If you’ve ever seen images of Vietnam, you’ll have seen the images drenched in beautiful, expansive fields of green. These are paddy fields, where the Vietnamese grow their rice. Well, their semi-aquatic rice anyway. Deep water rice is grown in other types of fields. Rice production is incredibly important for the people of Vietnam, as rice is one of their primary sources of food. This is why much of the food you will find in Vietnam is accompanied by rice! They also export a great deal of rice. In fact, Vietnam is the second largest exporter of rice in the world, beaten only by its neighbor. In fact, rice is so important that Vietnam’s Mekong Delta district is known by locals and foreigners alike as ‘the rice bowl.’. Of course, rice isn’t the only food that rice can create. The Vietnamese also use the rice they produce to create things like noodles and rolls.
A fair proportion of Vietnam is coastal, which is why the country has some amazing city beaches. This is also why you will find a lot of seafood in the dishes of Vietnam. The dish Cha Ca is said to have come from the capital Hanoi. It consists of white fish combined with spring onions, butter, dill, and peanuts, and it is served with rice noodles. Cha Ca is a famous dish, but not as well known as Goi Cuon. Translucent spring rolls encase prawns or crab, along with coriander and various green vegetables. These rolls are often served with a peanut sauce.
We have already touched upon seafood. Vietnam has some great vegetarian food, but they also love their meat! Chicken is very popular in many of their dishes. Pork is also very popular. Cao Lau combines rice-flour noodles with thin slices of pork and pork-rind croutons. It comes as a soup, which is seasoned with mint and star anise. It is a delicious and very popular dish.
When it comes to recreating Vietnamese food at home, you may have a little trouble, to begin with. This is because a lot of the charm of this food comes from how it is made in farms and locations across Vietnam. This article gives you an insight into how fresh noodles are made in a Vietnamese kitchen. As you can see, it is a complex and skilled process. Instead of making your own (and getting them wrong!), buy pre-made ones created in the traditional Vietnamese way. Condiments can go a long way also. If you create a great dish, a side dish of peanut sauce or similar can make all the difference to creating a sense of authenticity. There is a wide range of condiments suitable for Asean cuisines out there.
No, that’s not ‘Asian’ spelled wrong! ASEAN stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It originally consisted of Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Vietnam joined in 1995, along with a small handful of other countries. So, when you’re looking for the right condiments for your meal, look for one inspired by Vietnamese cooking.