Vietnamese cuisine is a separate reason for traveling to this country: in terms of the diversity of culinary traditions, the old Saigon is quite capable of filling the tanks of all its neighbors in Southeast Asia. Peculiar spices, unusual ingredients, Chinese influences and subtle notes of French heritage give Vietnamese dishes an unforgettable taste and richness. Gourmet note: the cuisines of North, Central and South Vietnam are strikingly different from each other. Having visited only one or two resorts, you can’t call yourself a connoisseur of Vietnamese food.
Street cafe in Vietnam
Subtleties of Vietnamese cuisine
Although Vietnamese cuisine is “omnivorous” (up to fried grasshoppers in bags from newspapers instead of seeds), it is quite light and, despite its unusualness, healthy. Products here do not undergo long-term heat treatment, the basis of the cuisine is rice, noodles and spices, herbs and vegetables, chicken, pork, and a variety of seafood.
Many dishes are flavored with fermented fish nuokmam sauce – its smell can cause horror to the unprepared eater, but when used correctly, it makes ordinary chicken fried rice a real work of art. This product is almost indispensable for the Vietnamese: from dressing to rice dishes to emergency medical aid. It is said that half a glass of undiluted drug taken orally in a timely manner is guaranteed to prevent the onset of a cold. It must be thought that the infection simply cannot stand it. Exclusive from “Subtleties”: a recipe for making Vietnamese national sauce “nuocmam” at home! Take more small fish, place in a pan with heavily salted water and put in the sun. Please note: you do not need to gut the fish in any case. After about six months, start slowly decanting the contents – and soon you will have, drop by drop, a certain amount of “nyokmam”.
A reliable indicator of the quality of a nondescript canvas-walled cafe is the number of Vietnamese flocking here for lunch and dinner.
Of the soups, you should try the light and tasty “pho”: rice noodles with lean beef or chicken. The French, former colonizers, have also made their mark in local cuisine: here they like to have a bite to eat with baguettes cut in two with all kinds of fillings. Green tea is traditionally popular in the country, and local coffee is considered very, very decent. And Da Lat produces good red and white wines. /6i/2e6ivvpaq21wo0kk40kgw4kcs.jpg” media=”(max-width: 549px)”>
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Expensive restaurants are located, as a rule, in large cities – Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang. Public catering is mainly represented by small street cafes and coffee houses. They usually open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and many of them are closed after hours. The entire range is displayed in the window: you can easily cope with the choice even without knowing the language. The traditional menu is rice spring rolls, fried shrimp, tofu, chicken, fish, vegetables and, of course, rice. Food can be taken away or dine right there at tables with small low stools. At first they may seem uncomfortable, but you get used to it pretty quickly. A reliable indicator of the quality of a nondescript cafe with canvas walls is the number of Vietnamese who flock here for lunch and dinner. In state-owned hotels and restaurants, a 5% “for services” is usually added to the bill. In private establishments, if you liked the food and service, you can leave a tip of 5-10%.
In almost any city, you can eat sandwiches with chicken, pork, cheese or shrimp on the go for 10,000-12,000 VND. Rice with chicken or pork in a small cafe will cost 20,000–30,000 VND; nuong” – pancakes made from rice flour stuffed with vegetables, fish or soy, deep-fried.
Vietnamese restaurants will prepare dishes from fish, meat, vegetables and seafood that cannot be repeated in ordinary cuisine.
Another local culinary joy – “hotpot”, that is, a “hot pot” with seafood, costs about 250,000 VND (700 RUB) for two. Eaters are brought a burner with a saucepan and fish broth boiling in it, and under the guidance of a waiter, they cook their own dish to taste. The set includes plates with sliced fresh seafood and fish, herbs and noodles. Distributed in ordinary street cafes and all kinds of exotic – different types of shells and mollusks, as well as frogs. But grilled snake, turtle soup or crocodile roast will not be served everywhere, you need to learn about such specialties separately. Previously, only chopsticks were served in street cafes, but now they will find both a fork and a spoon for a clumsy tourist.
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In restaurants, the menus and furnishings are more refined, they will prepare such dishes from fish, meat, vegetables and seafood that cannot be repeated in an ordinary kitchen. The average dinner bill in a good restaurant is VND600,000-1,200,000 for a dinner with alcohol for two, the exact amount depends on the number of delicacies on the table. Snake restaurants are popular among tourists: sometimes you can even see how the future dinner is cut right in front of you. Despite all the exoticism, such a meal costs quite moderately: from 50,000 VND per dish (though without a show). Serving a dish “from the show” will cost more and is not offered in all restaurants. /sized/f550x700/05/oi/05oi7s9a72jk0ow4gg4k8oww4.jpg” media=”(max-width: 549px)”>
An important culinary feature of Vietnam is thick and fragrant coffee. It is prepared right in front of the client using special metal utensils – a combination of a saucer, a mug, a sieve, a press and a lid. Cold green tea is often served with coffee for free or for quite ridiculous money. A cup of coffee in a street coffee shop will cost 5,000-18,000 VND. If the establishment does not serve desserts, you can get a fresh croissant or a bun with coconut cream from the pastry shop next door, which is another 8,000-10,000 VND.
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