Banh xeo: crispy crepe containing meat and other fillings like bean sprouts,
mung beans, mushrooms and onions
Photo by: squidish, Creative Commons
If the “you are what you eat” adage is true, then Vietnamese cuisine is a prime example. Looking at the slender physique and long lifespans of Vietnamese people, it can only mean that their food is one of the healthiest in the world. What makes Vietnamese food interesting is that they can be both healthy and tasty at the same time.
The style of cooking in Vietnam includes braising, simmering, steaming and stir-frying. When it comes to the main dishes, Vietnamese food can be classified as: Gà (poultry), Ðồ Biển (seafood), Bò (beef) or Món Chay (vegetables).
Cary Gà is a dish of chicken, potatoes and onions that are simmered in coconut milk and spicy curry. Another popular dish, Bánh Xèo Gà, is a crispy crepe containing chicken and other fillings like bean sprouts, mung beans, mushrooms and onions. For those who like something more exciting, Vịt Rút Xương is a boneless duck that is marinated in a mixture of lemongrass, garlic and wine before panfrying until crispy.
A seafood dish, Cá Nứớng is actually salmon that is grilled and added with ginger nuoc mam (fish sauce). Bún Tôm Nứớng is charcoal grilled shrimp and sautéed scallions combined with shredded sour carrots. It is usually eaten with vermicelli, lettuce, bean sprouts and sprinkled with chopped peanuts. Bánh Hỏi Chạo Tôm is a grilled shrimp dish that is marinated with exotic spices and wrapped around sugar cane.
First among the line of beef dishes is the Bò Bốn Món, a Vietnamese favorite that makes use of 4 kinds of beef each seasoned differently and then grilled to perfection. The Bánh Hỏi Bò Xào is an equally delicious dish of sliced beef with curry, onions, scallion and peanuts.
For heath buffs, Vietnam’s Món Chay dishes are definite keepers. There is the Mì Căn Ram Xã, a dish of braised gluten that is sautéed in vegetarian sauce and flavoured by lemongrass. The Tofu Bít Tết—tofu marinated with lemongrass and then grilled—is also worth trying. The Cải Tươi Xào Chao is a vegetarian dish that contains a mix of bok-choy, mushrooms, carrots, asparagus, snow peas, broccoli and tofu to be eaten with spicy bean curd sauce.