A perfect trip can not be complete without cultural experiences, especially culinary experiences, right? Aside from picturesque scenery and exciting tourist attractions, Phu Quoc is also a culinary paradise offering an abundance of tasty dishes that you cannot resist when they come to your table.
A perfect trip can not be complete without cultural experiences, especially culinary experiences, right? Aside from picturesque scenery and exciting tourist attractions, Phu Quoc is also a culinary paradise offering an abundance of tasty dishes that you cannot resist when they come to your table. The food here is budget-friendly, fresh off the boat, and super delicious. You can find many tasty dishes in Phu Quoc from local night markets, and street food stalls to luxury restaurants or high-end bistros. Visiting Phu Quoc without trying pearl island cuisine is a miss for you! So let’s take a look at the top 10 foods you have to try when on Phu Quoc Island.
1. Bun Quay - Stir Noodles
Bun Quay or Stir Noodles is the No.1 must-try dish at Phu Quoc. The reason why this dish has such a unique name is thanks to the way it is prepared and eaten. In the bowl, the chefs will put the shrimp paste and the fish paste, and a little seasoning, pour the boiling water into the bowl, stir it around to cook the meat then put the cooked freshly made noodles. A perfect bowl of Stir Noodles can not miss out on a special dipping sauce, and you will get a chance to make it with your twist. Put a little bit of your sauce into the bowl, mixing to combine all the goodies flavors then you will have your wonderful bowl of Stir Noodles ready to enjoy.
2. Bun Ken - Kherm Noodles
Bun Ken or Kherm Noodles is a popular and familiar dish to the local people. This dish is inspired by the cooking way of the Kherm people using coconut milk or coconut cream to make the broth. The fishbone broth is cooked for hours and combined with coconut milk and curry powder creating a rich and savory taste to the dish. Aside from bouncy noodles, crispy deep-fried fish, and fresh veggies, Bun Ken will make you fall in love with it in just one bite.
3. Goi Ca Trich - Herring Salad
If you are a fan of sashimi or cold salads, why not try Herring Salad - a delicious marine dish? Slices of raw herring and grated coconut are mixed with mint, onion, and fried shallots then wrapped with fresh veggies in chewy rice paper and dipped in a special sauce. Chopped chili, garlic, shallots, and roasted peanuts are all mixed with authentic Phu Quoc fish sauce creating a spicy yet fragrant and umami sauce. Pro tip: If you want to enhance the flavor of this dish, squeeze a little bit of lime or lemon juice into the salad.
4. Ghe Ham Ninh - Ham Ninh Sentinel Crab
Fresh off the boat, with sweet, fragrant, firm meat and glossy roe, Ham Ninh sentinel crab is one of the best natural gifts you should try when visiting pearl island. Aside from being boiled, they can be turned into many dishes with very idyllic and mouthwatering flavors that mesmerize even the pickiest eaters. Crab porridge, grilled crab, fried rice with crab,... the list goes on.
5. Coi Bien Mai - Horn Scallops
So Bien Mai or Horn Scallops are bivalves of the shellfish family with two shells that resemble an upside-down half-closed fan and two muscles. This triangular sea scallop is about the size of an adult's hand. Coi Bien Mai is a white, meaty, sweet, and tastiest part of the scallop. This delicacy is widely valued by both locals and visitors. It can be steamed, stir-fried, baked, or cooked in porridge, but the most popular way to prepare them is to grill them with salt and pepper or satay.
6. Ca Song - Jack Mackerel
The people of Phu Quoc have a saying "It is better to give up a death anniversary rather than the intestines of the jack mackerel". Sweet, soft, fragrant but less fishy, and rich in nutrition, it is not surprising that jack mackerel is one of the most beloved delicacies on pearl island. It can be varied into great dishes but the best way to enjoy jack mackerel is by grilling it on charcoal and then dipped in salt and pepper.
7. Oc - Snail
Phu Quoc is the paradise of many species of snails, and it will be a mistake if you don't try fantastic snail dishes on the island. Bestowed with various unique types of snails including Vitate Conchs, Murices, and Grease Snails... as well as countless ways of preparing from boiling with fish sauce, steaming with lemongrass to sauteed with garlic butter, grilling with salt or satay... Enjoying the snails here will be a wonderful experience for you.
8. Nam Tram - Bitter Bolete
Nam Tram or Bitter Bolete is a specialty of the rainy season on pearl island. You can only find them under the Melaleuca trees after heavy rains. Because of the high concentration of melaleuca compounds within it, this mushroom is extremely beneficial to your health. More than that, it is delicious. Having a bite of this mushroom, you will notice a slight bitterness at first, followed by the rich, umami flavor and the light sweet aftertaste.
9. Tom Mu Ni - Slipper Lobster
Not have big claws like other lobsters but instead, this unique marine creature has two flat thin shells and an incredible taste. With thick, soft meat that is sweeter and even more fragrant than other lobsters, Slipper Lobster deserves to be one of the top pearl island delicacies that you should not miss. And what could be even better than enjoying a plate of freshly steamed Slipper Lobster with chili salt, sipping a cold beer right next to the beach, and admiring the magnificent scenery?
10. Banh Bo Thot Not - Palmyra Palm Steamed Rice Cake
These beautiful, waxy yellow cakes with thin shredded coconut sprinkled on top and an irresistible aroma will make you have to stop to buy and try them. With a fine sweetness that comes from the palmyra palm fruits combined with shredded coconut, and a soft, spongy, chewy texture, these mouth-watering treats will make you want to eat more and more. Closing a day of culinary exploration on pearl island with these lovely cakes will be the perfect ending for your food tour.