Vietnamese cuisine is said to be among the healthiest in the world, using less oil than many of its Asian neighbours. You’ll find plenty of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices tossed with meats such as beef, chicken, pork and seafood. There is a harmonious combination of flavours, from sweet to sour, and spicy to savoury.
Every region in Vietnam offers something different due to the varying climate– from the fertile soil of the Mekong, to the mountainous conditions of Central Vietnam.
Here we look at some popular and unique dishes, from all around Vietnam.
Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich)
If you’re familiar with Vietnamese cuisine, you’ve no-doubt heard of Banh Mi, or the Vietnamese sandwich roll. This roll is traditionally filled with pork, lettuce, carrot, cucumber, shallots, mayonnaise, coriander, soy sauce and black pepper. Of course, there are variations, from steamed chicken and even beef. The perfect Banh Mi roll is golden, crispy and crunchy. It’s an explosion of intense flavour with every bite.
Pho noodle soup is a popular breakfast dish in Hanoi. In the north of Vietnam, the broth is typically clear, while the south favour a thicker, saucier broth with more flavourful garnish.
The word ‘pho’ actually refers to the noodles in the dish themselves, but it has become synonymous with the soup. It is usually served with meat (beef or chicken), lime wedges, bean sprouts, basil, mint and chilli sauce. If you’re a little bored of your everyday packet noodles, this is definitely one to try, check out this recipe and taste it for yourself.
Cha Gio (egg rolls)
These are a fresh and lively take on the meat-filled rolls you will find as appetisers in most Asian cuisine served in the West. Cha Gio are egg rolls filled with pork, shrimp or crab, as well as mushrooms and diced vegetables. You can enjoy them on their own, or dip them in fish sauce with chilli and vinegar. Expect a light crunch, with plenty of flavour!
Who doesn’t love dessert? I know I do, and Vietnamese desserts come highly recommended if you like sweet things. Che refers to any sweet dish; from beverages and soups to puddings. Traditionally, che is made with kidney beans, tapioca, jelly, fruit and coconut cream. It can be served chilled or warm.
Vietnamese egg coffee
Most people might have eggs for breakfast, and perhaps a coffee before rushing out the door. But in Hanoi, they have egg coffee.
Egg coffee is made by combining egg yolk and sweetened condensed milk, and whisking it into a thick fluffy cream. The mixture is then poured over strong black coffee. It’s very simple to make and the result is a sweet, delectable treat!
There you have it, some authentic Vietnamese dishes and treats that you can sample on your next trip.
Check out our Vietnam adventures.
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