Vietnam 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.

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 Cuisine, Food & Recipes

Vietnamese braised pork ribs

Braised Pork Ribs

Ribs are not always baked or grilled, and these ribs are “oven braised” with a Vietnamese spice mixture, making them succulent, juicy, and very tender. You can even braise them a day ahead and keep them refrigerated in their juices, because they reheat nicely. Ingredients 2 medium shallots, finely chopped 2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layer removed, lightly […]

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Banh Cam

Banh Cam & Banh Ran – deep-fried Glutinous Rice Balls

Banh cam and banh ran are nearly identical to one another, albeit with subtle regional differences. Crisp on the outside and chewy inside, these golden-fried glutinous balls are coated with sesame seeds and filled with sweetened mung bean paste. They are one of the most popular desserts across Vietnam. Bánh rán is a deep-fried glutinous rice ball […]

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Bun Cha - Rice Vermicelli & Pork Meatballs

Bun Cha – Rice Vermicelli & Pork Meatballs

Rice vermicelli Rice vermicelli (“bún”) is a food staple across the entire country of Vietnam. Bún cha is a Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and noodles, thought to have originated from Hanoi, Vietnam. It would be foolish indeed to Hanoi without trying authentic bún cha. The combination comes with grilled pork sausage patties, a basket of herbs, […]

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Canh - Vietnamese chicken & vegetable soup

Canh – Vietnamese Chicken & Vegetable Soup

  The Ingredients 200 g chicken (7 oz) thinly sliced against the grain 1/2 tsp each pepper, chicken stock 1/2 tsp garlic minced 1 inch ginger 2 tsp fish sauce 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 bunch leafy vegetables choy sum, bok choy, mustard greens etc. Vietnamese “Canh” Soups Vietnam’s soups are many and varied. The southern regions sour soups or “canh chua” are […]

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vietnam-husband-and-wife-cake

Vietnamese Dessert Recipes

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 […]

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Vietnamese Sauces

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 […]

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Vietnam Meat Dishes Index

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 Vietnamese Spring Rolls Fresh Spring Rolls Chicken Curry Sour Fish Head Soup BBQ Five-Spice Game Hens Tom Yam Goong  (Hot & Sour Soup) BBQ Shrimp […]

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Vietnamese Meat Recipes #1

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 Hens Tom Yam Goong (Hot & Sour Soup) BBQ Shrimp Paste on Sugar Cane Fried Rice with Sausage, […]

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Vietnamese Soups Recipes

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 […]

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Vietnam Meat Recipes #2

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 Huong Giang) Yield: 4 servings Ingredients 3 c Cooked rice 1 tb Dried shrimp 1 tb Toasted sesame seeds 1 Stalk fresh lemon […]

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