Healthy Food in Vietnam: Tofu & Tao Pho

Now in my thirties, I have clear memories of curling up on my grandfather’s lap, back when I was a small child.

He’d sit on a old wooden bed and smoke a china bowl pope, his ancient shriveled hands breaking grilled tofu into pieces and dipping the morsels into salt.

As a child, I thought that the tofu chinks looked unappealing, but the adults seemed to enjoy eating them. It was common to see cyclo drivers eating this dish by the roadside during their breaks at the time Hai Phong still had many flamboyant trees and low small houses.

If I shut my eyes I can still smell the scent of grilling tofu.

Tofu is among the healthy food in Vietnam not to be missed!

Healthy food in Vietnam
Healthy food in Vietnam

Heathy food in Vietnam


Even today grilled tofu is still offered in cheap beer bars, where customers enjoy its pungent taste. Tofu is used in all sorts of ways. Dried boiled or steamed. This ingredient however is rarely served at feasts or fancy dinners.

Most Vietnamese people consider tofu to be humble fare. It is cheap and readily available. In Asia, people have been making food from soy beans for century. Tofu and other soy products are associated with devout Buddhists, who are vegetarian for religious reasons. Soy products are used to make meat substitutes that sometimes look and taste just like meat.

Visit any market in Vietnam and you will see women selling Tofu out of flat baskets. Shoppers come to know who make the best tofu and popular vendors sell out early. In Hanoi, Dau Mo (Tofu from Mo Market) is considered a specialty, like basil from Lang Village or soy sauce from Ban Village.

The Tofu makers in Mo Village have their own secret, although all tofu contains similar ingredients. Perhaps the tofu in Mo Village observe better standards of quality control, using better ingredients and refusing to cut corners to obtain a short term profit.

Making Tofu is time consuming.

Producers are up most of the night in order to get their tofu to market at dawn. First one must grind the soy beans then filter them before cooking, cooling packaging compressing and peeling the resulting tofu. Each step requires careful and experienced hands.

Today, the old villages of Ke Mo are but a memory. The streets feature narrow shop-house and high rises. Even Mo Market is long gone, having been demolished to build a shopping centre. Food lovers in Hanoi, however still recall the excellent of Mo tofu.

Tofu in Vietnam
Tofu in Vietnam

Tao Pho

Tofu makers produce a range of products. The output of their first step of production is Tao Pho, a white, condensed pudding that is serve as a dessert with sweet syrup. Very popular with women, this is a good snack on a hot summer day.

In northern Vietnam, Tao Pho sellers often ride bicycles with a barrel of Tao Pho behind them. The vender uses a flat spoon to ladle thin layers of Tao pho into a bowl before adding syrup.

Today as people are increasingly affluent, the more sophisticated Japanese style of Tofu is gaining popularity. The purest product of the tofu cooking process this type of soft tofu may be found on buffet tables and at fancy feasts.

In my view, this type of tofu is too soft, breaking apart as soon as one takes a bite. For daily fare, I prefer the ordinary, traditional Vietnamese tofu.

Some afternoons, I sit at a roadside restaurant under a flamboyant tree and enjoy the rich taste of grilled tofu flavored with turmeric. This dish never fails to remind me of my childhood.

Good food doesn’t need to be expensive and there’s so much healthy food in Vietnam!

Good food is food that is eaten at the right time and place and that makes you feel good.

Looking for more food in Vietnam? Check out these posts:


Amazing Ways To Travel Healthy And Safe


Traveling should be an exciting and merry experience.

We get a relaxed mind and have enough time out of our busy work schedules to meditate on other vital aspects of our lives.

However, some traveling experiences can be stressful, overwhelming, and intimidating, especially when you do not plan well.

To have memorable moments and enjoy the trip, you need a proper plan to guide you. Knowing what to pack and other essential things you need is the beginning of a healthy and safe trip.

Here is what to consider during the journey.

Mind What You Eat

Healthy living starts with what goes into our bodies. You can avoid many health-related challenges when you eat healthy food. During travel, you need to be careful about what you consume. Although there is the excitement that comes with traveling, which can make you eat anything and everything along the way, you need to watch out and stay disciplined.

Bad healthy habits can get you sick and uncomfortable and spoil your fantastic journey. Plan on eating nutritious food and healthy snacks, fruits, vegetables, and avoid luxury food. Also, limit the intake portions and avoid fatty, high sugar, and salty food.

Stay Hydrated

Water is essential to your body at all times. It flushes out toxins from the body system and keeps you looking fresher and feeling relaxed from the inside out. Get an efficient and portable water filter instead of purchasing disposable plastic water bottles.

Have it filled with water and stay hydrated all through. In case you are traveling to hot areas, ensure you pack extra water. As an added advantage, staying hydrated will balance your lymph system, keeping you focused, and enabling you to remain active through the joinery.

Get Enough Sleep

A healthy and robust body needs sleep, whether in the day or at night. It boosts both mental and physical health and keeps you safe throughout your trip. You can take a nap while on transit and also once you arrive at your destination to achieve your sleep goals. Although your sleep pattern may change due to change in time zones, try to fulfill the recommendable hours per day.

You can wait till bedtime and extend your alarm and only wake up when your body and mind are fresh and fully relaxed. You can’t achieve much during the day with a fatigued body, so ensure you set aside time to take a nap to relax the spirit, mind, and body.

