Vietnamese food is an amazing, diverse cuisine, full of a wide range of delicious herbs, spices, textures and flavours.
But, if you have never experienced it before, coming face to face with the weird and wonderful dishes available might be a little overwhelming.
Here is an easy guide of what to choose no matter what your mood:
If you’re feeling....adventurous
The Canh chua is a sour fish soup which originates from the Mekong region of Vietnam – the river which flows through the south of the country.
Traditionally, of course the fish would come fresh from the Mekong Delta itself, and the sour taste comes from tamarind added for flavour, along with pineapple, tomatoes and other vegetables for a truly wonderful taste sensation!
It is advised that the soup should be served hot to enjoy its full flavour.
If you’re feeling....less than brave
For those that are a little less than experimental when it comes to trying new flavours, Vietnamese cooking does still cater for you. Xôi is a sticky rice dish, often wrapped in banana leaf and stuffed with lean meat and mung bean paste.
It is designed to be cooling rather than spicy, so those that want to play it safe will still be happy.
If you’re feeling....traditional
If you want to go for a dish that Vietnam is famous for, you can’t beat a lovely bowl of noodle soup, which can be adapted to suit your taste buds in anyway, known locally as 'Ph?'. This soup is a rich, clear broth which is made from boiling spices and meat – most commonly beef, as the word 'Ph?'; is thought to come from the French pot-au-feu, a beef stew. It also usually includes bean sprouts, lime and chilli, amongst other ingredients.
There are some variations of this dish depending on the different regions of Vietnam. In the southern city of Saigon, it is common to add raw meat into the soup.
If you’re feeling....a little unwell
It is not uncommon to feel a little queasy whilst visiting Asia – the new flavours and cooking techniques are often a shock to our Westernized systems.
Why not go for a nice salad? It may not sound like a traditional Vietnamese choice, but actually it is a great option whilst visiting this amazing country. You can’t really go wrong with a fresh papaya salad; fresh, delicious and totally authentic.
If you’re feeling....just a little peckish
Vietnam is great for grabbing food on the go – there are lots of street stalls available wherever you go and lots of delicious options available.
For a true Asian experience, go for a steamed bum dumpling, which are often filled with pork, chicken or spicy vegetables. Whichever one you go for, you’re in for a tasty option.
If you’re feeling....absolutely starving
Most Brits will agree that you can’t beat a curry when you’re hungry, and it seems that the Vietnamese think in the same way.
A typical Vietnamese curry is similar to the Thai curry, as they are fairly thin and made with coconut milk. Try a traditional chicken curry and you won’t be disappointed. Or hungry, for that matter.
So there you have it!
A few tips about the food you can experience when in Vietnam no matter what your mood.
Travel tip shared by Sophie