Three Vietnamese dishes among best street foods in Asia: CNN hinh anh 1 Banh mi is the Vietnamese food introduced among the 50 must-try, much-loved street foods and beverages in Asia by CNN. (Photo: BBC)

Hanoi (VNA) – Three Vietnamese signature dishes – "banh mi", "pho", and iced coffee – have been mentioned in a CNN list of 50 of the best street foods in Asia, which is recognised as being just a "small sampling of the region's wonderful food traditions."

"The French may have introduced baguettes to Vietnam, but the country's famed 'banh mi' is a uniquely Vietnamese creation," CNN said.

The ingredients of "banh mi" will vary from the North to the South and the East to the West, but the classic combination includes pork, pickled vegetables, coriander, chilli and a healthy smear of pâté sandwiched by a crispy, fluffy baguette.

The sandwich is thought to have first appeared in Sai Gon's alleys in the late 1950s before spreading to the rest of the country and then to the world. Today, one can easily find "banh mi" in street stands, markets, and restaurants worldwide, from New York to Seoul and Australia.

Vietnamese people consider the sandwich a convenient takeaway food, as the main meal or a supplement providing full nutritional value.

Meanwhile, iced coffee is a traditional Vietnamese coffee recipe. It is particularly popular among the youth and office workers who usually start their days with a cup of iced coffee or gather with their friends on plastic stools strewn along the sidewalks in big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.

"Served by street vendors and cafes alike, 'ca phe', as it's known in Vietnam, can be enjoyed many ways – drink it black, with condensed milk, a touch of sugar or mixed with coconut milk," CNN said.

"Sit down, make new friends on a plastic stool, or keep exploring with your chilled refreshment in hand."

According to the American news channel, the third representative of Vietnamese street food on CNN's list is "pho", which few street foods can compete with.

"Roadside stalls and cafes serve up bowl after bowl of this hearty noodle soup, which is known for its aromatic and nuanced broth, springy rice noodles, and tender protein (usually beef or chicken)," it said.

The soup is a national dish found all over the country, though it originated in the north before being taken to the south, where people have added their influences to the dish.

It is typically served alongside a selection of fresh garnishes, like herbs, bean sprouts, lime, chilli sauce, and chilli slices, so gourmets can tailor the noodle soup to their liking.

According to CNN, when it comes to street foods, Asia delivers big on variety and flavour. The vast region sprawls across equatorial tropics, mountain ranges, volcanic islands, and frenetic megacities, so it's no surprise that diversity abounds.

Yet there are many similarities, too. With centuries of migration and trade, many recipes have traversed borders only to become a local speciality thousands of miles from their origin.

Other must-try, much-loved street foods and beverages in Asia mentioned in CNN's list include Chili crab in Singapore, Khao jee (grilled sticky rice patty on a stick with a thin egg coating) in Laos; bubble tea and stinky tofu in Taiwan; Curry fish balls and egg waffles in Hong Kong (China); Kimbap in the Republic of Korea; Takoyaki (octopus balls) in Japan; Crab omelettes and Sai krok Isan (pork sausages) in Thailand; Jalebi (batter fried into swirling shapes) and Vada pav (deep-fried potatoes) in India; and Jianbing (pancake filled with think eggs, spring onions, radishes, chili sauce, and sausage or chicken) in China./.