Mam nem
Anchovy fish sauce – Mắm nêm
Before introducing other dishes of Danang, I feel the urge to write a post about this very special kind of fish sauce that plays a significant role on Danang cuisine – Mam nem.

Mam nem, alternatively mam cai, is a very unique local sauce of the central region. It is made from fermented anchovy sauce (cá cơm), pineapple, garlic and chilli; and is widely used to accompany many kinds of food. It has a very strong scent which for the first times may be uncomfortable to smell, but once you get used to it, this is the kind of fish sauce that you will get addicted to. During my 4 years in Japan, it is its smell and taste that haunted me day after day.

In Danang, Mam nem is used together with many dishes such as “Banh trang cuon thit heo”, “Bun mam” and other traditional dishes. Mam nem is the “hate it or love it” sauce, but as it is so special and unique, why not take a risk and discover one massive feature of Danang cuisine!
Mi Quang
Mì Quảng tôm thịt trứng – Mi Quang with pork and shrimp

If you want the truly original dish of Danang, this must be it. “Mì” means noodles and “Quảng” here stands for the province Quang Nam. Well, before you get confused, Danang used to be a part of Quang Nam in the past (called “Quang Nam – Da Nang” province) until 1997 when it was separated and became one of the five independent municipalities in Vietnam. 

There are many types of Mi Quang, ranging from the basic ones such as pork&shrimp or chicken, to more special ingredients like snakehead fish, eel or jellyfish. A bowl of Mi Quang contains a rich layer of vegetables at the bottom, followed by noodles and a fair amount of broth. Unlike many other Vietnamese noodle soup bowls which are usually covered completely by their broths, Mi Quang broth is added just enough to barely soak the noodles. Last but not least, Mi Quang cannot go without the toppings of crushed roasted peanuts, rice crackers, herbs, lemons, and chilli. 

There is no correct way to cook Mi Quang – it really depends on your tastes and preferences. To most of Danangians including me, the best Mi Quang is home-made by their mothers or grandmothers, attached with love and memories. Mi Quang brings out the feeling of genuineness and simplicity just like the people in Central Vietnam, one that is hard to come across in the modern dishes.

Learn how to cook Mi Quang here.

Mi Quang with chicken – Mì Quảng gà 

Mi Quang with snakehead fish – Mì Quảng cá lóc

Mi Quang with eel – Mì quảng lươn


When: preferably lunch. Breakfast and dinner are also ok.

Danang Seafood
Well I bet you don’t need my bragging this time. 
Let the pictures say it all. 

Crab with sour and sweet tamarind sauce – Cua rang me
“Gai” snail – Oc gai
“Chip chip” stir-fried with garlic – Chip chip xao toi
Steamed clam with lemongrass and other herbs – Ngheu hap
Grilled half-dried squid – Muc mot nang nuong
Hand-cleaning water made from several herbs to kill the smell after eating


Where: seafood restaurants along the beach or on Son Tra Peninsula. 
My personal favourite place for seafood is Hoa Tư – 17 Huỳnh Thúc Kháng st. I think their food is unbeatable. Its only downfall is lack of beach atmosphere as it is located in the city centre. Just a few hundred meters away there is also another very famous restaurant called Ba Thoi – 96-98 Le Dinh Duong. 
When: afternoon or evening
Price: varies from shop to shop. Averagely, around 300,000VND for 1kg of crabs, 60-70,000VND for 1kg of clams.