil – very popular in central Vietnam. How to eat this dish properly? First, forget about the chopsticks and use your thumb and forefinger to grab the shell. Eat the shellfish and use the shell as a spoon to taste the fantastic hot and spicy broth that will keep you warm on the cool nights of Nha Trang.

14. “Goi ca trich” – Herring Salad

Herring is very nutritious and provides essential nutrients to the body. This dish is also called by many customers the “special dish of Phu Quoc”. Herring salad enriches the cuisine and heritage of this paradise island. This is among top must-try Vietnamese seafood specialties that you should not miss!

15. “Nhum” – Sea urchin

Top 20 Delicious Vietnamese Seafood to Savor

The sea urchin, also known as “Nhum” is also a unique dish that you should not ignore. Not just a dish, the sea urchin is like sea ginseng, very beneficial for dinners. The sea urchin generally lives in the sea at Ca Na, Ninh Thuan, and Phu Quoc, Kien Giang. They often congregate in coral reefs, rocky reefs, and holes to eat algae and seagrasses.

Islanders often treat sea urchins in different ways, such as eating raw porridge or toasting butter and onions. To eat raw, people often choose freshly caught sea urchins. The sea urchin is separated, washed from the veins inside. Add lemon and mustard, mix well, then enjoy the green cabbage. However, the most common way is the grilled sea urchin.

16. “Muc chien mam” – Fried calamari with fish sauce

The fried squid with fish sauce is also one of the best Vietnamese seafood to savor when you travel to Vietnam. The small squids are fried with fish sauce, sugar, stir-fry, garlic, chopped spring onions, and chili peppers, creating an attractive smell and flavorful taste. Phu Quoc Island is the only place where you can taste the freshest and most authentic version of the fried squid with fish sauce.

17. “Ca song nuong” – Grilled spotting

Top 20 Delicious Vietnamese Seafood to Savor

Spotting is most delicious when seasoned with chili salt and toasted over hot charcoal. To taste grilled trachura, wrap the meat in rice paper with fresh herbs, vegetables and dip it in a chili and lime sauce.

18. “Tom mu ni” – Lobster slipper / Lobster

The lobster is truly incredible beyond your expectations! The most common way is to boil the lobster so that you can enjoy the sweetness and freshness of the thick meat and its fascinating scent when soaked in black pepper salt mixed with lime juice. Moreover, grilled lobster with cheese, sauteed in butter and garlic or grilled lobster with onion fat are also common ways to cook in many local restaurants in Phu Quoc.

19. “Cua hoa Ham Ninh” – Flower crab of Ham Ninh

Flower crab is a specialty of Phu Quoc Island. You can taste this dish at many local seafood restaurants, but Ham Ninh’s is the locals’ most favorite place. The Ham Ninh crab is quite small but the meat is fragrant, fresh and delicious. Besides boiled crab, fried rice with crab is also a must. This dish is a harmonious combination of steamed rice, tasty boiled crabmeat, fried egg slices, and spicy chili sauce. All these ingredients together create a very idyllic and enticing flavor.

20. Other seafood specialties

There is other delicious seafood you can try in Vietnam:

  • Sauteed crab with tamarind (cua rang me)
  • Salt-roasted crab claws (cang ghe rang muoi)
  • Squid marinated in vinegar (muc kim nhung giam)
  • Grilled squid with shacha sauce (muc nuong sa te)
  • Round scad stew (ca nuc hap)

Tips for Safe Experience of Seafood in Vietnam

1. Avoid eating raw seafood in general and raw crab in particular

Raw seafood or unprocessed seafood may contain Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria which are harmful to the digestive system. Additionally, bacteria can live at high temperatures (over 80 degree C). While sushi and sashimi are very tempting, try not to overeat, especially in questionable places.

Indoors, Ha Long’s crab is a very dangerous parasitic bacteria called lung fluke, which can disrupt the respiratory system with symptoms such as severe cough, cough, and cerebral palsy. Therefore, you need to make sure that the crabs are fully cooked for at least 20-30 minutes.

2. Avoid drinking lots of beer while eating seafood

Scientists say drinking beer while eating seafood increases the likelihood of having gout or arthritis. Therefore, you should limit your alcohol intake when serving seafood.

3. Avoid having fruit/tea after eating seafood

The reason is that the acid inside acidic fruits can negatively affect the absorption process of protein from seafood in your body. Also, tannins from the fruit can react with calcium and protein in seafood to stimulate your digestive system and cause stomach upset and vomiting. The same thing happens if you drink tea after a meal of seafood.

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Bich Ngoc

As a true Vietnamese enthusiast of music, books and coffee, Bich Ngoc loves researching into those typical cultural characteristics of Vietnam as well as exploring further destinations in the country of thousand years of civilization.

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