Sayounara, Weight Watchers. Vietnam’s got you beat.

I’ve long since bid a temporary farewell to Weight Watchers. It just isn’t possible with my generous family here in Vietnam.

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My family here in Vietnam has been set on feeding me pretty much all of Saigon. This is no easy task, as this place is teeming with all sorts of Vietnamese cuisine. I’m Vietnamese, but there’s stuff I’ve rarely seen or never even heard of. My family here likes to eat at the various vendors that line the roads. Food carts will often offer seating:

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Or, if you’d like to be a bit more comfortable, you can enter a street restaurant:

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The plastic stools may be flimsy, and the tables may be simple steel or plastic, and you may have to wipe down the chopsticks before using them, but man. So far, I’ve been able to ignore all the cons for two huge pros: first, the cheapness–

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–and second, the deliciousness. Honestly, I’ve found that the cheaper the food, the tastier it is!

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Of course, I’ve also been quite lucky. Street food, while delicious, is treated with caution even by native Vietnamese. I’ve been warned not to eat any uncooked vegetables and to check any produce before purchasing it.

But that hasn’t held us back. My family here doesn’t cook much– since it’s so easy, for every meal, to go out and grab some cheap grub. Typical breakfasts have included:

I believe this is called... "hu tieu"?

I believe this is called… “hủ tiếu”?

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And this one was ” bò kho mì.”

Bún bò Huế.

And finally, bún bò Huế.

Street food is often fatty or oily, but never fear! Just make up for it by picking up some of the various exotic fruits, sold cheaper and fresher than in the United States! Interestingly enough,the apples and oranges and pears that are so commonplace in America are “exotic” in Vietnam.

Rambutan.

Rambutan.

Dragonfruit.

Dragonfruit.

Mangosteen.

Mangosteen.

Vietnam is pretty hot, though, so sometimes all you want is a cold beverage. Hey, no problem! You can find various types of chè, a sweet dessert drink typically made from mung beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, tapioca, and fruit, all over the city. There are a million different varieties to try!

This type just happens to be green.

This type just happens to be green.

My cousins here really like getting nước mía, or sugarcane juice. Vendors will squeeze fresh sugarcane right on the streets.

A lady working the sugarcane press.

A lady working the sugarcane press.

The resultant juice.

The resultant juice is sweet and citrusy.

My favorite will always be cà phê sữa đá, or Vietnamese iced coffee. It’s made by brewing finely-ground, dark-roast Vietnamese coffee in a drip filter and then mixing it with a bunch of condensed milk. Then, add ice and you’re golden!

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Before…

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…and after!

I admit, not everything’s to my taste. A lot of our dried fruits and candied spices are often a bit tangy for me.

Mystery dried stuff.

Mystery dried stuff.

Though most of the time I find the food impossible to resist. The seafood here! It’s so fresh!

Grilling some scallops.

Grilling some scallops.

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Crab.

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I honestly forget the Vietnamese name for this, but just know that it is delicious.

So, in all this food-tasting, I may have put on a kilo or two. Which is unfortunate, since I’m already a size XXL in Vietnam and all the clothes here is so darn cute.

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Shh. Don’t tell my doctor.

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15 thoughts on “Sayounara, Weight Watchers. Vietnam’s got you beat.

  1. Yeah, i’m drooling…..so unfair !

    However, I am so glad that your visit turned out so good (as I predicted !!!!)

    Keep us updated and …let the fun continue 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Greetings

    RoBo

  2. OMG I’m so glad I’ve found another person who loves Vietnam as much as I do. 🙂
    I’m considered “large” in Vietnam too, although I’m actually a size small in America.. but the food in Vietnam is just so delicious that I couldn’t stop eating.
    I totally agree with you that I don’t understand how Viet girls are so skinny and pretty..
    I wish to go back to Vietnam again someday just so I can eat those delicious food. :)))

  3. Those are called bánh phồng tôm. Man I missed the food so much, especially when IH food is not that mouth-watering xD

  4. So jealous! My favorite part about Vietnam is the street food also! Did you ever try Flan in Vietnam?? They top it off with ice and coffee. DELICIOUSLY FRESH EVERYTIME

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