15 The Best Essential Vietnamese Recipes

Vietnam is a country with a rich and wide culture. Occupied by Chinese, French and even influenced by Russia, Vietnamese cuisine is a colorful mix of foreign influences as well as their own indigenous flavors and techniques. In fact, at the heart of Vietnamese food are several recurring ingredients:
Nước chấm, or fish sauce, pickled vegetables, rice and other rice-based creations such as rice paper and vermicelli, lime, and fresh herbs such as Vietnamese mint and Thai basil. Explore what this cuisine has to offer with our essential Vietnamese recipes.

Egg Coffee

Convenience is often the enemy of creativity and it is rumored that Vietnam’s famous and very delicious egg coffee was made by the cafe owner when milk supplies were limited during the 1940s. It is made with Robusta coffee beans and a mixture of condensed milk and egg yolks. The resulting cup of coffee is strong, but soft and sweet.

Coconut Chicken Curry

If you know and love the taste of Thai curry, Vietnamese coconut chicken curry will be too familiar. The main difference is with the preparation of each, as the Vietnamese model chunks of potatoes and onions for a more stew-like quality. It is also often enjoyed alongside a dry baguette, a relic of French rule in the country.

Classic Banh Mi

Ah yes, the really popular banh mi. This batch of pork, pickled vegetables, pâté, and mayo on a baguette is a quick and satisfying meal. You’ll want to take advantage of the Vietnamese-style baguette as it is much softer and chewier than the classic French baguette. If getting that proves to be difficult, Mexican bolillo will do.

Lemongrass Tamarind Chicken

In addition to vinegar and citrus, tamarind is often used in Southeast Asian cuisine to enhance the sour taste. In fact, this ingredient is more complex in taste than its counterparts, giving it a fruity, caramel-like sound. is lemongrass sour chicken with rice and a sour tequila cocktail for a strong fusion style spread.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

When you’re craving an easy meal along with a refreshing crunch, these Vietnamese spring rolls have you covered. Roll up and serve with the Thai-style peanut sauce used in this recipe, or with the sour sauce which is more suitable for Vietnamese cuisine.

Pomelo and Shrimp Salad

Pomelo originated in Southeast Asia and has become a staple in many Vietnamese dishes. It tastes the same as grapefruit, but is a little easier and sweeter. Pomelo and the shrimp salad is one delicious example of how this ingredient is enjoyed, where the sweet and savory flavors are balanced with the fresh herbs and spices.

Vietnamese Fried Chicken

Pomelo originated in Southeast Asia and has become a staple in many Vietnamese dishes. It tastes the same as grapefruit, but is a little easier and sweeter. Pomelo and the shrimp salad is one delicious example of how this ingredient is enjoyed, where the sweet and savory flavors are balanced with the fresh herbs and spices.

Pho Bo Soup

That’s right, Vietnamese pho is pronounced as, “fuh” and it realizes it’s not ramen. Classic pho is made with vermicelli, beef broth, and thin strips of beef, while ramen is made with wheat noodles, a variety of broths, and usually packed with more toppings. Chicken and vegan pho are also often enjoyed, so there’s something for everyone at this dish.

Vietnamese Beef and Noodle Salad

The Vietnamese beef and noodle salad is a beautiful mix of flavours, textures and colours. With its tender beef, vermicelli, pickled vegetables, crunchy shallots, and ever-present nước mắm pha, this dish is an absolute must for Vietnamese cuisine. Add in familiar spices like basil, mint, and cilantro, or along with what you’re familiar with: shiso.

Stir-Fried Mixed Vegetables

Vegetables get the right care in this Vietnamese stir-fried vegetable recipe. Crispy, salty, sweet and slightly savory thanks to the fish sauce, this side dish accompanies meat and tofu. Stir-fry doesn’t need to be added to the pan but using it does provide several beneficial benefits.

Pandan Rice and Mung Bean Cake

Asian desserts are often different from what we might eat in the West, and this pandan rice and cake recipe paints these things together perfectly. Instead of wheat, the basic ingredients of rice and green beans are used and instead of rich chocolate or butter flavors, a more pervasive tropical sound permeates.

Cabbage Roll Soup

Cabbage rolls are an ubiquitous dish, eaten everywhere from Asia to Eastern Europe to America. With its simple ingredients and savory minced meat, this Vietnamese cabbage roll soup recipe conveys the power of simple and delicious flavor combinations.

Lemongrass Marinated Lamb Chops

If you’re looking for a special dish to prepare from Vietnamese cuisine, the lemongrass lamb chops might be your ticket. Actually derived from many classic Vietnamese ingredients, this dish is seasoned together with mushroom soy sauce, whose earthy aroma accentuates the distinct taste of lamb.

Vietnamese Fried Rice

Perhaps one of the better-known culinary trails dating back to Chinese rule in Vietnam, fried rice has been enjoyed for centuries. In this Vietnamese fried rice recipe, adding fish sauce, fresh lime and spices brings an important flavor to the country’s cuisine.

Stir-Fried Sweet Shrimp

Vietnam has a coastline from north to south, which makes sense unless they eat a lot of seafood. These sautéed sweet prawns use peanut oil and sesame oil for a rich taste and aroma, while Thai chilies are hot. That said, shrimp isn’t always a sustainable option, so use the Seafood Watch from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to help guide you.

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