One of the original fusion cuisines, Vietnamese food has been heavily influenced by colonisation, surrounding countries, immigration and traders. The cuisine is characterised by the freshness of its food - meat and vegetables are cooked only briefly to preserve texture and colour - and its health credentials - minimal use of oil preserves the freshness and natural flavour of foods. The Vietnamese use an abundance of herbs and spices in their cooking, mainly lemongrass, mint and lime. Contrasting flavours and textures feature heavily in Vietnamese meals, which are known for their balance of five fundamental taste senses: spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet. They are also composed by applying the principle of ying and yang, which is used to provide a balance of food that is beneficial for the body.
In Vietnam, rather than having separate starters and main courses, all of the dishes are served at once and shared by all. A typical Vietnamese meal would include a Vietnamese style Pho soup made with vegetables, meat and noodles alongside smaller dishes based around fresh vegetables and grilled meat, fish or tofu. This is accompanied by plenty of rice, pickled vegetables and dipping sauces. Exotic fresh fruits compliment any meal. Try any of our recipes today to experience flavourful Vietnamese meals in minutes.