A Food Lover's Travel Guide to the Best of Vietnamese Food

Com Hen

Baby Basket Clams and Rice

At first glance, you might think that this dish involves chicken, but hến actually means mussels or clams (depending who you ask). Cơm hến is another prime example of mixing flavours and textures to perfection. Chilies, peanuts, sesame seeds, and cilantro make up a flavour that's worthy of some deep thinking. When you serve that on a bed of rice along with a handful of baby clams or mussels, you get a hearty meal that tastes great. The mussels add just the right amount of protein and a flavour that you probably don't have much experience with, but you should happily enjoy. It's often served with crispy bits of fried rice paper, or fried wonton wrappers. The small bowl of broth that comes with it can be spooned or poured on top, or it can be sipped on as you eat. It's a clam broth that's simple but definitely adds to the meal. Com hen is a specialty in Hue, the food capital of Vietnam. If you're in the city, get out of the tourist district and find a place that specializes in the dish. You, and your taste buds, won't be sorry.

Where To Find It:

Quán Cơm Hến Bé Nhỏ - 11 Trương Định