Asian Vietnam Food Recipes

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Preserved Mixed Vegetables (Do Thua)   Preserved Cabbage (Bap Cai Muoi Xoi)
Fish Sauce Dip (Nuoc Nam Cham)   Preserved Mustard Greens (Cai Chua)
Pickled Spring Onions (Cu Kieu)   Fermented Anchovy Dip (Nam Nem Cham)
Yellow Bean Sauce (Nuoc Tuong)   Pickled Bean Sprouts (Dua Gia)
Vietnamese Fish Stew (Mam Kho)   Clam Rice (Com Nghieu)
Stir-fried Vegetables with Fish Sauce (Rau Xao)   Imperial Fried Rice (Com Hoang Bao)
Stir-fried Water Spinach with Yellow Bean Sauce (Rau Muong Xao Tuong)   Pumpkin Braised in Coconut Milk (Canh Bi Ro Ham Dua)
Fried Tofu with Lemongrass and Five Spice (Dau Hu Chien Sa)   Grilled Eggplant Salad with Crabmeat (Ca Tim Nuong)
Clam Soup with Starfruit and Herbs (Canh Nghieu)   Sweet and Sour Fish Soup (canh chua ca Loc)
Carrot and Radish Pickles (Ca Rot)   Peanut Sauce (Sot Dau phong)
Soy Sauce Dip (Nuoc Tuong Toi Ot)   Tomato Sauce (Sot Ca Chua)
Vietnamese Steamed Egg with Pork and Fungus (Thit chung Trung)   Shrimp Mousse on a Sugar Cane Skewer (Chao Tom)
Steamed Fresh Rice Four Rolls (Banh Cuon)   Hue Spring Rolls (Cuc)
Hue Shrimp and Vegetable Pancakes (Banh Khoai)   Cured Sour Pork Sausage with Garlic (Nem Chua)
Lotus Stem Salad with Shrimp (Goi Ngo Sen)   Squid Salad (Goi Muc)
Vietnamese Pork Sausage with Fungus (cha luan)   Young Jackfruit Salad (Goi Mit Tron)


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Sweet and Sour Sauce (Sot Chua Ngot)   Vegetable Stock (Nuoc Leo Rau Cai)
Pork Rice Paper Rolls (Bi Cuon)   Caramel Syrup (Nuoc Mau)
Crabs Simmered in Beer (Cua Hap Bia)   Stuffed Squid (Muc Nhoi Thit)
Whole Fish with Ginger Lemongrass Sauce (Ca Mu Chien Voi Gung)   Crisp Soft Shell Crabs/Oysters and Clams with Sweet and Sour Sauce (Cua Va Nghiru Lan Bot Chien Gion)
Pork Stewed in Coconut Juice (Thit Heo Kho Nuoc Dua)   Grilled Pork Meatballs (Nem Nuonq)
Crabs with Tamarind Sauce (Cua Rang Vot Sot Me)   Stir-fried Squid with Vegetables and Pineapple (Muc Xao Thap Cam)
Honey Roasted Chicken (Ga Quay Mat Ong)   Braised Pork with Fish Sauce (Thit Heo Kho Tieu)
Pineapple Tartlets (Banh Nuong Nhan Thom)   Chicken Curry in Coconut (Cai Ri Ga Nuoc Cot Dua)
Banana Blossom Salad with Duck (Goi Vit Bap Chuoi)   Minced Salmon with Sesame Seed Rice Crackers (Luon Xao Lan Xuc Banh Trang Me)
Snails Stuffed with Minced Pork (Oc Nhoi Thi)   Braised Duck with Ginger (Vit Kho Gung)
Sautéed Frogs' Legs or Chicken Wings with Lemongrass (Dui Ech Xao Sa Ot)   Stir-fried Chicken Chunks with Mango and Cashews (Ga Xao Hot Dieu)
Vietnamese Beef Hot Pot (Bo Nhung Dam)   Husband and Wife Cakes (Banh Phu The)
Spicy Duck in Orange Sauce (Vit Nau Cam)   Quick Banana Coconut Cake (Banh Chuoi Nuong)
Slush ice Lychee in Coconut Milk   Fragrant Beef Stew (Bo Kho)
Bananas and Sago Pearls in Coconut Cream (Che Chuoi Chung)   Steamed Rice Flour and Mung Bean Cakes with Coconut Sauce (Banh Goi)
Grilled Beef Rolls Wrapped in Wild Betel Leaves (Bo La Lot)   Grilled Pork Skewers with Rice Noodles (Bun Thit Nuong)
Marinated Grilled Squid (Muc Nuong)   Spicy Jumbo Shrimp (Tom Cang Kho)
Braised Fish with Galangal Sauce (Ca Chep Kho Rieng)   River Fish Stew with Tomato
Salt, Pepper and Lime Mix (Muoi Tieu Chanh)   Shrimp Rice Paper Rolls Goi cuon
Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Chado)   Chicken Stock (Nuoc Leo Ga)
Beef Stock (Nuoc Leo Bo)   Grilled Beef Rolls
Shrimp and Green Mango Salad (Goi Xoai Xanh Tom Hap)   Braised Mushrooms with Soy Sauce (Nam Xao Nuoc Tuong)
Cabbage Salad with Chicken (Goi Ga Bap Cai)   Pomelo Salad (Goi Buoi)
Crab Soup with Tofu and Rice Noodles (Bun Rieu)   Beef Noodle Soup (pho Bo)
Beef and Pork Leg Soup (Bun Bo Gio Heo)   Hanoi Chicken Noodle Soup (Bun Thang)
Cabbage Roll Soup (Canh Bap Cai Cuon Thil)   Preserved Pork Head Meat (Dua Dau Heo)


