Would you like to attend a Vietnamese cooking workshop before you leave for Vietnam? Read all about Vietnamese cuisine and the regional specialties of Vietnam in this blog.

Vietnamese cuisine and regional specialties

With a population of 96 million and neighbouring street food specialists such as Thailand, Cambodia, China and Lao, it’s no surprise that Vietnam is a Mecca for foodies. From the late 1800’s until 1954, Vietnam was part of a French Colony known as French Indochina, which also had a profound impact on their cuisine (and arguably why Vietnam has the best baguettes in all of  South-east Asia). 

In this quick guide, we will take you on a gastronomic getaway, exploring the many diverse cuisines of Vietnam and why it’s so tasty.

Note: do not read any further if you are already hungry!

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The specialties of North Vietnam cuisine

While the north has a much colder climate, the cuisine surprisingly has less spice too. In fact, black pepper is often used to create hot flavours instead of chili (not too hot of course). Dishes are usually light and balanced, with fish sauce or soy sauce as a common condiment in case you want to take things up a notch. The north is also known for Banh Mi, the famous baguette sandwiches filled with pate, carrot and coriander.

The dishes from North Vietnam

Phở or pho – Considered the national dish of Vietnam, this rich noodle soup is served everywhere in Hanoi. It’s usually made from a chicken or beef broth with rice noodles, vegetables and a sprinkle of coriander. A go-to if you ever have a cold or the flu.

Cha Ca La Vong – ­­Grilled fish usually seasoned with garlic, ginger, turmeric and dill.

Pho Cuon – A special parcel filled with fried beef, onion, lettuce and cucumber.

Bun Cha – A well-known comfort food  in Hanoi, made from grilled or BBQ  pork with rice noodles and herbs. It also comes with a tasty fish sauce for dipping (or pour all of the sauce over it). It’s really filling and great as a lunch.

 Bánh Bao  – These light snacks are thought to originate from China but they are perfect when you are on the go. These pillowy steamed buns are usually filled with minced pork or quail eggs but they can come in dessert form too!

Cha Gio –   Another amazing Vietnamese snack, these fried spring rolls are filled with pork mince, prawn, woodear mushrooms, carrot and vermicelli noodles. Dip them in soy sauce for a party in your mouth.

The specialties of Central Vietnam

If you are looking for something spicy then look no further as central Vietnam is famous for fiery food. You can find chilli oil and chilli jam as the common condiment with the cuisine. Since many of the cities are situated next to the coastline, many dishes are accompanied with a fermented shrimp or fish paste.  Central Vietnam is also famous for its steamed dumplings, with an array of savoury and sweet snacks to choose from. Do you want to take a Vietnamese cooking workshop? please contact us for a free quote. Or would you rather have a Thai workshop? Make use of our  choice help and discover all the possibilities

The dishes from Central Vietnam

Bún Bò Huế – A spicy soup with rice vermicelli, lemongrass and beef. You can find a bowl almost everywhere in Huế.

Bao Vac  – These delicate dumplings are shaped like a rose, filled with shrimp and come with a sprinkle of crispy onion on top.

Mì Quảng (Quảng noodles) – These turmeric noodles are cooked in a tasty broth, topped with pork or chicken, fresh greens, quail eggs, crushed peanuts and a rice cracker.

The specialties of South Vietnam’s cuisine

The south of Vietnam comes with a hot climate and fertile soil that allows  a variety of exotic fruits and vegetables to flourish and grow. Dishes are often seasoned with garlic, shallots and herbs, with a tendency to add sweetness to dishes more than the other regions ( with lots of coconut milk).

The dishes from the cuisine of South Vietnam:

Cơm Tấm  – also known as broken rice, this dish is a staple in the south and perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s made from fractured rice grains that couldn’t be sold, served with grilled pork chops, slices of meatloaf and topped with green onions.

Banh Khoai  – This Vietnamese cake is made from grated cassava, coconut milk, sugar and a little bit of salt.

Bánh Xèo  – An incredible stuffed rice pancake filled with prawns, bean sprouts and shallots.

Gỏi cuốn – Fresh spring rolls! A rice paper roll filled with pork or prawn with heaps of vegetables and lots of coriander.

Vietnamese cooking workshop

We give Vietnamese cooking workshops where you learn to make traditional Vietnamese dish. From fresh spring rolls to caramel ginger chicken! Nice with friends, family or even as a company outing. Rolling fresh spring rolls together is perhaps the best team building exercise ever!  We have all the Vietnamese ingredients and the facilities to cook with large and small groups. The only thing missing is you!

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