Famous Duck Dishes Across Vietnam

Duck is heavily featured in Vietnamese cuisine, whether in northern, central, or southern Vietnam. Read on to find out some of the most notable dishes made with duck in Vietnamese cuisine.

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Van Dinh roasted duck

Van Dinh roasted duck (vịt nướng Vân Đình) is an iconic dish created in Van Dinh village of Ung Hoa rural district in Hanoi. To prepare the dish, locals choose Vietnamese domestic duck (vit cỏ) that has firm meat. When roasted, the skin is crispy, the meat is thin but not dry and does not clog the appetite.

Van Dinh roasted duck is perfectly seasoned, golden brown on the outside and arousing the taste buds with the aroma from ginger and lemongrass. The dipping sauce created just for roasted duck balances between sourness, spiciness, sweetness and saltiness, elevating the flavors of the dish and making people want to keep eating.

Famous Duck Dishes Across Vietnam
Van Dinh roasted duck. Photo: Ngoisao

Duck braised in dracontomelon

Duck braised in dracontomelon (vịt om sấu) is a famous summer dish not only in Hanoi but also in other provinces in northern Vietnam. Dracontomelon (sấu) is grown mostly in Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands. In Hanoi, the plant is a common urban tree, and the fruit is a popular souring agent for many flavorful dishes.

Duck is braised until soft and full of umami flavor, balanced by the slight tanginess from green dracontomelons and smooth, buttery taro. Just a bite of hot duck freshly out of the pot, small pieces of dracontomelon, some taro and fresh bun noodles are enough to lighten up the mood and wipe away the discomfort of Hanoi summer.

Famous Duck Dishes Across Vietnam
Duck braised in dracontomelon. Photo: Bui Thuy/VnExpress

Duck soup with bun noodles and bamboo shoots

Duck soup with bun noodles and bamboo shoots (Bún măng vịt) is favored by many food lovers for its rich, flavorful taste. Duck meat is believed to be effective in relieving body heat in the summer. As its name implies, the dish has three main ingredients, including bun noodles, dried bamboo shoots and duck meat.

After boiling, the chef chops duck into thick, soft pieces. Each piece of duck meat has some fat and slightly stringy skin, adding more complexity and fun to the texture of the duck. A bowl of duck soup with bun noodles and bamboo shoot is not complete without a small bowl of dipping sauce made from fish sauce and ginger.

Famous Duck Dishes Across Vietnam
Duck soup with bun noodles and bamboo shoot. Photo: Ngoisao

Duck porridge

Thick duck porridge (cháo vịt)is usually cooked with sticky rice mixed with normal rice. In some areas, locals also add mung beans. The star of the dish is the protein, which consists of different parts of a duck such as liver, gizzard, blood, entrails and meat sautéed until firm and flavorful. Duck porridge tastes best when eaten hot. To serve the dish, the chef scoops duck porridge into a big bowl, then adds scallion, fried shallot and ground pepper on top.

Famous Duck Dishes Across Vietnam
Duck porridge. Photo: Dulich Da Nang

Pho noodles soup with roasted duck

If you have fallen in love with traditional pho noodle soup with beef or chicken, you must try phở vịt quay, or pho noodles soup with roasted duck, a specialty of Lang Son, a province in northern Vietnam, bordering Guangxi province in China. A bowl of phở vịt quay also has pho noodles, scallion, seasonings and flavorful broth, but it is eaten with roasted duck with red, shiny, fatty skin. Soft duck meat full of umami flavors mixed with thin, soft noodles and scallion creates a unique dish that is both salty and slightly sweet and highly appetizing.

Famous Duck Dishes Across Vietnam
Pho noodles soup with roasted duck. Photo: An Thy

Duck soup with pepper and bun noodles

Duck soup with pepper and bun noodles (bún vịt nấu tiêu) is a popular dish in the southern province of Soc Trang. To make this iconic dish, the Siamese duck is chosen. After washed clean, the duck is chopped into small pieces and marinated with crushed black pepper and other seasonings. When it is thoroughly marinated, the chef sautés duck meat with shallot and garlic, then adds fresh coconut water and cooks until the meat is soft. To complete the dish, the chef parboils bun noodles and arranges them in a bowl, puts beansprout, chives, basil, shredded banana blossom on top, then finally adds the duck soup. The hot, flavorful dish will make your tastebuds happy!

Famous Duck Dishes Across Vietnam
Duck soup with pepper and bun noodles. Photo: Tran Huynh Le

Crispy pancake with duck fillings

Crispy pancake with duck fillings (Bánh xèo thịt vịt) is a popular specialty in southern Vietnam. The cover is made from high-quality rice powder mixed with coconut milk, turmeric powder, minced scallion and seasonings. The filling consists of minced duck breast sautéed with shredded coconut core. The crispy cover, served with soft, rich duck meat, sweet coconut core, fresh herbs and flavorful dipping sauce leave a lasting impression on anyone who tastes the dish.

Famous Duck Dishes Across Vietnam
Crispy pancake with duck fillings. Photo: Banh xeo 7 toi

Duck curry

Duck curry (cà ri vịt) is a perfect combination between the richness of coconut milk, umami from sweet potato, soft duck meat and a tasty dipping sauce made of salt and kumquat juice. Duck curry can be eaten with bun noodles or a Vietnamese baguette.

Famous Duck Dishes Across Vietnam
Duck curry. Photo: Bep truong A Au

Duck hotpot with fermented bean curd

Duck hotpot with fermented bean curd (Vịt nấu chao) uses domestic duck. To remove unpleasant odors from the duck, the chef massages the duck with crushed ginger and white wine. High-quality fermented bean curd, or tofu, is one of the dish’s decisive factors. After the duck is washed and its unpleasant smell removed, the chef chops the duck into small pieces, marinates them in fermented bean curd and other seasonings, then braises the duck in fresh coconut milk to create a flavorful broth.

Famous Duck Dishes Across Vietnam
Duck hotpot with fermented bean curd. Photo:hien_khanh/Instagram

Duck hotpot with fermented bean curd often has a variety of side dishes suchas duck blood pudding, taro, morning glory,vine spinach, mustard greens, sawah lettuce which are dipped into the broth when eaten, then served with fresh bun noodles.

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