What is Vietnamese Cuisine? Vietnamese food is lighter and more refreshing. It uses crisp, uncooked vegetables, subtle seasonings, raw herbs, and unique flavor combinations. Often described as textural, with fresh, sharp flavors, it is also more tropical and fragrant than Chinese food. At the heart of Vietnamese cuisine, with its hearty kick and unique aroma, is the salty, pale brown fermented fish sauce known as nuoc mam. The cuisines of Cambodia, Thailand and Burma use a similar sauce. However the Vietnamese variety seems to have a more pungent flavor.

Mandatory in Vietnamese cooking, nuoc mam is made by layering fresh anchovies with salt in huge wooden barrels. This process takes about six months and involves pouring the liquid which drips from the barrel back over the layers of anchovies. The grading of nuoc mam is as sophisticated as the grading of fine olive oils. A bowl of steaming rice topped with this fragrant sauce is a culinary treat in itself.

Nuoc mam in its purest form has a strong smell and incredibly salty flavor which renders it an acquired taste for non-Vietnamese. It is certainly stronger than Thai nam pla and is used in marinades and sauces, for dressing salads and in cooking. Vietnamese rarely expect a foreigner to enjoy the taste, but are delighted when one does. Easier on the unaccustomed palate is nuoc mam cham, which is the ubiquitous dip made of nuoc mam diluted with lime juice, vinegar, water, crushed garlic and fresh red chilies. Nuoc mam cham is used as a dipping sauce on the table, served with dishes like cha gio (spring rolls), or simply as a dip for pieces of fish or meat.

What also sets the cuisine apart from that of other Southeast Asian countries is the pervasive use of fresh leaves and herbs, which come in as many as a dozen different varieties. The use of dill in cha ca, Hanoi's famous fish dish and also in fish congee, is likely borrowed from the French, however the extensive use of a variety of raw herbs nevertheless seems uniquely Vietnamese.

While Vietnamese restaurants in other regions of the world rarely manage to offer more than one kind of mint, basil or cilantro, markets throughout Vietnam sell a remarkable variety of herbs. Several varieties of the mint and basil family do not grow outside the country, and there are also some unusual, full-flavored leaves, like the deep-red spicy perilla leaf, tia to, and the pungent saw-leaf herb or long coriander that are specific to the cuisine as well.

