Vietnamese food culture – The quintessence of Vietnamese cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine is very diversified, it shows the rules of spice mix and Vietnamese people’s friendliness and food eating habit. All of which make up a unique Vietnamese food culture

It’s no accident that the foreigners praise Vietnamese dishes for its delicious taste and through festivals where Vietnamese cuisine is introduced to the world, our culinary stalls always attract a lot of foreign dinners. Let’s learn more about Vietnamese food culture with the following facts


The quintessence of cooking method


Vietnamese food culture deprived from the mark of wet rice agriculture. Whether there are festivals, celebrations or parties, rice is an indispensable part in Vietnamese people’s menu: ” When being hungry, you will want to eat meat and sticky rice, but if you are full of rice, that feeling will no longer exist . In Vietnamese food culture,  dishes are mainly made from vegetables and fruits which are low in fat, and they neither include as much meat as those Western countries, nor contain as much oil as the Chinese dishes. When making food, Vietnamese people often use fish sauce and many other natural spices … so the food taste is very rich. Each dish has a corresponding sauce to make its own taste

vietnamese food culture
rice continues to be the most important part of Vietnamese food culture

In Vietnamese food culture,  dishes often include a variety of food such as meat, shrimp, crab along with vegetables, beans, rice … And the deliciousness level comes from cooking method which is mainly boiling steaming, grilling or eating when they are raw to retain the natural flavor. Vietnamese people often use spices such as ginger, turmeric, onion, garlic, citronella and other herbs … not dry or processed ones. Spices are well combined with each other, following the principle of “yin and yang” and the five basic elements – two rules of food mix cooking to achieve harmony according to Vietnamese aesthetic standards . The way of combining many substances, many spices also has the same effects as the traditional medicine. This is a special facts about Vietnamese food culture


Uniqueness in gastronomy

Prof. Dr. Tran Van Khe concluded that Vietnamese people not only ate “scientifically”, which means they know how to keep yin and yang balanced and “eat totally” and “eat actively” . “Eat totally” is eaten with all five senses. First of all, eating with the eyes: food must be presented beautifully, with many attractive colors; Then eating with the nose: the scent is released from both the food and the sauce. Then the teeth touch the food when it is soft as the vermicelli,and tough as boiled or crispy meat l. Vietnamese people even eat “by ear”. It is interesting to hear the crunchy sound of rice dumplings, shrimp pancakes or salty crackers.

All the dishes are laid on the table at the same time. Everyone should be careful while eating , they should choose the proper position and think over before talking.The family members gather around the tray , they can choose whatever they want to eat . the sense of community is shown clearly in the Vietnamese cuisine. Fish sauce and soup are all shared . Vietnamese people’s eating style is also romantic, hospitable. Before eating, children must give invitation to grandparents, parents, older people guests. This reflects both the courtesy and show respect for the people eating in the meal. Because people want to eat totally, so cooking method must satisfy all five senses.

Vietnamese food culture of 3 regions

Vietnamese people easily absorb the food culture of other ethnic groups, other regions and then change into Vietnamese food culture. The differences in geography, culture, ethnicity, climate have formed separate regions, each region has a distinctive identity, taste. This is also the highlight of the cuisine of the North, Central and South.

Northern cuisine: has a reasonable taste, not too strong but colorful, often not too spicy, fat, sweet, mainly using dilute fish sauce, shrimp sauce. Hanoi is considered as the culinary quintessence of the North with delicious dishes such as pho, bun thang, bun cha, bun oc, Com in Vong village, Thanh Tri rolled rice pancake and special spices such as belostomatid oil and Lang mint leaves

vietnamese food culture
Com in Vong village

Central cuisine: Stronger taste. The specialty is reflected in the special flavor, many spicy and salty dishes. Colors are vibrant, red and brown. Central cuisine is famous for sour shrimp sauce. In particular, Hue cuisine is influenced by the royal cuisine style, so it is very sophisticated in cooking methods, color presentation and number of dishes.

Southern Cuisine: Due to being influenced by Chinese, Cambodian and Thai cuisine, Southern dishes tend to be sweet, spicy and popular with dried fish sauce . Especially, many rustic dishes have become specialties such as harvest mouse cooked with coconut milk, steamed clams,grilled fish snack …