This winter, my girlfriend and I had the pleasure of riding our bikes between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. When you combine the fetching scenery, well-meaning denizens, exceptional backroads, incredible value and, of course, tasty eats, what you end up with is a very rewarding pedal power experience indeed.
From these cycle touring trips, I always like to glean culinary inspiration that I can import back home. Take for example the Loatian inspired Coconut Rice Cakes and the Fruit and Grain Drink borrowed from Chile that you can find in the pages of ROCKET FUEL. So I thought I would put together a visual potluck of some of the best foods that we used to fuel our Vietnamese two wheeled adventure.
You can read my trip journal from our 1,700 mile journey through Vietnam here.
Of course, no ride through Vietnam is complete without a daily Banh Mi habit. We most often opted for the egg and pickled veg variety. Will have to adapt this to a jersey pocket version.
Com Ga – a tasty mashup of yellow rice, grilled chicken, herbs and chili sauce. As spotted in Hoi An.
Kem Flan – A Vietnamese flan doused in coffee syrup. Worth the plane ticket alone.
We started most days with a comforting and nourishing bowl of noodle soup, a.k.a. pho.
These sugar sesame bars ended up being our Vietnam rocket fuel.
Nothing is better in the midst of a steamy ride that a combo of sweet iced coffee (cafe sua da) and iced green tea.
Mi Quang – A stunningly delicious bowl of thick noodles, quail eggs, pork, herbs and nuts. All for less than a buck for a hearty serving.
Vietnam produces most of the world’s supply of Dragon Fruit. They were worth carrying the extra weight.
Shrimp dumplings (White Rose) are a satisfying street food snack in Hoi An.
A big day on the saddle deserves an even bigger rice cake.
Dalat pizza – rice wrappers grilled till crispy and adorned with all sorts of toppings. Perfect for a cyclists lion sized appetite.
After climbing for a couple hours this display on the way to Dalat is a welcome sight.
Move over pho! Bun Bo Hue might just be the best soup in Vietnam.
Are fried silk worms Paleo?
Jackfruit chips are something we need more of in North America.
Ok, smelly durian is not the most practical addition to a cyclists fuel arsenal.
Hey Tabi, are you going to share some of that coconut water?
Yes, fresh squeezed cane juice is better than Gatorade.
These buns were tasty but not sure if that color is natural.
In Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports & Adventure, award-winning dietitian Matt Kadey offers up 120 delicious, creative, and convenient real-food recipes to power your everyday exercise and weekend adventures.
Rocket Fuel is available now in bookstores, outdoors stores, and online from these online retailers:
Barnes & Noble
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada
Food photography by Aaron Colussi.