Vietnamese food has many qualities and very few defects: it is thin and light, not greasy and really varied (almost 500 dishes). Although it sometimes inspires, it is clearly distinguishable from the Chinese cuisine in that it is less fatty and less coated in sauces, it contains many more herbs and natural vegetables.
A fundamental ingredient definitely separates the Vietnamese and Chinese cuisines: the fish sauce, brown sauce obtained by the fermentation of salted fish. This is a national condiment unanimous, from north to south. Yet each region (North, Centre and South) has its very particular tastes. Normally Southern dishes are sweeter, the dishes of the Centre are more spicy and piquant while those of its North between.
First dish or ways from rice
There are three kinds of rice: natural rice with round white beans, glutinous rice which has opaque grains (it used to make cakes and offerings), and finally the fragrant rice recognizable by its long grain.
- Phở: Rice noodle soup and meat (chicken or beef), from the north. It varies by region. Street vendors in offering.
- Miến Lươn: Eel soup with transparent vermicellis.
- Bún Thang: Soup of rice vermicellis with broth and bits of chicken, omelet and shrimp, spring onion.
- Lẩu: Broth commonly called the "Vietnamese hot pot".
- Mì: it is a soup containing yellow noodles made with wheat flour.
- Nem: Rolled rice pancake cylinder, containing small noodles, crab, chunks of pork, onion pieces, and black mushrooms.
- Bánh cuốn: made from cooked rice pancake steamed, stuffed with ground pork and pieces of black fungus.
- Bò 7 món: 7 ways to beef, 7 beef dishes (in some specialty restaurants).
- Chả Cá: Fried fish fillet and not grilled, served with rice noodles, herbs, roasted peanuts, all scented with a few drops of Lethocerus indicus (volatile gasoline from the body of an insect).
- Ốc Nhồi: Delicious farce based on snails, wrapped in a sheet and ginger steamed.
- Chả tôm: Sugarcane sticks coated with a shrimp paste, which is always grilled.
- Canh chua: Fish soup and vegetables in sweet and sour taste because of tamarind (tamarind fruit) that you put for cooking.
- Thịt chó: Dog meat and sausages made with dog meat, especially in the Tonkin. It's a little greasy and taste can be quite loud.
- Trứng vịt lộn: The egg hatched chick whose cracks under the tooth. It is eaten whole, like the ortolan.
Vietnamese pastries and confectionery
- Bánh Chưng: Salty sticky rice cake wrapped in leaves arrowroot or coconut or banana (which gives it its green color), served on the occasion of Tet (Vietnamese New Year).
- Bánh bao: Steamed bun baked, stuffed with pork, onions, fragrant mushrooms.
- Bánh nướng, bánh dẻo: Cake made of glutinous rice flour, stuffed with candied fruit, sesame seeds, fat. Only on the occasion of the feast of the Mid-Autumn.
- Mứt: candied fruit made during the Tet holiday.
The Vietnamese dessert with fresh fruit rather than pastries: pineapple, banana, orange, papaya, grapefruit. Exotic fruits are more rare and therefore more expensive: mango, mangosteen, rambutan, longane.- Chè: sweet dessert, made from very varied ingredients: white beans or corn or even sweet potatoes. The whole is washed coconut milk.
Drink only bottled water (opened in front of you, of course). Tap water in cities is not clean, and it is strictly not recommended to drink the campaigns. There are many brands of mineral water in plastic bottles. Those who received technical assistance from French companies (Life, Lasska, Vital, the cheapest) and purified water from US companies or other technical patents (A and B, The City, The Villa La Vigie) are all beyond reproach. Vietnamese waters in glass bottles, are also healthy but sometimes have an odd taste. In hotels, the water is boiled thermos principle. A bottle (1.5 liters) of mineral water costs between 7,000 and 10,000 Dg if purchased on the street.
The national drink. Often free in restaurants or at a ridiculous price. The most common is a green tea served in small porcelain cups. The same tea is reused for many infusions: in the end, it becomes wickedly pungent! The tea bags (Lipton), who is worth what it is worth, is spreading increasingly.
It is very popular. Each region has its local beer but the Saigon Beer, Hanoi Beer, the Tiger Beer, the 333 (Ba-ba-ba) are the best known. Yet there are excellent local brands, such as Han Song Da Nang or Hue Huda Beer. In the South, we find the famous beer brand BGI (Breweries and Ice Indochina), swallowed by the Australian brand Foster.
Drink more and more widespread, in the form of drip coffee. Sometimes it's hard to drink as it is strong; mixed with milk, it helps. A few restaurants or chic cafes serve a variety of coffees, including espresso or cappuccino!
Warning: the coffee produced in Vietnam robusta and arabica not. The Robusta variety is stronger. In addition, coffee is often served very tight.