The use of herbs and spice in Vietnamese gastronomy

Either you are attending a Southern or Northern Vietnam food tour, you may always find that Vietnam cuisine literally bears a distinctive aroma when put on the scale against other neighboring countries. Graham Holliday, an author of the book Eating Vietnam admitted that the harmony of spice and herbs has paid tribute to the success of Vietnamese dishes.

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The use of herbs and spice

It may come up to countless of the number natural herbs and veggies up and down across the length of this S-shaped country. Some are so unique that they are only spotted out in a significant town or village. The use of fresh vegetables shows up in almost every single daily consumption. Northern Vietnamese, meanwhile, has a slightly less use of veggies in their meals compared to Southern siblings. For instance, Trảng Bảng rice paper in Tây Ninh, a Southern province in the Northern face of Saigon, requires up to 8 or 10 different types of herbs.

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Spice in Vietnamese food

Legume is the key factor highlighting the flavor of each dish in Vietnam’s culinary history. Vietnamese food contains less oil use, which is a great element contributing to its citizens’ good health and body shape. A good local guide may reveal how important it is to create an utmost balance in every single Vietnamese dish during one of your culinary tour in Vietnam, which accordingly results in the balance of one’s internal energy. On the whole, there are 4 main spices in Vietnamese gastronomy, which are saltiness, spiciness, sourness, and sweetness. Yet, these can be slightly adjusted depending on specific individual’s regular taste. Mr. Holliday points out that the use of herbs and spice in Southern Vietnamese dishes brings a controversial sophistication and newfangledness. He also admits that Saigon culinary somehow bears a more diversified look rather than Hanoi’s.

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Healthy Viet dishes

Not to mention, elements that form a significant alteration must be listed as climate condition and soil formation at each area. Available ingredients have a big effect on the locals’ eating habit. For example, when making fish noodle soup, Hanoians and other dwellers living in mainland cities will use fresh-water fish, whilst onshore citizens will definitely catch fish from the ocean for the main element in the dishes. On the other hand, Southern Phở is served with a good amount of fresh veggies and herbs, while in the North, this can be judged as less elegant. In addition, Northern cuisine seems to cut down on the use of spice compared to other regions down South.

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Phở

The author of Eating Vietnam discloses that foreign visitors should rely on the choice of the natives. If you spot out a long line queueing up in front of a food stall, it is surely a good local brand. If the chef only makes one significant dish, that must be the best choice that has got to offer. Moreover, those who have not been a big fan of street food for long should dust off their prejudice against this nectar of God or else they probably get to miss the best to be offered along the length of Vietnam. Fermented fish noodles, pancakes, rice noodle soup are the big names in Southern Vietnamese culinary, while it must be Bún Chả, or grilled pork with vermicelli noodles in the Northern land, and this is going to be a shining focal point in your Northern Vietnam culinary tour, especially if you take that in Hanoi.

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Fermented fish noodles

Only when having a meal served on the sidewalk of a street, tourists will have a chance to witness their portion to be processed in actual life. A pro tip is that if you are so into one specific dish, just step right into the eatery and make an order with the most generous voice and attitude, you are then loved by the local chef!

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Vietnamese local market

Picking a Vietnam culinary tour is the finest way to get an in-depth sight towards the virtual soul of a nation, and street food is the most excellent reflection. Come to visit Vietnam and open your eyes to realize how broad the topic of Vietnamese cuisine can be, without the only names of Phở, Bánh Mỳ or Spring Rolls.