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Welcome to the land of the ascending dragon

Vietnam is known for many things – rich history, diverse culture culinary legacy and an array of amazing produce. It is also the only country to have its own deity for the kitchen, going by the name Ong Tao. This country is blessed with bountiful of skills when it comes to cooking styles. It is precisely the simplicity of its ingredients, the subtle variations of herbs and the authenticity of flavours that makes ‘Vietnamese’ one of the most trending cuisines around the globe, today.

Vietnam is divided into 3 regions – Northern, Southern and Central. Each region has its own variation when it comes to ingredients, cooking style and taste. Nevertheless, there is a lot of things in common like the use of shrimp paste, traditional spices, soy sauce and the main staple ingredient – rice.  

Vietnamese cuisine very strongly depicts a fusion of Chinese, Indian and French food, keeping intact the signature elements. Like many other Asian countries, it emphasises on the balance of yin and yang. According to the yin-yang concept in food, Viets believe that illnesses occur due to some imbalance in the yin-yang elements of the body. Which is why Vietnamese food is medicine too. For instance, they serve seafood, which is considered “cold,” with ginger, chilli and lemongrass, to maintain a balance in the tastes.  The cuisine is all about food combinations that create and maintain a healthy balance in the body.

Fish, rice and noodles – a way of life!

There are 3 key elements that remain common in every Vietnamese dish. One, most of the salt in their food comes from a salty, fermented fish sauce – a.k.a. nu?c m?m in Vietnamese. This sauce is used for marinades, salad dressings and dips; it is pretty much everywhere. It tastes salty, slightly sweet and savoury. 

Two – Vietnam is the second country to export the largest quantity of rice. Well, why wouldn’t it be? Rice is grown all around the country. They have plenty for themselves to eat, 5 times a day, to be precise! People eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert too. Well of course not always in the same form, but other ways like  rice snacks, fried rice, sticky rice, rice porridge, puffed rice snacks and rice wine.  You can never go to Vietnam and not have a belly full of rice! Three – noodles. This country is pretty much obsessed with noodles. Viets can eat noodles every day, sometimes even multiple times a day, in everything (just like rice!). The most basic type of noodles are the ones made of  rice and wheat.  Not to forget, they consume more instant noodles than Japan!

Other delicacies from this beautiful country include the hearty one-bowl meals ‘phos,’ the ‘cold brews’ for that ultimate sugar rush and the pretty looking ‘white rose dumplings.’

Pho – Put together a bowl full of beef/chicken/seafood, rice noodles, condiments ad warm flavourful broth, and voila! You get the most comforting food.  It is a popular street food and is served in almost all restaurants in Vietnam.

Vietnamese Iced/Cold Coffee – This Vietnamese version of a cold brew is in vogue these days. It’s just regular till the time there are espresso shots mixed with some sugar. The USP here is the condensed milk that adds another level of sweetness to it. Surely, not for the faint-hearted!

White Rose Dumplings – Another local speciality from the Vietnamese culinary treasure.  A plate full of delicate dumplings looking like roses is the perfect sight you want to have just before you dive into deliciousness! The filling is generally of shrimps which is streamed and served with a tangy sauce.


Time for some Vietnamese specialities from our bank of recipes. Hope you like them!

Thu?ng th?c! (Enjoy!)


Vietnamese Crab Noodles

Also known as Mien Xao Cua, this is an authentic dish which is eaten regularly as well as on special occasions. It’s another comfort food of Vietnam.  With the sweetness of crab meat, crunch from vegetables, soft noodles and refreshing lime, it can’t get better than this!



Vietnamese Prawns

An absolute drool-worthy blend of prawn paste wrapped around sugarcane with a drizzle of a traditional Vietnamese fish sauce dressing. It is salty, spicy, sweet and savoury; all in one!  



Vietnamese Flan

This creamy Vietnamese custard drowning in caramel has its origin in Europe. The dish later grew to gain some elements of the Vietnamese culture. It is made with caramel giving the slight bitterness and milk and sugar offering sweetness. Quite a melt-in-mouth experience!


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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.