Sign In Chef


No account yet? Sign up.

Forgot your password?


Traditional Vietnamese Recipes

light bulb

In this Lesson you will Learn

  1. How did colonization affect Vietnamese cuisine?
  2. What are typical ingredients in Vietnamese cooking?
  3. What are traditional Vietnamese dishes and recipes?


Vietnamese cuisine is similar to other Southeast Asian cuisines, but of course its unique history and geography have lent it some distinguishing features. Vietnam's proximity to China is reflected in the cuisine of the north where the countries share a border. Here, simple stir-fries and noodle dishes are popular and, due to the colder climate, the food is less spicy.1 The influence of Buddhism from India in the country's center (around the city of Hue) has made vegetarian meals more common. Moreover, Hue's imperial past still influences restaurant food, where small portions and multiple courses are common.2 In the south, the tropical climate and history of spice trading has led to a very spicy and flavorful cuisine. The influence of French colonization is also felt here with the popularity of baguette sandwiches and filtered coffee. Beef, crucial for pho bo soup, became more popular with French influence as well.2

Typical Ingredients

Vietnam has a subtropical to tropical climate and plentiful rainfall, which makes it possible to cultivate a wide range of ingredients. Rice, including rice flour, rice noodles, and rice paper, is consumed daily. Seafood, pork, chicken, duck, and beef are all eaten, though meat may be used more sparingly due to its cost. Vegetables eaten in Vietnam include water spinach, bamboo shoots, cabbage, cucumber, Chinese broccoli, and bok choy. Greens and herbs are often served as a salad platter called xà lách as part of many meals. Fresh fruit, such as mango, lychee, or jackfruit, are often served for dessert.

A variety of sauces and pastes play a large role in Vietnamese cuisine, including fish sauce ("nuoc mam"), soy sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, anchovy sauce, shrimp paste, tamarind paste, and chili paste,among others. Common spices include annatto seed, turmeric, ginger, galangal, star anise, cinnamon, and cloves. Fresh herbs, such as cilantro, dill, mint, red perilla, green perilla, Thai basil, and lemongrass are common as well. Peanuts, chilis, and banana leaves may also be used.1

Traditional Vietnamese Dishes

Appetizer: Fresh Spring Rolls (Gỏi Cuốn)
Main Dish: Beef Noodle Soup (Pho)
Main Dish: Fish with Turmeric and Dill (Chả Cá Thăng Long)
Main Dish: Grilled Chicken with Vermicelli (Bún Gà Nướng)
Main Dish: Vietnamese Sandwich (Bánh Mì)
Main Dish: Vietnamese Crepes (Bánh Xèo)
Condiment: Pickled Daikon and Carrots (Do Chua)
Condiment: Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nước Chắm)
Beverage: Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cà Phê Sữa Đá)
Dessert: Vietnamese Corn Pudding (Chè Bắp)

Recommended Read

Vietnamese Home Cooking

This cookbook is designed to help home chefs master traditional Vietnamese dishes as well as popular street foods!

check it out »


  1. Culinary Vietnam
  2. Vietnamese Cooking


  1. French colonization led to the invention of the popular Vietnamese sandwich called banh mi, as well as to the consumption of filtered coffee and increased consumption of beef.
  2. Typical Vietnamese ingredients: rice and rice noodles, meat and seafood, pickled vegetables, fresh tropical fruit, various sauces and pastes, chilis, turmeric, ginger, star anise, cloves, cilantro, mint, and dill.
  3. Traditional Vietnamese recipes: beef noodle soup (pho), fish with turmeric and dill, grilled chicken with vermicelli, banh mi, and Vietnamese crepes.
Mark as Learned