9 Must-Try Dishes in Vietnam
Another vegetal ingredient rarely seen in the States but popular in Vietnam is the wild betel leaf, also known as piper sarmentosum. In its raw form it is pretty much flavorless, but when it is charred, it releases a deep, fragrant flavor almost like chard mixed with shiso. Bo la lot is a dish of ground beef seasoned with garlic and fish sauce, then wrapped in betel leaves, grilled over a charcoal flame and served with fresh cilantro and ground peanuts. It is traditionally served as part of bo bay mon (seven courses of beef) but you can find it in many corner restaurants: Just be on the lookout for that unmistakable aroma of sweet medicine and charcoal.