5 Great Vietnamese Soups That Aren't Pho

Fuck Yeah Pho
Not the end all when it comes to Vietnamese soup

When you think Vietnamese cuisine, it's no question that pho comes to mind, and it's completely reasonable that it does. However, it'd be a shame to miss out on other Vietnamese soups that, though blood brothers of California's favorite soup, play on completely different flavors, smells, and textures.

If you haven't experimented with Vietnamese soups yet, you're going to want to now. Here are 5 great Vietnamese soups to start.

5. Bun Mang Vit (Duck and Dried Bamboo Noodle Soup)
Taste This At: Kasey's Noodle and Grill in Westminster and Vien Dong Restaurant in Garden Grove

Flickr user Ron Dolette
It's a beaut!

If you're into duck, then you need to try bun mang vit, a vermicelli soup made with duck and dried bamboo. The flavor of the broth comes from lemongrass, ginger, chili and aforementioned bamboo, while the tender and crunchy texture of the soup come from fried shallots, vegetables and... also the bamboo. The duck is eaten with nuoc mam cham (sweet ginger dressing) for a kick, as nuoc mam cham itself is all at once sweet, spicy and salty.

4. Bun Rieu (Crab and Tomato Noodle Soup)
Taste This At: Quan Bun Ban Mai in Westminster and Vien Dong Restaurant in Garden Grove

Flickr user Alpha
Looks molten, but it's not... most of the time.

Bun rieu is the perfect noodle soup if you're feeling something light but still flavorsome. Consisting of a clear tomato broth mixed in with either crab or shrimp paste, bun rieu's overall light quality is complemented by the stronger flavors of crab meat mixture and Vietnamese fish cakes. Tofu, fried shallots, and cabbage are added for flavor and a crunchy texture while mint, lemon, and basil leave the soup smelling aromatic and tasting fresh.

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