Origins of hu tieu can be traced back to the Chinese and the Cambodians who created and later made it popular in Saigon. It has now become a signature dish of the south and you can run into a hu tieu vendor in practically every nook and cranny of the city more often than a pho vendor.

While there are a dozen variations to hu tieu, the broth is pretty much the same in every version. This is thanks to a mixture of bones, dried squid, rock sugar along with pork and vegetables which is left to simmer for hours.

The most popular type of hu tieu is hu tieu Nam Vang. Here we will give you a closer look into how to get a bowl of steaming hu tieu nam vang.

How to make hu tieu

Hu Tieu - Vietnamese food
You can cook it at home!

Ingredients:

  • 225g pork tenderloin
  • 225g dried hu tieu noodles, soaked in lukewarm water for 20 minutes
  • 20 shrimps, shelled and deveined
  • 1 lime, cut into quarters
  • 115g bean sprouts
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 green or red Thai chilies, seeded and finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • Coriander leaves, stalks removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • Basil leaves, stalks removed, leaves roughly chopped

For the stock:

  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 225g carrots, peeled and cut into chucks
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 15ml fish sauce
  • 15ml soy sauce
  • 6 peppercorn
  • 25g dried squid (smoky dried squids in markets such as Cho Lon, Ben Thanh market taste the best)
  • 675g pork ribs

Instructions

  • Firstly, for the stock, take the dried squid and soak it in water for half an hour, then rinse and let it dry. Pour approximately 2,5 liters of water into a large pan and put the ribs in.
  • After the water is boiled, skim off any fat then add the remaining stock ingredients. Simmer for 1 hour, uncover to skim off any foam or fat and simmer for another 1 hour.
  • Start seasoning to your liking. Pour the stock into a deep pan and bring to the boil. Minimize the heat before adding the pork tenderloin and then simmer for about 25 minutes.
  • Continue simmering the stock over a low heat. Meanwhile, take the tenderloin out and cut it into thin slices. Boil another pan of water, add the rice sticks.
  • Cook for about 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain the noodles and divide them among 4 bowls.
  • Cook the shrimps in boiling stock for 1 minute then lift them out and together with the slices of pork place them on top of the noodles. Ladle the hot stock over them and sprinkle with herbs, spring onions, chilies, beans sprouts, and garlic.
  • Finally, serve the dish with one lemon piece and a small bowl of fish sauce.

Source: Helen’s Recipes (Vietnamese Food)

Best place to enjoy this culinary elite in Saigon

Hu tieu suon non – Rice noodles with pork ribs

Small ribs replace shrimps.

Although hu tieu suon non (derived from the city of the sea, Vung Tau) is not as common as other types of hu tieu, it still won the hearts of many diners because of its delicious taste.

Hu tieu suon non is a variation of hu tieu nam vang so instead of shrimp, liver, and pork, the star of the dish are small ribs which are full of flavor. The vendors choose ribs that are low in fat and chop them into bite size pieces and then cook until tender. That’s when the broth becomes imbued with the bone’s sweetness and tastes perfect.

Served with hu tieu suon non is a plate of fresh, green salad, lettuce and celery with a tasty cup of dipping sauce to enhance the flavor of the dish.

Where to eat?

Hu Tieu Mi Suon Tung Hung
Address: 147 Tran Hung Dao, District 1
Opening hours: 6 a.m. – 11.30 p.m.
Price: about 55.000VND

Hu tieu sa te – Rice noodles with dried chilly soup

Hu Tieu
The China town hosts the best bowls of this version.

As a specialty of the Chinese, inherited from the Chinese community, hu tieu sa te is rarely seen on the streets of Saigon. The eateries serving hu tieu sa te are mainly concentrated in the area of District 5 and District 11. The noodles of hu tieu sa te resemble the pho noodles from the north of Vietnam.

This is a very unique dish, you can easily spot about 20 spices in a bowl of noodles such as peanuts, sesame, garlic, chili, and cinnamon. The mix of flavors brings a faint aroma and a very typical greasy taste. In addition to spices, ingredients used in hu tieu sa te are meatballs, medium rare beef, tendon or venison and pork for you to easily choose from.

Where to eat?

Hu Tieu Sa Te Ong Le
Address: 78/7 An Duong Vuong, District 5
Opening hours: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Price: about 30.000VND

Hu Tieu Sa Te Nai
Address: 192 Van Kiep, Binh Thanh District
Opening hours: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Price: 25 – 40.000VND

Hu Tieu Sa Te Ngo Quyen
Address:
208 Ngo Quyen, District 10
Opening hours: 4 p.m. – 10 a.m.
Price: 40 – 50.000VND

Hu tieu Nam Vang – Nam Vang rice noodles

Saigon food
The most famous version of Hu Tieu

Among all types of hu tieu, hu tieu Nam Vang is probably one of the most famous. This is a multiethnic dish which was invented by the Cambodians, processed by the Chinese and enjoyed by the Vietnamese. The composition is quite simple: noodles, shrimp, lean meat, pig hearts, mince, quail eggs and broth.

Today, hu tieu nam vang is made with different ingredients, in addition to pork and shrimp, one can enjoy hu tieu nam vang with crab, and squid. One element – minced meat – stays the same though, because this is the soul of the whole dish.

