Tantalize Your Tastebuds in Vietnam
I love Southeast Asian cuisine. It’s definitely up there in my list of favourites, and for good reason. This week on Food Freeway, I’m featuring Vietnam! So get your taste buds ready for a delicious adventure…
Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia, and is neighbored by Cambodia, China, and Laos. The land provides a bounty of fresh food for the Vietnamese – rice is grown all over the country, as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables. The South China Sea, which lies to the country’s east, and the Gulf of Thailand, to the west, coupled with plenty of fresh water sources inland contribute a vast amount of seafood to the diets of the locals. Dishes are known to be fresh, flavourful, and often very spicy. Yum!
The history of Vietnam plays a large part in the food, as do its neighbors. As one nears the bordering countries, the cuisine tends to take on a similar flavour.
Common ingredients used in Vietnamese cuisine include: fruits (pineapple, papaya, mango, guava, coconut, banana, apples, passionfruit, lychee, durian, jackfruit, dragonfruit, rambutan, watermelon, pomello, and mangosteen); vegetables (bean sprouts, cucumber, carrots, onions, mushrooms, scallions, lettuce, jicama, yam, daikon, watercress, eggplant, and cabbage); meat, poultry, and seafood (beef, chicken, pork, fish, shrimp, eggs, crab, sausage, catfish, mackerel, ); herbs (lemongrass, chilies, basil, mint, garlic, ginger, curry, turmeric, coriander, and spearmint); other (rice, noodles, peanuts, crackers, flour).
Vietnam is also known for its not so conventional ingredients. Dog meat, worms, fermented fish, reptiles, mice, animal organs (brains and testicles included!) can be found at street stalls and in restaurants throughout the country.
Common dishes include: Phở (an extremely common noodle soup made with a delicious, clear broth and meat. Vegetables are sometimes added.), Lẩu (sour and spicy soup with vegetables, meat, and seafood), Gỏi cuốn (Vietnamese salad rolls – made of shrimp or pork, vermicelli, and salad, wrapped in rice paper, dipped in sauce before eating), and Xôi (a somewhat sweet, coconut sticky rice).
The French influence is evident in Vietnam, with an abundance of French details like baguettes and pastries. One example of this is the Bánh Pâté Chaud – a flaky pastry filled with meat.
Have you ever been to Vietnam? If so, what was your favourite dish? Stay tuned, on Wednesday here at Food Freeway there will be delicious Vietnamese recipe for you to try out!1 comment