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vietnamese ingredients

Key Ingredients and Cooking Techniques used in Vietnamese Food

Vietnamese cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and delicate balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. Whether you’re a fan of pho, bun cha, or banh mi, the key to making authentic Vietnamese dishes lies in the ingredients and cooking techniques used. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the ingredients and techniques that make Vietnamese cuisine unique and delicious.


  1. Rice:

    Rice is a staple ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine, and is used in dishes such as pho, com tam, and banh xeo. Long grain jasmine rice is the most commonly used type of rice in Vietnam, and is known for its fragrance and soft texture.

  2. Noodles:

    Noodles are an important part when it comes to Vietnamese food. There are a a variety of different types of noddles depending on the dish in question: Rice noodles, egg noodles, and glass noodles are the most commonly used.

  3. Herbs and Spices:

    Fresh herbs and spices are widely used in Vietnamese food and gives it it’s own unique flavours and aromas. Common herbs used in Vietnamese cooking include cilantro, mint, Thai basil, and Vietnamese coriander. Spices such as chili peppers, ginger, and lemongrass are also used to bring heat and depth of flavor to dishes.

  4. Seafood:

    Vietnam is known for its seafood, with a variety of fresh and saltwater fish, shrimp, squid, and crab used in dishes such as bun cha, canh chua, and banh xeo.

  5. Vegetables:

    Fresh vegetables such as lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumber, and carrots are used in dishes such as pho, bun cha, and banh mi to add crunch and freshness.

Cooking Techniques:

  1. Grilling:

    Grilling is a popular cooking technique in Vietnam to get those smoky flavours and crispy edges. It is used to prepare dishes such as bun cha, cha gio, and banh mi.

  2. Stir-frying:

    Stir-frying is another common cooking technique, mostly used for quickly cooking vegetables, seafood and meat.

  3. Simmering:

    Simmering is used to cook dishes such as pho and bun bo hue, and involves gently cooking ingredients in a flavorful broth for a longer period of time.

  4. Blanching:

    Blanching is a common technique used to quickly cook vegetables, seafood, and meats, and to preserve their color and texture.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting out, incorporating these ingredients and cooking techniques into your home cooking can help you create authentic and delicious Vietnamese dishes. So head to your local Asian grocery store, stock up on ingredients, and start experimenting with these classic recipes in your own kitchen!

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