Zesty, zippy sauces and pungent fresh herbs are just some of the ingredients making traditional Vietnamese food incredible. By blending both the intense historical influences and traditional local ingredients, real Vietnamese food is a completely unique taste experience. If you wish to create true Vietnamese flavours at home, these tips will open the door to an amazing taste adventure.
It’s true simmering a box of stock, blanching rice noodles and thinly slicing some beef from the supermarket will create a speedy version of Vietnam’s famous soup, but it will never taste as amazing as traditional Pho. Combining incredibly flavoured homemade stock, amazingly tender meat, soft rice noodles and the final personal touches- finely sliced onions, bouquets of fresh herbs including chillies, coriander, mint, Thai basil, crunchy bean sprouts as well as salty fish sauce and chilli sauce make traditional Pho the kind of Vietnamese cooking you’ll want to eat every day!
Vietnamese cuisine is an amazing balancing act. In most recipes, five flavours - sweet, spicy, sour, bitter and salty - are combined with textures, colours and temperatures! Although home pantries won’t store every essential Vietnamese ingredient, a traditional rice noodle salad bowl with layers of soft noodles, crunchy salad leaves, fresh herbs, crisp cucumber strips and grilled marinated chicken creates the perfect balance of colourful ingredients and texture. And it tastes delicious, too!
Vietnamese food is famous for being full of delicious flavours – and it’s also incredibly healthy. Traditional recipes are loaded with fresh vegetables and herbs as well as gluten-free rice noodles, iron-rich, long simmering stocks and low-fat grilled meats. Although it’s tempting to believe a packet of reduced-price mint leaves and leftover roast chicken will create a traditional healthy Vietnamese salad, it will never be as amazing in taste and nutritional value as one from a traditional Vietnamese kitchen.
If you are keen to experience the authentic food culture and learn how to create the amazing flavours of Vietnamese cuisine, see Temples and Markets for our exciting Vietnam tours
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