Bun Dau Mam Tom – The Unique Feature Of Vietnamese Cuisine

Bun dau mam tom (Noodle and Tofu with Shrimp Sauce) is a unique feature of Vietnamese traditional food. With the fragrance of shrimp sauce and other kinds of fresh ingredients, these special noodles make anyone impressed at the first bite! But there is still some controversial feedback about the food. Let’s discover bun dau mam tom with Vietgo Travel and find the answer to all the myths about this food.

The history of bun dau mam tom

The history of bun dau mam tom is still a question: No one knows exactly where and when the food was born. According to the local stories, back a long time ago, the food was made by villagers in some countryside in Vietnam. At that time, this food had just noodles and tofu with shrimp sauce. The noodles quickly become popular in many villages due to their freshness, and comfortable price. They usually sold bun dau mam tom in a burden and brought them to the market or some street corner.
Nowadays, bun dau mam tom existed as a presentative for Vietnamese food. People still save the recipe for years and years. The food is easily seen in traditional markets, and food streets,… especially in Northern Vietnam. Being served in a large flat basket with a green banana leave, noodles, and tofu with shrimp sauce becomes an impressive food in taste and smell. Bun dau mam tom is chosen to be a lunch or a dinner in the busy modern life of Vietnamese people.

Bun dau mam tom

Discover Each Bun Dau Mam Tom Dish

The main ingredients of bun dau mam tom are very clear as its name: bun dau (noodles) and mam tom (shrimp paste). However, each set of noodles has more options than that. There are still many hidden ingredients that you can not imagine.

The shrimp sauce

Mam tom (shrimp sauce) has purple color with shrimp inside, therefore it seems to be darker and not clear as the common sauce. If you have once tasted mam tom, you can not forget it because of its strange taste and long-term scent. Due to that, there are many controversial comments about bun dau mam tom: people find this food interesting, while others just can not stand the smell. So if you can not eat the shrimp paste, you can order fish sauce, soy sauce, or lemon salt instead.

The noodles

Bun, which is also known as vermicelli or noodles, is usually compressed into a slab of noodles. When customers come and order a set of bun dau mam tom, the servants will cut the slab into small pieces, and help customers easy to pick it up with chopsticks.

Bun dau mam tom

Some fried tofu pieces

Bun dau mam tom is always eaten with fried tofu. Depending on the crispy of the tofu, you can request the chef to fry the tofu for you. For example, you can think about the level of making beefsteak. If the tofu is at the rare level, it is still beige and will be moist and soft as cotton candy. At the medium level, the tofu can be light yellow outside and a bit crunchy. Finally, at the well-done level, the tofu will turn into dark yellow with the highest crispy.

Bun dau mam tom

Some pieces of fried rice cake

This cha is made from pork and nuggets. The sticky nuggets have a medium sweet taste which can decrease the salty shrimp sauce. Therefore, you can have a piece of nuggets cha with a piece of noodles to have a balanced taste.

Bun dau mam tom

Fried pork sausage

Pork sausage is like the other kinds of sausage but added some herbs and a few pork cartilage, which can make the bite more crunchy and appealing.

Bun dau mam tom

Some slide of boiling pork belly

Pork belly is a kind of pork with a balance between meat and fat. The delicious pork belly is the one that has mid-level fat and soft meat. The fat of each slice should be enough for you to feel greasy with the meat. Besides, some restaurants use the meat in the arm of the pig for a tougher slice of meat with less fat.

Bun dau mam tom

The fried pork’s guts

Some countries don’t consume pork guts, so maybe the ingredients are strange for you. Pork’s guts are clean carefully and fried deeply to release the crunchy piece of guts. For example, some food is made of pork blood and pork guts. Besides, some guts of the pork are also cooked in this kind of food, which is can be disgusting for someone. So you can order to have pork’s guts or not in your meal.

Bun dau mam tom

Some Vietnamese herbs and vegetables

The indispensable part of each bun dau mam tom is herbs, such as coriander, and basil,… and vegetables such as cucumber, and lettuce,… They are some signature Vietnamese herbs so you can just find the freshest herbs for this food in Vietnam. Therefore, don’t miss the chance to taste bun dau mam tom when visiting Vietnam!

Bun dau mam tom

A piece of chewing gum

After fishing your meal, you will be given a piece of chewing gum, which can help you to remove the smell of the food from your mouth.

Bun dau mam tom

The Right Way to Eat Bun Dau Mam Tom

Carefully taste the shrimp sauce

Mam tom plays an important role in each meal, it’s the element to decide whether the food is tasty or tasteless. Before giving the mam tom to each customer, the chef pours a little boiling oil into the sauce to make sure the shrimp paste will ripe and smell perfect. They also put sugar with enough quantity as their experience. Therefore, some restaurants have more delicious bun dau mam tom than others because of the sauce recipe.
Now, it’s your mission to add kumquat to your sauce by yourself. At this decisive moment, you have to taste the paste carefully. For example, sometimes, if the paste is too sweet for you, then you should add more sugar into the sauce; if it’s not sour enough, you should add more kumquat drops. Additionally, there is sugar, kumquat, and fish sauce,… on each table, so you can easily add more spices as long as it’s perfect for your taste!

Bun dau mam tom

Eat with herbs

Although the taste of shrimp taste is great, the smell of it is undeniably uncomfortable. Therefore, while having bun dau, don’t forget to have some herbs such as coriander, basil, oregano, and some perilla leaves. During the meal, the herbs can have you reduce the smell and make each bite more delicious with the combination of many flavors.

