The best window onto a nation's cuisine is its food markets. The moment Steven Raichlen arrived in Saigon, he rushed to the colossal Ben Thàn Market, where you can buy just about anything: eel, snake, all manner of innards, even grasshoppers. When you tire of shopping, an army of food vendors stands ready to ply you with Vietnamese soups, stews and barbecue.
Coconut shell charcoal is the preferred cooking fuel (probably because it's so cheap) and grilled fare ranges from commonplace beef and chicken to whole eggs and dried bananas. This is one vendor's version of chicken wings; it's as easy to make as it is flavorful. To increase the exposed surface area of meat, the wings are spread open and skewered.
To be authentic, you'll need lemongrass and fish sauce for the marinade, both of which are available at Asian markets and specialty shops. In a pinch, substitute 4 strips of lemon zest for the lemongrass and soy sauce for the fish sauce.
Slideshow: Amazing Chicken Recipes