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.
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.
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... Read more
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 wit... Read more
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 1 Vi... Read more
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 Roll... Read more
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 wit... Read more
Hue Rice Chicken in Lemon Grass Lamb in Hot Garlic Sauce Stir-fried Lamb with Mint and Chili Shrimp on Crab Legs Stuffed Chicken Wings Vietnamese Pork Sticks Vietnamese Crepes Hue Rice (Com... Read more
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 Ingredients Garli... Read more
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 W... Read more
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 Broth Vegeta... Read more
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 d... Read more
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