Vietnamese Cuisine

For food lovers, Vietnam is a culinary paradise where one can experience many new flavors.

Vietnamese cuisine reflects the cultural and ethnic diversity of three regions: North, Central, and South. There are 54 different ethnic groups in Vietnam each with their own style and flavor.

Northern Cuisine

North Vietnam offers a richer cuisine in the sense of nourishment when compared to the South. Northern Vietnam typically fries in vegetable oil or animal fat, black soy sauce, fermented soybean paste, pasta and natural wheat noodles or white or yellow eggs. The North has a preference for beef although have considered the cow to be a work mate for thousands of years.  Poultry is common in most areas and especially duck when lacquered.

Some typical Northern dishes:

Phở: Vietnamese national soup which is typically eaten at breakfast throughout the country although available throughout the day.

Chả cá: Turmeric fried fish on a bed of drill which is served with shrimp fritters, pulp fermented shrimp, and peanuts.

Bún chả: Grilled pork belly and pork dumplings with rice noodles, aromatic herbs, and pickled vegetables. Very popular for lunch!

Bún thang: Vermicelli rice noodles served with an omelet and chicken.

Bánh chưng: Rice cake served with bean paste and steamed bacon.

Nem: Fried rice cake roll stuffed with minced pork and shrimp and crab.

Cá Kho: Grilled fish and baked caramel with bits of bacon and chili. There are variations of this dish with pork or pork belly, with chicken, beef.

Central cuisine

Known as the ancient capital of Vietnam and a UNESCO World Heritage Center, there are many delicious dishes in Hue. Going back in history, when compared to the imperial court and its extravagant refinements; the majority of the population lived on top of soil with little cultivation. Thus, this contributed to the development of a very mixed cuisine.

The cuisine of Hue is more refined, spicy and peppery than other regions. But it shares the taste of fish and seafood with a moderate use of herbs.

Some typical Central dishes:

Cơm Hến – Hue: This dish is made with mussels and rice. It’s a complicated recipe that includes sweet flavors, salty, sour, bitter and pungent.

Bánh Bèo – Hue: This is cooked rice paddle steam with its core stuffed with shrimp and mashed beans, served with a sweet and sour sauce, fish and green chili.

Cao Lầu – A specialty of Hoian, made of noodles, pork, and local vegetables.

Southern cuisine

The South of Vietnam plays on the flavors and colors of multiple tropical harvests. The variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices make any meal a celebration. Inspired by the North, but with Southern ingredients, it is sweeter and quite diverse.

Some typical Southern dishes:

Hủ tiếu: Saigon soup diet, specialty of the city of My Tho

Tả pín lù: Vietnamese fondue

Bánh cuốn: Ravioli with ground polk and black mushrooms

Bún bò cari: Rice vermicelli with beef curry

Bánh xèo: Vietnamese pancake stuffed with meat, shrimp and bean sprouts.


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