The Difference Between Bun Dau Mam Tom and Other Kinds of Noodles

Bun dau mam tom doesn’t have the broth like other noodles such as pho, bun thang, or Cao Lau,… The main sauce of this food is shrimp sauce, which is saltier than other kinds of noodles. However, that’s why bun dau mam tom becomes so special: the sauce can enhance other ingredients’ taste.

Bun dau mam tom
Besides, bun dau mam tom is a kind of seasonal food. The most suitable time for Bun dau mam tom is summer because this food does not contain hot broth and some herbs as an ingredient are in the best period. So instead of sipping a spoon of broth, you can order some reduced-temperature water such as a soaked apricot drink or soaked crocodile water for a more savory meal.

Why Bun Dau Mam Tom Wins the Vietnamese’s Heart

Bun dau mam tom seems to be not for everyone because they might don’t like the strong smell of shrimp paste, and the way the scent retents so long in the mouth or the air. However, there is more than one reason why many people are still fond of bun dau mam tom.

The nutritious meal

Each set of bun dau mam tom is like a buffet with lots of nutrients. You will gain protein from meat, tofu, and shrimp; starch from noodles; fibrous matter from vegetables and herbs.

The attractive appearance

The appearance of a bun dau mam tom set is colorful. The best thing is the arrangement of it in a flat basket, the backward has a large banana leaf, which can vividly present the cuisine of the local lifestyle in the past. For instance, It has the light yellow of tofu, the dark yellow of some kinds of fried ingredients, the spotless white of vermicelli, and the green of vegetables and banana leaves. Moreover, the small size of each piece is adorable, it appeals to you to take the chopstick and pick them up immediately.
Besides, the modern bun dau mam tom is also turned into a creative food with multiple noodle colors. You can find the campaign for the LGBT month of Dau Homemade – one of the most fascinating bun dau mam tom restaurants in Hanoi. They turn the noodles into purple, and green… for 6 colors to make a set of bun dau mam tom be like a rainbow – the sign for the LGBT community. 

Bun dau mam tom

It is suitable for everyone

Due to its nutrients, bun dau mam tom is suitable for the young and the old. A set of bun dau mam tom is diverse, but you can choose the ingredients that you want the most. If you don’t like the shrimp sauce, you can switch to fish sauce or soya sauce. If you are a vegetarian, you can just have noodles, tofu, vegetables, and soya sauce for your meal. The taste is still yummy due to its fresh and quality ingredients.

Bun Dau Mam Tom across The Regions

There are not too many differences between bun dau mam tom in the north of Vietnam and bun dau mam tom in the other regions. However, few restaurants can keep the true flavor of the original noodles. So here are some different kinds of these noodles with some recommendations for you to come and try.

Bun dau mam tom in Northern Vietnam

The ingredients in each set of bun dau are quite full. Belonging to the Northern people’s taste, the sauce will be less sugar, the drink will be served various because the crocodile is one of the signature fruit in Hanoi.
You can easily find bun dau mam tom restaurants in Hanoi and another countryside. Hanoi is the city with the highest number of bun dau mam tom restaurants, which guarantee food safety and hygiene.
Ms. Tuyen – Bun dau mam tom: 31 Hang Khay Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Open – Close: 8h00 – 21h00
Price: From 30.000 VND per set

Bun dau mam tom
Ngo Tram Bun dau mam tom: 1B Tram Alley, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Open – Close: 8h00 – 21h00
Price: From 25.000 VND per set

Bun dau mam tom
>> Expand your experience: Hanoi Cultural & Culinary Experience Day Tour

Bun dau mam tom in Central Vietnam

In central Vietnam, Danang has several trusted bun dau mam tom restaurants. You can have bun dau mam tom then have seafood because seafood is the signature food here. Moreover, they also add some kind of vegetable such as pineapple.
Gia Di – Bun dau mam tom: No. 126B 2th September street, Hai Chau District, Danang city
No. 100 Nguyen Van Thoai, Ngu Hanh Son District, Danang city
No. 193 Dong Da, Hai Chau District, Danang city
No. 73 Ngo Van So, Lien Chieu District, Danang city
Open – Close: 8h – 21h
Price: From 30.000 VND per set

Bun dau mam tom
>> Explore more of Central Vietnam: Heavenly Danang Bana Hills Golden Bridge Tour 5 Days

Bun dau mam tom in Southern Vietnam

In the South, you will find that the topping is nearly the same in Hanoi. Saigonese loves bun dau mam tom so much that they can have this food as breakfast, lunch, or dinner! If you are traveling in Southern Vietnam, you can easily find a restaurant there. However, the Saigonese taste can be a bit sweet, maybe different from the shrimp sauce in Hanoi.
Tien Hai – Bun dau mam tom: No. 155 Hung Vuong Street, Ward 9, District 5, Ho Chi Minh city
Open – Close: 10h00 – 22h30
Price: From 25.000 VND per set

Bun dau mam tom
>> Enjoy the Southern Vietnam lifestyle: Vietnam Essential Tour – 7 Days

Final Thought

On the worldwide culinary map, bun dau mam tom has not got any rewards, but in almost Vietnamese hearts, it’s a delicious, impressive, and unreplaceable food. For a local Vietnamese, nothing is happier than relaxing in lunch with some chat and chit conversation while having bun dau mam tom in the small eatery. If you want to experience local life, let’s try bun dau mam tom at least once! We hope that the tips and information above will help you to enjoy Bun dau mam tom restaurant in Vietnam entirely.
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