Vietnamese cuisine: what to eat in Vietnam

September 24, 2019

Do you know Vietnamese cuisine? Vietnam's traditional food is based on rice, vegetable, meat, fish and soy. Learn more about the most delicious Vietnamese dishes.

vietnamese cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine is a fusion of different influences, from China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and French gastronomy because of its colonial past. The culinary variety is so wide as to include 500 typical dishes. The main ingredient is rice, an important food product whose crops shape the country's landscapes.

Are you leaving for Vietnam and do not know how to untangle yourself in its rich gastronomic tradition? Here is our guide of the dishes you shouldn't miss.

500 shades of rice

Vietnam's rice varieties are so many that you can create more than 500 typical dishes. The main ingredient is rice itself, a product grown in the immense rice fields in the country.

Vietnamese dish
Spring rolls

Traditional dishes

Chả giò: Spring rolls.

Chao: Rice porridge with seasonings.

Com tam: Rice seeds to accompany grilled pork, prawns, beef, fresh and pickled vegetables, eggs, spring rolls or pork skin.

Vietnamese soup with noodles
Soup with noodles

Ga tan: Chicken pieces stewed and combined with different vegetables and herbs. Ga tan is a typical dish of Hanoi's street food.

Gỏi cuốn: Summer rolls. A "lighter" version of spring rolls with slices of pork, prawns, lettuce, mint and noodles wrapped in a transparent rice paste and dipped in a peanut sauce.

Goi xoai: Salad with julienne carrots, onions, mango, herbs, marinated with nuoc cham and lime sauce.

Canh chua cá: Spicy fish soup, with tamarind broth and generally pineapple, tomatoes and various vegetables.

Phở: Spaghetti soup, accompanied by beef (pho bo) or chicken (pho ga).

Gà kho: Chicken in caramel sauce with ginger.

Hủ Tiếu Xào Thịt Bò: Beef pie.

Mi xao mem: A noodle and egg based dish with Chinese influences. It is cooked in soy and oyster sauce, accompanied by vegetables.

Nước chấm: Vietnamese sauce based on fish.

Vietnamese man at a market
Market in Vietnam

Nước mầu: Caramel sauce.

Sườn kho: Pork ribs with caramel sauce.

Thịt kho: Vietnamese-braised pork belly. Rather crispy, it goes well with boiled rice and vegetables.

Tôm khô: Shrimps in caramel sauce.

Thit luoc tom chua: Bacon boiled with herbs, vegetables and shrimp sauce.

Banh bao: Sandwiches with minced meat, quail egg, Chinese sausage and vegetables. Typical street food dish.

Bánh cuốn: Steamed rice pancakes stuffed with pork and moc nhi.

Bánh xèo: Saigon crepes, made with flour and turmeric, stuffed with pork, prawns and bean sprouts.

Banh khot: Similar to the banh xeo, it is a sort of small pancake with a shrimp in the middle.

Bun thit nuong: Grilled marinated pork with shallots and ground peanuts laid on a bed of noodle and accompanied by herbs and vegetables.