The Vietnamese food culture is like other southeast Asian countries. Most of their culinary habits revolve around the family. Sitting together and eating is a custom that is followed in Vietnamese households, no matter where they stay. In this article, we will explore some unique characteristics of Vietnamese Cuisine.
Fish Sauce is everywhere
Nuoc mam or Fish sauce is an absolute requirement in any Vietnamese household. They use it as a dip as the dressing and a binder for fish and meat in their main dishes. Yes. It may stink a lot. But the powerful odor has a rich flavor, allowing you to get past the smell.
Rice and noodles with everything
It is not just China or Japan, even the Vietnamese eat rice and noodles with everything. They use white rice to prepare rice paper and noodles. The rice paper can be used in spring rolls, fried rolls, to roll meat and fish, etc. Noodles of different kinds are used in soups and dishes. It is a big part of their meal at all times of the day.
Lots of herbs
Another uniqueness of Vietnamese cuisine is the use of herbs. They are generous in sprinkling coriander on top of almost all their dishes. Thai basil and mint are two other favorites that are commonly seen in their cuisine. Most of their dishes are mix and match of the different herbs and if you speak the language, the name of a dish can give you a key to its ingredients.
Vietnamese cuisine has a history of French influence. French colonized Vietnam in the 18th century and the country got its freedom only in 1954. As a result, their cuisine has impacted the local dishes. One shining example is a Banh mi, a form of a sandwich with a French baguette as the base. From the outside, it is French but on the inside it’s all Vietnamese.