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7 Freakiest Dishes in Vietnam for the Brave Traveler

5 Weirdest Dishes in Vietnam

If You’re Brave Enough to Try Them, These Are the 7 weirdest Dishes in Vietnam

Are you feeling brave? If so, then you should definitely try some of the country’s most weird dishes. From blood clams to cobra heart, these meals are not for the faint of heart. But if you’re curious to taste some of Vietnam’s most unusual dishes, read on. We’ve put together a list of 7 Weirdest Dishes in Vietnam, complete with photos and recipes. Are you ready for the challenge? 

Tiết Canh

If you’re looking to test your bravery, then you should definitely try tiết canh. This is a soup made from the raw blood of a snake. And if that’s not enough for you, the soup is also mixed with various animal organs. Talk about an acquired taste! While the dish is definitely not for everyone, there are some who swear by its unique flavors. If you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead and give it a try. Just be prepared for the (very) unique experience.

tiết canh

Răng Mực

If you’re ever in Vietnam and feeling adventurous, you should try some of the country’s spookiest dishes. But be warned, these meals are not for the faint of heart. One of the scariest dishes is Răng Mực, otherwise known as squid ink. This black ink is made from squid and tastes a little bit like fish sauce. It’s usually mixed with garlic, chili peppers, and lime juice to give it a bit of a kick. This scariest dish is popular among the 5 Weirdest Dishes in Vietnam

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cobra heart

Ếch Chiên Bơ

If you’re looking to try something truly unique (and a little scary), Ếch Chiên Bơ is the dish for you. Fried frog legs, anyone? The frogs are first cleaned and then dipped in a light batter before being fried. They’re served with a delicious dipping sauce that really brings out the flavor of the frog meat. Ếch Chiên Bơ is definitely an acquired taste, but if you’re feeling adventurous, it’s definitely worth a try! According to the surveys, this is known as number one among the 5 Weirdest Dishes in Vietnam

Ếch Chiên Bơ

Gà Đông Tảo

So, you think you’re brave enough to try some of Vietnam’s freakiest dishes?  We’re talking about dishes like Gà Đông Tảo, which is a chicken dish made with blood cubes and rice noodles. Then there’s Củ Lập Lòng, a duck blood pudding that definitely doesn’t look appetizing. But if those dishes are too mild for you, how about trying out Bò Kho Tái, a stew made with raw beef?

chicken dish

Đuông Dừa

If you’re feeling adventurous, you should try Đuông Dừa, which is a dish made from a type of coconut. It’s said to be the spiciest dish in all of Vietnam, and it definitely lives up to that reputation. The dish is made by pounding green coconuts until they’re a paste, then adding chilies, shrimp paste, and fish sauce. It’s usually served with rice, but you can also add it to soup. If you can handle the heat, Đuông Dừa is definitely a dish worth trying while you’re in Vietnam. Just be warned—it’s not for the faint of heart!

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Đuông Dừa

Gỏi Cuốn Sâu Dừa (CocoNut Worm Spring Rolls)

In certain regions of Vietnam, coconut worms are hailed as delicacies, beloved for their mind-blowing taste and crunchy texture. We don’t mess around here – these bad boys are meticulously cleaned, seasoned, and then fried to crispy perfection. Yup, we’re talking about stuffing these little daredevils into your spring rolls for a flavor journey like no other.

Prepare for a rollercoaster ride of flavors and textures with each bite of Gỏi Cuốn Sâu Dừa. The fresh rice paper will tango with the crunchy, savory goodness of the coconut worms. It’s a match made in gourmet heaven, my friends. And let’s not forget about the dipping sauces – they deserve a special makeover too. Sweet, sour, spicy, you name it – these sauces will be jiving with your coconut worm-filled rolls to create a perfect balance of taste.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – coconut worms in spring rolls? That’s definitely gonna raise some eyebrows! But hey, we’re all about pushing boundaries here. This unconventional twist on a Vietnamese classic showcases the culinary diversity that Vietnam has to offer. It’s a bold move, daring you to step outside your comfort zone and experience the innovative ways in which locals play with their tiny, crunchy delicacies.

Crack Open a Cold One, It’s Balut Time!

Credit: meng

Crack Open a Cold One, It’s Balut Time!

