Vietnamese Food

vietnamese street food

One of the greatest gifts we have gotten from the 21st century is the gift of globalization. Globalization is what has brought people from different corners of the world closer together, and we are now able to develop a better understanding and eve an appreciation for different cultures and ways of life. One great way you can learn about another culture is to travel to the country and learn there, another way you can do it is by reading their stories, and lastly, eating their food.

Food is something we can all relate to, and by eating and sharing food from different cultures, you develop an appreciation for different diets that are a result of different lifestyles. For the sake of this article, we will be limiting the discussion to just Vietnamese food. Now, Vietnamese food is very light, fragrant, and healthy. This is because they use fresh herbs and vegetables, a mix of different proteins, and have lighter broths and sauces. If you cannot travel to Vietnam to experience the food, you can still go to your local Vietnamese restaurant and give it a try.

vietnamese food tourNow, Vietnamese food has grown popular over the years, and the number of Vietnamese establishments has been increasing every day, so to help you find the best vietnamese restaurant, we are going to talk about some dishes that you should be looking for in your restaurant options list. Of course, the taste is subjective, and you might prefer other options, so you needn’t feel disheartened if you do not find yourself feeling the food in one restaurant because you can always go to another place and try again.


Pho is the dish that Vietnam is recognized for, and every restaurant that you go to will most likely offer it. Now, a good restaurant will serve you meat-based Pho, and the broth should ideally be cooking for a long time. Longer cooking time to make the broth ensures a deeper flavor profile. Pho is essentially a noodle soup that contains protein, rice noodles, and an assortment of fresh herbs and sauces like Hoisin and Sriracha that you can add to your liking.

Banh Mi

If you are looking for a sandwich, then the Banh Mi is the way to go. Traditional Banh Mi that should use a French baguette, pickled vegetables, butter, soy sauce, and pate. However, most restaurants today will offer other options like pork belly, sausages, fried egg, and pork loin, and so on. This is another staple item in Vietnamese cuisine that you should in most establishments.

Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls

The Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, also known as Goi Cuon is a great starter that everyone loves. This is a lighter alternative to fried spring rolls that you find in Chinese cuisine since they use a rice paper wrap as opposed to deep frying the strips. The rice paper is filled with different vegetables and different proteins and is then rolled up and presented with different dipping sauces. This is a very light appetizer and makes for a great introduction to the world of Vietnamese food.

authentic vietnamese food

When people start talking about their favorite Asian cuisine, they will usually talk about Indian food or Thai or Korean food, and while each of these cuisines and countries does have many great dishes and their popularity is justified, what a lot of people end up doing is neglecting other great cuisines, and Vietnamese food makes it to the list of underrated Asian cuisine.

Yes, Pho happens to be famous and a lot of people do love it, but, it isn’t all of Vietnamese cuisine. Yes, dishes like Pho and Banh Mi can be considered to be the National dishes of Vietnam, but they aren’t everything, and a lot of people do not venture beyond them to discover other hidden culinary gems found in Vietnamese food.

Vietnamese food happens to be incredibly fragrant because of the abundance of fresh herbs in the food, and it is also incredibly light, healthy, and yet full-bodied. Vietnamese food has a delicate balance of every flavor and is deserving of a lot more love. Now, if you are new to the world of Vietnamese food, you can keep on reading the rest of this article because we are doing a rundown of commonly Vietnamese spices so that you know what you will most likely be getting the next time you want to order Vietnamese food.

vietnamese food near meNow before we start, it is important to remember that the use of these spices tends to vary regionally, so they are used differently and some are more preferred than others in different regions of the country.

  • We will first talk about the commonly used spices that are derived from vegetables. As we mentioned before, Vietnamese food is incredibly fragrant and light, so their commonly used vegetable spices happen to include coriander, cilantro, basil, cumin, shallots, green onion, chili leaves, lime leaves and more. All of these are very fragrant vegetables, and each of them combines together beautifully for stocks and soups.
  • If we refer to root vegetable-based spices, then you will find onion, garlic, turmeric, and ginger is the more commonly used spices.
  • Fruit-based spices in Vietnamese cuisine usually includes cardamom, lemon, tamarind, chili, grapefruit, and pineapple.
  • Coconut milk, powder, and mushrooms also happen to be a staple in Vietnamese food.
  • Fermentation is also a huge part of the process of Vietnamese food, and you will find that fermented vinegar, especially white vinegar is heavily used in Vietnamese cuisine for their dishes, for dips, and for giving their salads a nice, sour touch.
  • One more very important sauce that is the base of a lot of Vietnamese food happens to be fish sauce. Like the name suggests, the sauce is made from fish like mackerel, anchovy, and so on. It has a slightly pungent smell and taste, but it tends to blend well with other Vietnamese flavors giving a nice, umami undertone to whatever is being cooked.

You now have a basic idea of what usually goes into most Vietnamese dishes, so a combination of some of these spices will be necessary, and now that you understand this better, you can be more courageous with your order the next time.

vietnamese food

One of the greatest advantages of globalization is how easy it has made it for us to understand, appreciate, and connect with different cultures. You can find districts and centers in big cities that are allocated to celebrating other cultures, be it China Town, Korea Town, and so on. One of the best ways you can learn about a culture is to eat their food because the food will always give you the full story.

We are all privileged enough to be able to go out and find any kind of restaurant you need, be it an Indian restaurant, a Malay spot, a Korean BBQ place, etc. A lot of us have been able to try different kinds of cuisines this way, so if you are currently looking for the next new cuisine to try out, then Vietnamese is the way to go.

If you have tried Thai food or happen to like Far East Asian flavors more in general, then the Vietnamese diet might be something for you to appreciate as well. Vietnamese food is a lot like Thai food in the sense that the same ingredients can be found in both cuisines, but the way they are used and taste, in the end, are vastly different.

vietnamese cuisineOne of the Mother sauces in Vietnamese food happens to be fish sauce. Now, fish sauce does not sound appealing at first, but we can assure you that you do not get an overwhelming fishy essence that you might be assuming it does. Fish sauce has a delicate, umami flavor profile that can give a very full-bodied feel to otherwise delicate food. Fresh herbs and vegetables like basil, bean sprouts, and chilies, etc. are also used in many Vietnamese dishes.

You will find a bit of French influence when it comes to Vietnamese food, especially if you look into the sandwiches like the Banh Mi, which utilizes a baguette, but at the same time, the pork sandwich also uses a mix of pickled vegetables, making for a delicious treat. One of the greatest things about Vietnamese food is that everything is very well-balanced and healthy. Their food is not overwhelmingly spicy, nor is it heavy. Their diet consists mostly of meat, soups, rice noodles, and other simple meals. This is quite the contrast when you compare their flavors to the kind you would find in Thai food which is a lot more robust, rich, and flavor-forward.

The fact that Vietnamese food is so light is part of the reason why you should give it a shot. Apart from that, another important aspect of Vietnamese food culture is coffee.  The Vietnamese are very big on coffee and you will find different variations of coffee being consumed throughout the country, but if you want to keep things simple, you can just try out the plain Vietnamese coffee. This is a concentrated coffee that is sweetened with condensed milk, making for a rich drink that can be consumed both cold and hot depending on your preference.