Hu Tieu Nam Vang is a multiethnic dish which was invented by the Cambodians, processed by the Chinese and enjoyed by the Vietnamese.

Where to eat?

Hu Tieu Nam Vang Lien Hua
Address:
90D Tran Quoc Thao, District 3 or 312 An Duong Vuong, District 5
Opening hours: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Price: about 70.000VND

Hu Tieu Nam Vang Nhan Quan

Hu Tieu stores
Hu Tieu Nam Vang Nhan Quan

Address: A67 Nguyen Trai, District 1
Opening hours: 5 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Price: 50 – 72.000VND

Hu Tieu Nam Vang Quynh

Best Hu Tieu in town
It’s in the heart of the city

Address: 197 Nguyen Trai, District 1
Opening hours: 24/7
Price: about 60.000VND

Hu Tieu Campuchia Ho Thi Ky

Best hu tieu
Hu Tieu Campuchia

Address: 84 Ho Thi Ky, District 10
Opening hours: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Price: about 32.000VND

Hu tieu bo vien – Rice noodles with meatballs

Hu tieu with meatballs
Simple ingredients yet beautiful flavor!

Like hu tieu suon non, hu tieu bo vien has only one single ingredient – the chewy meatballs. Another signature of the dish is the small noodles that are opaque white. Despite its simple ingredients with nothing special, the hot bowls of hu tieu bo vien with the chewy yet tender noodles and the delicious meatballs never fails to make any mouth water.

Where to eat?

Hu Tieu Bo Vien Chu Tu Gia
Address:
40 Tran Quang Khai, District 1
Opening hours: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Price: about 30 – 45.000VND

Hu Tieu Bo Vien Doan Thi Diem
Address:
1 Doan Thi Diem, Phu Nhuan District
Opening hours: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Price: about 15 – 20.000VND

Hu tieu My Tho

Hu tieu my tho
Find the best bowl of this version in Tien Giang!

Hu tieu my tho bowl is like a painting full of attractive colors with red shrimp, green celery, chrysanthemum, and red peppers. A very important spice creating the unique aroma of the dish is the minced garlic. But if you want to taste the authentic flavor of hu tieu my tho, Tien Giang province is where you should head to as hu tieu my tho in Saigon has been adapted to the Saigonese’ appetite.

Where to eat?

Hu Tieu Thanh Xuan

Hu tieu my tho saigon
Hu tieu my tho in Saigon has been adapted to the Saigonese’ appetite.

Address: 62 Ton That Thiep, District 1
Opening hours: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Price: about 30 – 60.000VND

Hu Tieu My Tho Xua
Address:
476 Le Quang Dinh, Binh Thanh District
Opening hours: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Price: about 20 – 30.000VND

Hu tieu Sa Dec

Hu tieu Sa Dec
Hu tieu sa dec are big, slightly crunchy and chewy with milky color

Although full of familiar ingredients such as shrimp, meat, and liver, hu tieu Sa Dec has its own distinction which helps it to stand out from hu tieu my tho and hu tieu nam vang. If hu tieu nam vang noodles are white, small and soft, the noodles of hu tieu Sa Dec are big, slightly crunchy and chewy with milky color.

The easiest way to recognize is the clear, sweet broth combining with other ingredients to create a perfect symphony of flavors. Added scallions and cilantro, hu tieu Sa Dec makes you cannot resist the allure of such amazing dish from the western land.

Where to eat?

Sa Dec Quan
Address:
154 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, District 3
Opening hours: 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Price: about 35 – 50.000VND

Vegetarian hu tieu

hu tieu vegan vegetarian
It’s beneficial for your health.

Surprisingly, vegetarian hu tieu is not less delicious than those cooked from meat. Moreover, it’s beneficial for your health as the ingredients include many kinds of veggies such as mushroom, carrot, daikon, luffa gourd. As for the accouterments, we have toasted peanut, crispy vegetarian fried roll (cha gio chay), bean curd sheet, deep-fried tofu, deep-fried onion, coriander, other herbs, and stir-fried mixed mushrooms.

Where to eat?

Quan Chay 372
Address:
372/4 Cach Mang Thang 8, District 3
Opening hours: 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Price: about 15 – 30.000VND

Hu Tieu Chay Cay Bo De
Address:
315 Le Van Sy, Tan Binh District
Opening hours: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Price: about 15 – 80.000VND

Hu Tieu Chay Phan Dinh Phung
Address:
282 Phan Dinh Phung Street, Phu Nhuan District
Opening hours: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Price: about 15 – 30.000VND

hu tieu
Let’s get off the screen and get yourself a yummy bowl!

With simply awesome price tag and truly amazing flavor, hu tieu is definitely a gem of this vibrant city everyone should experience. Leaving the city without sampling a bowl means your visit was incomplete. So eat as much as you can because the fascinating aroma of hu tieu may not stop following you when you get back home! Make sure to also let us know your favorite version 🙂

Enjoyed this article and want to learn about other Vietnamese food? How about some bun rieu, bo kho, oc (sea snails) or some traditional pho?
Check out the food section in Christina’s blog for more information about delicious Vietnamese dishes!

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