Squid Bike Barbecues

By Dave Fox
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
April 18, 2009

Looking for a late night snack in Vietnam to go with your beer? Flag down a squid bike.

These bikes are typical Vietnamese ingenuity, and while dried sea creatures aren’t my favorite food, I can’t help but love the concept.

Vietnam 2009 921 Many of the local beer joints don’t sell food, but Vietnamese friends tell me you never go out drinking here without something to snack on. The solution: Here comes the squid!

Special bicycles (and occasionally motorcycles) prowl the streets at night with tall racks of dried, pressed squid. For 20,000 dong (5,000 if you’re shrewd enough to negotiate the local price), the squid biker will run a squid through a hand-cranked press and flatten it out one last time, then warm it on a mini charcoal grill attatched to the side of his bike. The squid is chewy and served with a sweet-and-spicy chile sauce for dipping.

Vietnam 2009 925 If you go out drinking in Vietnam, you have two types of bar to choose from. Some sell fruity cocktails to backpackers. Others are more authentically Vietnamese — hole-in-the-wall joints offering pint bottles of Saigon Beer, or jugs of local tap beer for around 10,000
Vietnamese dong per liter. (At the time I’m writing this, there are 17,600 dong to the US dollar.) The local watering holes usually have outdoor seating at undersized
plastic tables and chairs or stools. The seats are wobbly, and low to
the ground, but fun once you get used to them.

Published on Saturday, April 18, 2009

One Response to “Squid Bike Barbecues”

  1. August 30, 2010 at 6:01 AM

    i LOVE this.

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