By Cristina Mulder, Semester at Sea, Spring 2017
I have never really been a fan of street food, but the one I had in Hanoi was amazing. The number of restaurants and places to eat around the city is overwhelming – there is no way you can be hungry when you are here. When walking around the narrow streets of Hanoi, you see many people sitting outside in some small colorful plastic tables filled with delicious traditional Vietnamese food. I never understood why the tables were so small, but this peculiar seating arrangement really gives street food in Vietnam some character.
In my first street food experience, I sat down in one of those small yellow stools and ordered a stir-fried vegetable pho. I would have gone for the pork or seafood stir-fry, but I was trying not to risk getting food poisoning my last night in Hanoi. The stir-fried vegetable pho was delicious. It was cooked with fish oil and some soy sauce, which gave the vegetables and rice noodles a great flavor. Also I am usually not a huge tofu fan, but in this plate, combined with the different sauces and vegetables, it was amazing.
My street food experience did not end here. After eating the stir-fry, I heard someone talking about the “best kebab in Hanoi”. I had to try it. This kebab might actually be one of the best things I have ever tried. Inside the toasted pita it had the meat, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and cabbage, all mixed with some delicious spicy mayo. Every bite was perfect – you could taste every single ingredient in the kebab accompanied with a spicy flavor. Next time you are in Hanoi, I recommend you go try the “best kebab in Hanoi”, I am sure that if you ask around you will be able to find it.