Vietnamese Cuisine, Food & Recipes

Vietnamese Cuisine - Food & Recipes

Traditional Vietnamese cuisine is characterised by fresh ingredients, minimal use of oil, and a reliance on herbs and vegetables. Vietnamese food is often ranked as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world.

 

The most common meats used in Vietnamese cuisine are fish, chicken, pork, beef, and various kinds of seafood. The Vietnamese also have a strong vegetarian tradition influenced by Buddhist values.

 

Northern Vietnam's colder climate limits the production and availability of spices. Black pepper is used in place of chiles as the most popular ingredient to produce spicy flavors. Many notable dishes of northern Vietnam are based on crab. Fish sauce, soy sauce, prawn sauce, and limes are among the main flavoring ingredients.

 

The abundance of spices produced by central Vietnam’s mountainous terrain makes this region’s cuisine notable for its spicy food, setting it apart from the other two other regions. Hue’s culinary tradition features highly decorative and colorful food, reflecting the influence of ancient Vietnamese royal cuisine.

 

Warm weather and fertile soils of southern Vietnam enable growing of a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and livestock. As a result, foods in southern Vietnam are often vibrant and flavorful with liberal uses of garlic, shallots, and fresh herbs. Vast shorelines make seafood a staple in the diet of people in this region. Southern Vietnam has also been the region where foreign influences - Chinese, Indian, French and Thai are most prominent.

 

Someone asked me the other day what my favorite food was..."Vietnamese!" I quickly replied, "At least for the moment."

 

Why am I so attracted to this particular cuisine? I adore Indian food, can't get enough Mexican, have a passion for pizza...but there is something about Vietnamese cooking that doesn't just excite me — it seduces me. And even though I always qualify my favorite foods as being "for the moment," I'm finding that my enthusiasm for Vietnamese food is waxing and not waning.

 

Many critics shun fusion cuisine — and yet that is exactly what Vietnamese food is. But unlike the contrived fusion cooking of some avant-garde chefs, Vietnamese cooking is characterized by an inherent balance and harmony.

 

Vietnamese cuisine subscribes to the same Chinese principles of yin and yang — the balance of opposites — but takes on its own distinct personality through the use of local ingredients and indigenous spices. As in China, you will find a balance of the five flavors — sweetness, sourness, saltiness, hotness, and bitterness — cooked in stir-fries, hearty soups, rice and noodle dishes. But in Vietnam, their dishes will be laced with limes and lemongrass, light and pungent fish sauce, or wrapped in delicate lettuce leaves with fresh, feathery herbs. Neighboring Southeast Asian countries also use the same indigenous flavorings, but somehow they never quite hit the unique union of technique and taste that appears in Vietnamese cuisine.

 

The French have also contributed to Vietnamese dishes — or perhaps more appropriately, the Vietnamese have added their own finesse to French standards, particularly to European-style sauces, meats and patés. Vietnamese cold roast pork sandwiches are a Hanoi lunch staple, stuffed with fresh herbs and raw vegetables into Vietnamese-style baguettes: French rolls made softer by a subtle mixture of rice and wheat flours. Vietnamese dishes also commonly combine indigenous flavorings with such French-introduced ingredients as asparagus and potatoes.

 

In the south, Vietnam adds to its cuisine the hot and fragrant curry dishes (cari) of Indian influences, introduced through the spice trade. While northern Vietnam uses black pepper, sesame, and the oil-rich frying techniques of its Chinese roots, the southern region weaves together a lighter mix. They rely less on oil and more on grilling or water-based cooking methods, usually serving herbs and vegetables raw, with such flavorings as fresh chiles, limes, coconut milk, vinegars, tamarind, sugar cane, and of course the ubiquitous fish sauce, or nuoc mam.

 

Sophisticated, exotic, delicate, complex, fresh and light...these are the qualities of Vietnamese cuisine that seduce me. Lately, I've been experimenting with ways to whip up a fast Vietnamese-style meal whenever I'm in the mood. It's not hard to do: Vietnamese cooking naturally lends itself to quick and easy cooking, and these two Vietnamese-inspired dishes I've created are ideal meals for a busy weeknight, casual weekend, or informal dinner.

Vietnamese Dessert Recipes

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Desserts in Vietnam: Not all Vietnamese eat desserts as we know them, although an array are always on sale to tempt children and sweet-toothed adults. Generally, meals are finished off with platters of fresh fruit. Here are a few popular Vietnamese dessert recipes;Fruits In Syrup Coconut Flan With Caramel Baked Coconut Rice Pudding Banana Soup With Tapioca and … [Read more...]

