Vietnamese Soups

Pho: a hearty Vietnamese noodle soup loved by many
Photo by: snowpea&bokchoi, Creative Commons

While there are other good-tasting soups in the world’s various cuisines, Vietnamese soups have won the loyalty of many food adventurers. What do Vietnamese soups have that makes them stand out from the rest? Most food enthusiasts would have two main reasons for loving Vietnamese soups.

Firstly, Vietnamese soups incorporate rich broths. The cooks in Vietnam will typically stew meat along with bones, herbs and other seasonings. Their soups also contain Nuoc Mam or premium fish sauce. Nuoc Mam is the heart of many soups and dishes in the country. Despite its pungent smell when unmixed, fish sauce actually enhances the taste of many dishes in subtle ways.

Secondly, Vietnamese soups are light but filling. Unlike those made from eggs or flour, Vietnamese noodles are often rice-based and light on the stomach. The filling rice noodles and the soup itself make Vietnamese noodle dishes highly satisfying meals. Rice noodles are also gluten-free, which is good news for people who have allergies to the protein substance.

Vietnam offers good soups or Phở to its locals and visitors. There’s the Soup Măn Cua, which is basically a crabmeat and asparagus concoction. One can also try the Soup Miếng Gà. It is a delicious rice noodle soup with shredded chicken and topped with fresh herbs. Another must-try is the Canh Chua. It is a tamarind broth with a delightful mix of ingredients—shrimp, pineapple, okra, tomatoes, bean sprouts, celery and basil—that makes its taste truly unforgettable. The Bún Thịt Nướng contains grilled pork that is shredded and added to cold vermicelli noodles. It is served along with a bed of vegetables—salads, sliced cucumber, herbs, bean sprouts, etc. The noodle dish is usually served with roasted peanuts and nước chấm (dipping sauce). Some people also like Bún Thịt Nướng with egg rolls, spring onions and shrimps. Of course, there is the ever-popular Phở Bò, a noodle dish that is well-loved by many visiting foreigners. Phở Bò is a noodle soup that is made from sliced sirloin beef and rice noodles swimming in flavorful beef broth. It is best served with fresh bean sprouts, lime, basil and jalapeno peppers.

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