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Home >> Vietnam >> Vietnam Food

Vietnam Food

Food in Vietnam

Influenced by France, China and other Southeast Asian countries, Vietnamese food is somehow a mixture of the kinds in these countries. Northern Vietnam is considered as the major birthplace of Vietnamese culture, many famous Vietnamese dishes such as Pho and Banh Tom derive from this part. Generally speaking, dishes in northern part is more traditional and strict with ingredients and condiments, people in southern Vietnam prefer sweet food and those in the central part serve small dishes more often, the food in the central Vietnam is more spicy. Food referred below are only some popular ones since different ingredients and cooking ways make the Vietnamese food so various that can hardly introduce all of them.


Nem Ran or Cha Gio (Fried Spring Roll)

Named as Nem Ran and Cha Gio respectively in the north and south of Vietnam, fried spring roll has long been a preferred food on special occasions such as Vietnamese New Year and other family parties. Although Nem Ran ranks among Vietnam's much-appreciated specialty dishes, it is very easy to prepare. Ingredients of the Nem Ran is comprised of lean minced pork, sea crabs or unshelled shrimps, thin-top mushrooms, dried onions, eggs, pepper, salt, etc. All are mixed thoroughly before being wrapped with flat rice cakes into small rolls. These rolls are then fried in boiling oil until crispy.


Pho (Rice Noodle Soup)

Pho is the most popular food among the Vietnamese population, especially preferred by Hanoi people. Like hot green tea which has its particular fragrance, pho also has its special taste and smell. Having a sweet-smelling bowl of Pho would let you experience the complete flavor of the local dish. The grated rice noodle is made of Gao Te, a best variety of fragrant rice. People generally use stewed chicken or bones of cows together with their fillets and gingers to make broth, thus come the Pho Bo (Pho with beef) and Pho Ga (pho with chicken meat). Pho is a special soup in Vietnam which is convenient to prepare and healthy to eat.


Banh Tom (Crispy Shrimp Pastry)

Although Banh Tom is available almost everywhere in Vietnam, it is best to have a try in Hanoi since it is a popular snack from there. Sweet and juicy shrimp nest on the crispy sweet potato fritters made from flour and sweet potato with condiments, and serve with raw vegetable salad and dipping sauce, Banh Tom should be eaten hot and fresh.


Banh Chung (Sticky Rice Cake)

This Vietnamese dish is traditionally eaten on the Lunar New Year of the country, but actually it is available at any time of a year. Bang Chung is made of soaked glutinous rice, pork meat with skin and fat, and green beans paste wrapped in a square of fresh bamboo leaves, giving the rice a green color after boiling. Even more fun than unwrapping the bundle of sticky rice and pork is the legend of its inception. Ruler Hung Vuong challenged his princes to present to him the most delicious symbolic dish they could find to honor the New Year. The winner would become his successor. Prince Lang Lieu devised Banh Chung and won both the competition and the throne.


Cha Ca (Grilled Minced Fish)

Cha Ca has been served in Vietnam for more than 100 years. This kind of fish cooking was invented by a family in Hanoi, therefore a street in Hanoi was named as Cha Ca Street. A wide variety of fish can be used in this dish, but the best one is Hemibagrus (Ca lang). Fish bone is separated and only fish meat is kept to be marinated in salt before being grilled. People can add different condiments including coriander, dill, mint, shallots to the fish according to their tastes.


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