Every pho shop has a huge plate of raw herbs set on each table, and a large plate also appears with an array of dishes, from grilled, marinated beef to cha dum (a type of pâté). But what do you do with the herbs? Sometimes, as in the case of pho, they are stirred into the steaming soup; with other dishes they are used as wrappers, together with rice papers or lettuces, and are featured in Vietnamese shrimp and chicken salads. The herbs are also served with ban xeo, a kind of crêpe enclosing shrimp, pork, mung beans and bean sprouts. Certainly the use of these fresh herbs and leafy green vegetables is part of the appeal of Vietnamese food, providing fresh flavors, beautiful aromas and many interesting textural variations.
Other factors which contribute to the subtlety and uniqueness of Vietnamese food are the refined cooking techniques, the often unusual serving of varying dishes and the combination of flavors.

Modern Vietnamese cuisine is a marriage of the old and the new. Recipes from past generations coupled with new dishes created for the increasingly sophisticated and well-traveled local consumers. A good example is thit kho to, pork cooked slowly in a claypot, a dish of peasant origins which now appears on Vietnamese restaurant menus alongside cua rang me, an innovative fried crab dish, richly flavored with tamarind. The traditional Hanoi beef soup, pho, served with noodles, bean sprouts and fresh herbs, has gone through many transitions, but remains as tasty today as in the past.

The sometimes lengthy preparation times and cooking processes required by Vietnamese cuisine can render it something of a luxury for people with busy lives, so many chefs and teachers within Vietnam have begun experimenting with new methods that preserve the spirit of the cuisine, but allow it to be prepared quickly and simply at home. For example, deep-fried squid, which is traditionally made with minced squid combined with egg, wrapped in rice paper and then fried, is today being made with whole pieces of squid to save time.

The cuisine is based on rice, fish and fresh vegetables. Little oil is used in cooking, except for deep-frying and salads are lightly dressed. Healthy, cleansing soups such as the tasty canh chua thom ca loc are featured on menus, fresh fruit and delicious homemade yogurt are often served for dessert, and drinks like freshly squeezed sugar cane juice are widely available. Vietnamese food could become as popular as Chinese and Thai. France, Australia and the United States in particular, are already key centers for Vietnamese food. However, there is nothing like eating at a smart new restaurant in a converted French villa in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnamese food, with its wide variety of textures and tastes, is surprisingly easy to cook. An entire meal can easily be prepared in a single wok or a sauté pan. While preparation has traditionally been complex and time-consuming, modern conveniences such as the food processor make the work faster and easier.

The fresher the ingredient, the better the food is especially true of Vietnamese cooking. The various herbs and lettuces are almost always served raw, and salads are never overdressed, so that the full flavors are present. Vegetables and fish in particular, which make up a large part of the Vietnamese diet, are gently cooked and lightly seasoned, allowing the true flavors of the food to come through.

In addition to the ubiquitous and essential fish sauce or nuoc mam, there are several key ingredients which appear in many of the recipes that require considerable preparation. Ingredients such as garlic, shallots, chili, lemongrass, roasted peanuts and ginger, that have traditionally been prepared with a mortar and pestle, can be easily managed with a food processor or a blender.

Asian shallots are deep-fried and used as a garnish. Alternatively, French shallots can be sliced very thinly, sprinkled lightly with salt, then gently pressed with a dry towel to dehydrate before frying. Nuoc mam, salt, garlic, pepper, sugar and fried shallots are the seasonings used in almost every Vietnamese dish.

The cooking methods most commonly used in Vietnamese kitchens are stir-frying, deep-frying and grilling. Stir-fry recipes are cooked in a wok, in either oil or pork fat over a very hot flame, for a short period of time. Sautéing in a large skillet is an alternative method, although not nearly as easy. Grilling is also an important method of Vietnamese cooking that remains as popular and as practical as ever. Using a barbecue is one of the easiest and most effective cooking methods, since grilling over an open flame imparts very distinct and essential flavors that many of the recipes depend upon.


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