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The Cuisine of Vietnam

Tours to Vietnam are becoming more and more popular because there are so many things to do and see in Vietnam. It is not an expensive place to visit, so there are many affordable tours from which to choose.

The Cuisine of Vietnam

People like to visit Vietnam for many different reasons. Some choose to visit the big cities like Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to the inhabitants; or Hanoi, the country’s capital. Some people enjoy the beaches, the natural beauty, the Mekong Delta, and historic cities like Hue and Hoi An.

No matter what your reason is for visiting Vietnam, and no matter where you find yourself during your tour, you are going to need to eat. And the cuisine of Vietnam is delicious and full of variety and maybe even some surprises.

Vietnamese cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients, its use of herbs and vegetables, and its minimal use of oil. It is also known for its many herbs and spices: these include things like basil, bird’s eye chili, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, mint, and lemongrass. Other ingredients are fish sauce, shrimp paste, soy sauce, and, of course, rice!

There are many ways in which Vietnamese dishes are prepared. Some of these are battered then deep fried, boiled, braised, dry pan fried, dry pan roasted, fried, grilled, pan seared, simmered, steamed, stewed, and stir fried.

A typical Vietnamese family meal would include some of the following: rice; meat, fish, seafood, or tofu; vegetables that are either fresh, steamed, or pickled; one of the many different kinds of Vietnamese soup dishes; a stir fried dish; dipping sauces; pickled relishes; and fruit for dessert. Everyone has their own bowl of rice, and then the other dishes are placed in the middle of the table and shared among all the family members.

Pho is one of the most popular and well-known Vietnamese dishes. This is a noodle soup made from a clear meat broth along with either beef or chicken, spring onion, bean sprouts, and different kinds of fresh herbs.

Bun Rieu is another noodle soup. This one is made with thin rice noodles served in a tomato-based broth along with bean sprouts, fresh herbs, shrimp paste, tofu, and tamarind. Other soups without noodles include dishes like sour soup with bean sprouts, fish, herbs, pineapple, tamarind, and tomatoes; asparagus and crab soup; and rice porridge with meat.

As you might expect, rice dishes abound in Vietnam. Some rice dishes come from the Chinese region of Yangzhou. In the historic city of Hue, rice with clams is a popular dish. Bo luc lac is a rice dish made with beef, cucumbers, onions, pepper, soy sauce, and tomatoes. Sticky rice is served with coconut milk and is sweet and tasty.

Steamed bun dumplings are popular: they can be filled with pork, quail eggs, onions, mushrooms, or vegetables. Rice dumplings are stuffed with pork and shrimp in Hue. They are wrapped and served in a banana leaf.

Other dishes include spring rolls and summer rolls; French-inspired sandwiches filled with meat, cucumber, pickled carrot, pickled daikon, and jalapenos; papaya salad, lotus stem salad, water spinach salad, and tofu salad; various kinds of curries; and lots of pickled vegetable dishes.

So bring an empty stomach and try some of the tasty treats that await you during your tour of Vietnam!

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