Be Active and Exercise

During the journey, your body may get fatigued due to prolonged sitting hours. Even if you have space to stretch up your legs, you still need to stay up and stretch your body. There are local scenes at your destination and also along the journey. You can create time to take a walk in the new town, watching out for new things as you go.

If you like physical activities like biking, hikes, skiing, find out the possibility of accessing such events in the new town. However, if you are not a fan of physical exercise, you can get out and bask on the sun to get some fresh air, taking a few steps, breathing in and out. The bottom line is to keep the body active and freshened. It keeps you safe and healthy from body pains and other health-related ailments.

Take Some Time to Meditate

Meditation has many health benefits, and it allows you to think about life away from your busy work schedule and family. You get ample time away from daily distractions to focus your mind. Even if you are traveling with friends and family, you can still create time for yourself.

If you had piled up heavy thoughts in your mind, this is the time to let go, get free, and feel relaxed. There are many emotional, mental, and physical side effects of stress. It affects your mind, nerves, joints, muscles, and other body vital organs.

So, chill out, get a journal to read, write something about life, or something you like to do or what you want to achieve in the next five years. Document what makes you happy in life, and how it contributes to your health and wellness.

Take Care of Your Physical Body

As you keep your emotional and mental status safe and healthy, don’t forget about your physical body. When out on physical activities during the trip, remember to protect your body from harmful elements like hot weather, heavy rainfall. Use protective gear during outdoor activities and other protective essentials. Take care of yourself so that you go back home sound, healthy, and safe.


How you take care of yourself during the trip determines your fulfillment. Keep it all safe and healthy so that you have thrilling and memorable moments. Maximize every opportunity to make it a joyful moment of your life by staying safe and healthy.



How to stay healthy during coronavirus (and not lose your mind)


We’ve all read those posts about how to stay healthy when traveling, or how best to avoid germs on planes. But in these confusing and uncertain times, we now need to know how best to stay healthy when not traveling for the foreseeable future. Excuse us while we cry into our travel books for a second…

Apart from the obvious tips of washing your hands before and after you touch anything or eat, practicing social distancing, and not licking people, it’s equally as important to stay healthy mentally and emotionally as we power our way through self-isolation.

So, here’s our top five tips on how to stay healthy, mentally, physically and emotionally during coronavirus.

1. Get outside and move your body

“Roc ya body, mic check, 1, 2….” Listen to M.V.P., they know what they’re talking about. We’re travelers. And we’re humans (shock!). We’re made to move. While we can’t dance the night away at a tango club in Argentina or play volleyball with our new best mates on the beach in Thailand right now, it’s still key to move our bodies.

Don’t worry, Instagram is heaving with home-based workouts from fit personal trainers who are there to help those of us who have spent too much time eating Pad Thai and drinking Chang beers for days on end.

And make sure to get fresh air when you can; it’s amazing what being outdoors can do for your mental health. Just make sure when you leave the house it’s for essential things like exercise and food shopping!

2. Keep your routine

This is probably one of the most important tips. It can be tempting to work from bed in your pyjamas or veg out on the couch all day. It’s great the first few days but trust us, it gets old quick.

Your routine might need adjusting, but it pays to have one. Get up at your normal time, shower, get dressed and put make up on if it makes you feel more put together. Some people even wear shoes around the house. We’re opting for flip flops or bare feet and a pile of sand to stand in just so we can feel like we’re on our fave beach. It’s good to dream, right?

3. Stay social

Given that most of us are stuck indoors either alone or with annoying housemates/partners/family (who we obviously still love so much!), it’s important to stay connected. FaceTime, Skype or WhatsApp your family and friends and have lunchtime video calls with colleagues. Or do what we’re doing and organise fun Monday bingo games, partake in #WineWednesday or work together as a team for the Friday virtual pub quiz!

If you’re not usually much of a social butterfly, try something that requires less effort. Netflix Party lets you and your mates watch a movie and chat about it at the same time. Or ‘attend’ virtual live gigs and meditation sessions or even a pasta-making class from the hero that is Italian grandmother Nonna Nerina!

And if you’re in a new form of long-distance relationship, set up FaceTime dinner dates. Order each other Uber Eats and wait to see what turns up, then eat together.

4. Check-in with your thoughts

Never has paying attention to our mental health been so important. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a sceptical newbie, taking some time to check-in with your thoughts can do wonders for your mood and your ability to deal with difficult situations.

Try meditation apps like Headspace or Calm and practice daily journaling to really connect with yourself. It will also help you practice gratitude, so you can remember all the things you have to be grateful for when it seems like the world just isn’t on your side.

It’s a great habit to have anyway, but especially in times like these.

5. Get creative

One of the benefits of being in lockdown is that it gives you time to get to all the things you’ve been putting off or try something new. It also gives you a change to limit your screen and social media time. We know it’s hard to do in an age where internet is life, but your future self will thank you for it.

Learn that language you’ve always wanted to be fluent in so you can put it into practice on your future travels. Or learn a new hobby, whether it’s drawing, singing, yoga, gardening or sewing. Or sift through old travel photos and videos and reminisce. That’s how our Junior Copywriter Rae is coping with not being able to travel…

Give these tips a go while you’re waiting for the day when you can explore the world again.