Vietnamese Sauces

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Vietnamese sauce recipes commence with an important element of Vietnamese cuisine - nuoc cham or the Vietnamese dipping sauce. Nuoc cham is a fish sauce-based dipping sauce, served with spring rolls in Vietnamese restaurants and with a number of other dishes.Nuoc Cham Nuoc Leo (Peanut Sauce) Mam Nem (Fermented Anchovy Dip) Nuoc Mam Cham (Fish Sauce Dip) Nuoc … [Read more...]

Vietnam Meat Dishes Index

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Vietnamese meat dishes are many and varied, the following index to Vietnam recipes and dishes covers meats, poultry and seafood items in both traditional and modern fusion cuisine.Page 1Vietnamese Spring Rolls Fresh Spring Rolls Chicken Curry Sour Fish Head Soup BBQ Five-Spice Game Hens Tom Yam Goong  (Hot & Sour Soup) BBQ Shrimp Paste on Sugar Cane Fried … [Read more...]

Vietnamese Meat Recipes #1

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Vietnamese meat recipes in this section encompass pork, beef, chicken and seafood - accompanied with rice or noodle dishes, plus soup recipes.Vietnamese Spring Rolls Fresh Spring Rolls Chicken Curry Sour Fish Head Soup BBQ Five-Spice Game HensTom Yam Goong (Hot & Sour Soup) BBQ Shrimp Paste on Sugar Cane Fried Rice with Sausage, Shrimp and … [Read more...]

Vietnamese Soups Recipes

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Vietnamese soups recipes to round out your Vietnam meal them. Along with rice, soup is a basic item across S.E. Asia. Sometimes the meal may consist solely of a soup. Pho, a complex soup with the addition of noodles and beef, is Vietnam's gift to the rest of the world. Make your own delicious and nutritious bowl of Vietnamese pho soup is not difficult with our pho … [Read more...]

Vietnam Meat Recipes #2

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Hue Rice Chicken in Lemon Grass Lamb in Hot Garlic SauceStir-fried Lamb with Mint and Chili Shrimp on Crab Legs Stuffed Chicken Wings Vietnamese Pork Sticks Vietnamese Crepes Hue Rice (Com Huong Giang) Yield: 4 servings Ingredients3 c Cooked rice 1 tb Dried shrimp 1 tb Toasted sesame seeds 1 Stalk fresh lemon grass 2 Shallots, sliced 2 … [Read more...]

Vietnam Meat Recipes #3

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Vietnamese Mint Chicken Stuffed Squid In A Clay Pot Pork Chops with Garlic and Onions Jellyfish Salad Frog Legs in Garlic Sauce   Vietnamese Mint Chicken Yield= 1 serving IngredientsGarlic oil or flavored to -taste Vietnamese Fish Sauce 1 Tsp Sugar 1/2 cn Of Bamboo shoots 1 large-sized stalk of Green onion, diced 1/4 c of Chicken or Shrimp (cut i … [Read more...]

Vietnam Meat Recipes #4

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Shrimp On Crab Legs (Cang Cua Boc Tom) Pickled Pigs' Ears (Tai Heo Ngam Chua) Green Onion Rice Hot and Sour Fish Soup (Cahn Chua Ca) Watercressed Shrimp Soup (Canh Sa Lach Soan)Duck With Sugar Cane (Vit Tiem Mia) Vietnamese Braised Pork in Coconut Crab and Asparagus Soup (Sup Mang Tay) Crab, Shrimp, and White Fungus Soup (Sup Nam Trang) Dilled Tomato-Fish … [Read more...]

Vietnam Vegetarian Dishes

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Hot and Sour Tofu Soup Broccoli And Tofu In Spicy Almond Sauce Sweet & Sour Tofu Crisp-Fried Tofu And Greens Vegetarian Pho Bo (Vietnamese Noodle Soup) Vegetarian Vietnamese BrothVegetable Platter Scallion Cakes Congee with Vegetables Vegetable Fried Rice Fresh Spring Rolls Piquant Cauliflower Noodles With Mixed Vegetable Tofu with Eggplant and … [Read more...]

Vietnamese Seasoning

Vietnam seasonings & sauces

Seasonings in Vietnamese Cooking The Chinese seasonings of garlic, scallions and onions, fresh ginger root and soy sauce are all part of Vietnamese cookery. But what makes the cuisine most distinctive is the addition of two special condiment sauces used both in cookery and at the table : nuoc mam and nuoc cham. These two sauces represent the essence of what separates … [Read more...]