Vietnamese people have so many methods of preparing goat meat into delicious dishes. We not only make the typical dishes like goat curry, goat stew, and goat salad, but we also make specialty dishes like goat hotpot…it even has goat brain. We also grill various parts of the goat – including its breast. Here are our top picks for the best goat dishes in Vietnam, including Lau De – Vietnamese goat hotpot.
The Best Goat Dishes In Vietnam
Goat isn’t fancy. You can find it at a reasonable price wherever you are in Vietnam, whether it be Hanoi in the North, Saigon in the South, or Hoi An in the middle. The dishes differ throughout the length of the country when it comes to ingredients, the method of preparation, and the method of eating. Like all the food across Vietnam, one dish can vary across regions. The goat hotpot in the South is different to what you get in the North. With that in mind, read on!
1. Vietnamese Goat Salad – Goi De (Nom De)
The Vietnamese love salad. From any kind of meat, we can create a flavorful and healthy salad. Sometimes we don’t even need greens to make salad, we can make it with rice paper (click here for more information). Goat meat isn’t an exception. The nutritious goat meat combined with the freshness of the vegetables creates the perfect flavor in your mouth. So, how do you make goat salad?
Vietnamese Goat Salad Recipe
First, the goat meat is grilled and then boiled or steamed with some salt, ginger, and smashed lemongrass. When this is done, the meat is dried out and put in the fridge for ten minutes. After the meat has been dried, you can cut the goat into thin slices without compromising the shape. These slices of goat meat will then be mixed with herbs such as basil, lemongrass, shredded ginger, lime leaves, and lime juice. Some pepper, salt, and sesame will be sprinkled over the top. With a fermented soy sauce bowl, the Vietnamese goat salad is ready to eat.
2. Stir-Fried Goat With Lemongrass – De Xao Xa Ot
Lemongrass and pepper are ideal herbs and spices to mix with the rich protein of goat meat. But it doesn’t mean you can easily combine it with other protein-rich food or any cuts of meat, so you must be careful. Stir-fried meat with lemongrass always requires a special kind of meat – normally cuts from the thigh. These cuts should be small slices and you should season them with salt, fish sauce, garlic, pepper, and of course lemongrass. Stir the mixture on high heat until the meat changes color. This is when you know it’s ready. Pour everything on a plate and sprinkle some sesame on top. The last step is to enjoy the dish.
3. Grilled Five-Flavored Goat – De Nuong Ngu Vi
This dish, unlike the others, does not require cutting the goat into thin slices, as long as the goat pieces are at an acceptable thickness that you can easily eat. The five flavors to season the goat meat with are garlic, chili sauces, salt, sugar, and oil. Once seasoned, throw it on the grill and let it do its job. This dish is best eaten in cool weather, so you can feel the warmth of the grill as you make it.
4. Rare Goat With Lime – De Tai Chanh
To make this, the goat meat is cut into thin slices and poached in water. The meat slices should include the skin. Mix these poached goat slices with lime juice, ginger, garlic, chili, pepper, and lime leaves and then wait for 15 minutes as they marinate. The sour taste of the lime will lessen the strong goat taste and the chili will add the spiciness. Together they give the dish a really nice and gentle flavor. You can eat this with green bananas, lemon grass, figs, and also dip it into fermented soy sauce.
5. Goat Hot Pot (Lau De) and Grilled Goat Breast (Vu De Nuong)
Hotpot is unique because you will be given all the meat cuts and veggies raw, and then you will get to cook the soup yourself. This is the concept of hotpot – to lengthen the time of your meal and to give you more time to chat with your friends or family over a nice cup of rice wine. Not only that, but your food will always be hot as you serve yourself. Goat hotpot (Lau De) is one of the most common types of hotpot in Vietnam. You can even surprisingly consider it street food. When you go with friends, the price will be cheaper than if you are alone. Certainly, a hotpot is too much for just one person. You have to go with a group and enjoy it in an open space with a crowded setting and lively atmosphere.
You will get a hotpot of broth and some herbs. Everything else will be given to you on plates and you’ll add in your desired proportions. Your hotpot will come along with a gas stove so that you can keep the pot boiling at all times during the meal as you cook your raw meat and veggies. When it comes to Vietnamese goat hotpot, not only will you get veggies and goat meat, but you will get all parts of the goat – from breast to organs to brain. It’ll definitely be a fun and unique experience.
The most important part of a hotpot is its broth, and what makes the broth here spectacular are herbs and other ingredients. Normally, it will be mushrooms, sweet potatoes, lotus root, lotus seed, and some other secret ingredients that the restaurants do not dish out (pun intended). The side dishes you can order are varied, including veggies such as cabbage, morning glory, tofu, and of course, noodles.
You will get all parts of the goat – from breast to organs to brain.
Grilled goat breast is also served in the Vietnamese goat hotpot restaurant. The breast is cut into slices and you will have a coal grill to grill it over. You can also grill the other veggies such as okra and morning glory. Since we are talking about eating this dish in Saigon, it’ll be rolled in rice paper, in typical Saigon-fashion, with other greens. These include banana flower, star fruit, and perilla leaves. And this time, dip your roll in the fermented tofu sauce mixed with egg. It’s top-notch.
Where To Find The Best Goat Dishes
Ninh Binh province, where the famous tourist attraction, Trang An, and Tam Coc are, has the best goat dishes in Vietnam. So for sure, you should pay a visit there, enjoy the beauty of the area and the food. However, if you don’t have a chance to go there, Saigon will suffice.
Address: Lau de 45 – 45 Ngo Thoi Nhiem, D.3, HCMC
Opening hours: 4 PM – 11 PM
Price: 240,000 VND for a two-person hotpot,
60,000 – 140,000 VND for other side dishes
Having been around for more than 30 years, Lau de 45 is a reliable spot for you to try the best goat hotpot in town. You will also find the other Vietnamese goat dishes mentioned above. Many locals know of this place and it’s never empty. You will absolutely love the atmosphere and of course, don’t forget to order rice wine and “cheers” with some local Vietnamese!