Traditional Vietnamese dishes are quite similar to that of Chinese dishes because of the strong Chinese influence that has been on Vietnam for many years. Although, this doesn’t make the dishes any less attractive or delicious and it’s surely worth tasting all the tasty Vietnamese dishes you can get your hands on!
The most significant difference between the two is that the Vietnamese use fish sauce rather than soya sauce. The most popular ingredients in Vietnamese cooking are kaffir lime, coriander and Vietnamese mint.
As it is an Asian country the main contents of every dish is still rice in all its types of glory, which is consumed at any time of the day. The most popular type is the glutinous rice called ‘Gao nep’, which is sticky when cooked and can also be used in the making of desserts.
In meat, the most popular is poultry, especially duck, while pork comes in at a close second. There is also a large variety of sea food in Vietnamese cuisine because of its long coastline. However, if you are a vegetarian, you needn’t worry, as there are quite a few dishes to cater for your needs.
A French Connection
The modern Vietnamese kitchen takes their influence from the French kitchen, which is why in a Vietnamese kitchen you can find a French pastry with cheese filling, as well as home grown tomatoes and coffee. This is the most visible influence of French cuisine we can see in central part of the country. On the south side you can see vineyards growing their own vines.
Three Culinary Regions
North of Hanoi, they use soya sauce more so than in other regions and there are a lot of dishes made from snakes and frogs. Central Vietnam is popular for its large variety of fruit and vegetables and the south is popular for its fishes and all kinds of sea food.
‘Nem’, are very thin rice cakes made with rice flour. They can be fried but can also be eaten raw with several types of dips. The filling for Nem can be prawns, meat or both.
‘Pho’, is a type of soup like stock soup with pasta and any add on. Traditionally, it is made in two types, Pho bo which is with beef and Pho ga which is with chicken. Recently however, they are modified with all kinds of mixes. The add on for the soup is not cooked together with the soup but only slightly burnt when the soup is boiling and taking out quickly, that’s the reason why they do not use pork for the soup. For a more enriched flavour, they add fresh green coriander and salt it with fish sauce. Pho soup is a popular dish all over Vietnam; they eat it for breakfast, dinner and supper.
If you are interested in sampling different types of cuisines and experiencing a different culture and religion, Vietnam should be high on your holiday list.