A series of specialties “chasing customers”, picky eaters because of the “haunting” taste in Vietnam
hanguyen0409 14-07-2021, 14:28
Despite the bad smell, picky eaters because of the super rotten taste, but dishes such as nam pia, rotten buffalo skin, rotten crab noodles, … are still loved and enthusiastically enjoyed by many Vietnamese.

Not only is Vietnam a safe and popular tourist destination with beautiful natural scenery, but Vietnam also attracts a large number of international tourists because of its rich and diverse cuisine.

Besides famous dishes such as Pho, bread, …, which are loved by many foreigners, in Vietnam, there are also a series of specialties made from unique ingredients that not everyone dares to try. In particular, the dishes that smell super rotten, although making Western guests “cry” but are a favorite dish of many Vietnamese people.

Because they are made from specific ingredients, these dishes are very smelly, and are considered to have the ability to “shoo away guests”.


Nam pia is a famous dish of the Thai ethnic group, mainly appearing in the Northwest provinces such as Son La, Ha Giang, Lao Cai,… In Thai, nam means soup, and pia means soup. The viscous fecal material is located between the stomach and large intestine of herbivorous animals such as buffaloes, cows, and goats. In addition to the main ingredient, pia, local people also process this dish with the internal organs of animals such as stomach, blood, intestines, heart, liver… 

A series of specialties “chasing customers”, picky eaters because of the “haunting” taste in Vietnam
Although it is considered a “hard to swallow” dish with an unattractive appearance and a “haunting” taste, nam pia is still loved by many Vietnamese (Photo: Cooky).

It is because it is made from specific ingredients that Nam pia has a very unpleasant smell. Many first-time visitors can’t help but be stunned by the “super rotten” taste of this dish. However, if anyone is familiar with it, they will enjoy the spicy, bitter, and greasy taste of nam pia.

For Thai people, nam pia is a dish that often appears during the Tet holidays, popular or used to treat guests who come to the house. Coming to the Northwest, visitors can find and enjoy nam pia at restaurants and eateries around famous tourist spots. 

Rotten crab noodles

Rotten crab vermicelli is a specialty in the mountain town of Pleiku, Gia Lai province. As the name suggests, the dish consists of two main ingredients: vermicelli and crab. However, the soul of rotten crab noodles is in the thick black broth.

The stinky crab noodle dish just hearing the name also makes diners wary because of the bad smell, rising from the thick black broth (Photo: @im_pcz).

After buying, the crabs are cleaned, the shell is removed, the body is pounded or pureed and then filtered to get the water. Fresh crab juice is fermented for about a day and night until it turns black and has a strong smell, then it is processed.

The fermented crab juice continues to be simmered on the fire and then thinly sliced ​​fresh bamboo shoots are added. The longer it cooks, the more sweet the bamboo shoots release, making the broth richer. People also add cooked duck eggs to the pot of water, when customers order, they will take it out and add it to a bowl of vermicelli.

Each dish of rotten crab noodles costs about 10,000 – 15,000 VND (Photo: MokoNail).

Those who enjoy it for the first time, will be wary of rotten crab noodles, but if they are used to it, they will feel the typical delicious taste. The pungent, pungent taste of the broth with a bit of sourness and saltiness on the tip of the tongue is the feeling of diners when tasting specialties of the mountain town.

Hot pot with fish sauce 

Mam hot pot is a rustic dish with a bold Western flavor, most famous in the land of U Minh (Ca Mau province). However, this specialty is picky eaters, making visitors wary because the broth made from fish sauce has a strong and bold taste. 

Depending on the place and according to each person’s preferences, it is possible to make fish sauce hot pot with many different food ingredients (Photo: @ Trangpinskyy).

According to local people, the main ingredient of fish sauce hot pot is made from fish sauce of freshwater fish such as snakehead fish, goby fish, perch … or spirit fish. As for the accompanying ingredients, there are meat, seafood (squid, shrimp…) and indispensable dozens of typical vegetables such as corn (flowers), bananas, water spinach, water lily, shallot leaves, tubs, bitter vegetables, cotton. squash, coconut vegetables, coriander, spinach…

The fish sauce hot pot has an unpleasant taste that many diners do not dare to taste (Photo: Huynh Hai).

It is known that fish sauce is also an ingredient that can be processed into many delicious dishes in the Western region such as raw fish sauce (used to eat raw without being processed from cooking), fish sauce with eggs, fried fish, salad. bee sauce rolls, papaya mixed fish sauce, braised fish with grilled fish sauce, etc. Because of their unique ingredients, dishes made from fish sauce often have a “haunting” taste.

Rotten buffalo skin

Rotten buffalo skin (also known as dung min) is a typical dish of the Thai people in the Northwest. This dish is made from buffalo skin as the main ingredient. After preliminary processing, buffalo skin is wrapped in banana leaves and incubated for about two days depending on weather conditions. 

Buffalo skin smells super rotten in the Northwest region (Photo: Ytimg).

In summer weather, high temperatures make buffalo skin “rotten” faster. In winter, people have to incubate for a few more days before taking it out for processing. After a period of incubation, the smelly buffalo skin is washed so that the hair will fall off. Then, people bring the skin to dry, then use it to cook soup, cook banana flowers or bake depending on preference.

Rotten buffalo skin is finely chopped, used to process many dishes such as (Photo: Ytimg).

Although it is a specialty with a characteristic flavor that is loved by locals, the rotten buffalo skin makes many tourists just hear the name and smell it enough to “sweat”, not dare to enjoy. Follow Dan trí