Ladies, gather ’round for the Southeast Asian delicacy that’s giving caviar a run for its money—it’s balut, baby! Picture this: a fertilized duck egg, matured enough to sprout some personality (we’re talking feathers, bones, maybe a beak), just chilling there waiting to be devoured. This little eggy-weg is no Easter surprise, but it’s as festive as they come in the Philippines and Vietnam.

Beak or No Beak, That Is the Question

When you’re brave enough to crack this bad boy open—because let’s face it, you’re the type that laughs in the face of the “recommended” Pepperdust level on your nth curry—you’re in for more than just yolk and white. Dive into the culinary daredevil’s pool with both feet, and you’ll find a partially incubated duckling starring back at you. Some hardcore foodies take “eating nose-to-tail” literally and munch the entire package, while the faint of heart may opt out of the more, let’s say, ‘identifiable’ bits. But hey, no judgment here!

Not Your Average Snack – It’s A Protein Party!

You might find the idea of balut more twisted than your last Tinder date’s life story, but in street food circles, this eggy treat is the bomb dot com. It’s like chugging a protein shake without any of the blender cleanup—nature’s very own muscle juice. Who needs a gym membership when you can squat and snack on a sidewalk delicacy?

Balut: A Cultural Symbol, Not Just A Snack

Okay, so it’s more than just a foodie’s fear factor challenge. For the local foodies, it’s tradition with a capital T. This isn’t just snacking; it’s a cultural deep dive, a rite of passage, a story to tell. Imagine the bragging rights you’ll earn when you recount your balut adventure to your homegirls!

Embryo-nically Yours: The Vietnam Culinary Experience

Visiting Vietnam without trying balut is like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower – only with a lot less romance and more embryonic intrigue. This culinary gem will either make you a legend in your own lunchtime or have you rethink your foodie boundaries. Either way, it’s an experience that’ll hatch some serious tales to tell.

Chả Rươi: Conquering the Earthworm Cake

cha ruoi
Credit: Viethavvh

Ladies, have you ever looked at an earthworm and thought, “Yum, that would make a smashing appetizer”? No? Well, prepare to have your culinary world rocked, because Vietnam is serving up “Chả Rươi” – a dish that boldly says, “We don’t just play in the dirt; we eat its inhabitants, too.”

From Dirt Dwellers to Delicacy: The Metamorphosis of the Earthworm

These little wrigglers are washed, cleaned, and then whipped into a paste that inevitably becomes the heartthrob of “Chả Rươi”. Mix in a spellbinding concoction of seasonings, and voilà, you’ve got yourself a patty that’s about to redefine your snack game.

The Taste Test: Bracing for Umami Overload – Brace yourselves, because your taste buds are about to go on an adventure of a lifetime. “Surprisingly delicious” doesn’t even start to cover it. “Chả Rươi” is like that weird indie movie you reluctantly watch and end up obsessing over. With a savory smack of umami waving its magic wand over your palate, this dish turns initial grimaces into “more please!” The added seasonings and secret-recipe ingredients? Cherry on top, or should we say, worm in the cake?

Becoming an Earthworm Cake Enthusiast: The Unlikely Culinary Hero – In Vietnam, “Chả Rươi” isn’t just food; it’s a cultural dare. Especially in places where earthworms are about as common as tourists with selfie sticks. Adventurous foodie or not, this snack or appetizer will either have you booking the next flight to Vietnam or reaffirming your commitment to a bland diet. But let’s face it, you’re not the type to shy away from a challenge, especially when it comes to conquering the culinary world, one earthworm cake at a time.

The Verdict: Embrace Your Inner Food Daredevil – So, what’s the takeaway? “Chả Rươi” is more than just a dish; it’s a testament to the fearless, the curious, and the utterly fabulous food warriors looking to make their taste buds dance the dance of the bold and the brave. It’s another notch on the belt of Vietnamese cuisine, proving once more that when it comes to food, they’re not just playing in the sandbox; they’re making castles.


If you’re looking to add a little bit of adventure to your next trip to Vietnam, why not try out one of the country’s weirdest local dishes? While some of these dishes are definitely not for the faint of heart, you will definitely be the talk of your friends and family when you tell them all about the unique experiences you had while trying them out (good, bad, or otherwise). 

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About Jill

Hi, Jill Here

Hi! I’m Jill, a Dallas, Texas girl traveling the world. After a career in the Air Force and touring over 50 countries later, my need to explore keeps going! It’s time to rock & roll and find all those places I never knew I was missing.

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