• Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine
    Eat Street's Pho Tau Bay is a Vietnamese restaurant that believes in American portion sizes. Its pho bowls are as big as satellite dishes, its banh mi are the size of tiny canoes, and you can linger there long as long as you need to take it all in.
  • Best Vietnamese Restaurant
    A soup and sandwich combo here is a filling meal for the largest, heartiest appetites, and the high-octane Vietnamese iced coffee is relatively small, but it will keep you vibrating with inspiration all day.
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.

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