Ask anyone who has been to Vietnam and will tell you that Vietnamese food holds a special place in their hearts and bellies.
Vietnam’s culture, wildlife, and people also leave their mark, but this is a food blog, so, today, it’s all about the food.
With a baseline of fresh vegetables, savory spices, lean meats, and fresh herbs, there is no question that Vietnamese cooking is some of the healthiest in the world.
The recipes in the article will challenge your tastebuds while at the same time settling your stomach. Full of flavor and taking no prisoners, this is the authentic side of Vietnam wrapped up in recipes and served to you.
There are a million and one pho recipes online, each proclaiming that they know pho. After scouring every last one of them, it was clear that this authentic recipe was the pick of the broth.
It is a steamy broth of beef, bean sprouts, lime, Thai basil, sliced raw onion, and chopped cilantro.
With a complex yet balanced flavor profile that gets its legs from sugar, fish, hoisin, and sriracha sauce, this is the kind of pho that others are judged by.
On every street corner in Hanoi, you will find someone selling spring rolls, and it is a very delicious thing.
It is the perfect and healthy snack that is a far cry from the deep-fried variety we so often get here in the U.S. Instead of being wrapped in batter and dipped in grease, they are wrapped in rice paper rolls and steamed (see also ‘13 Great Recipes For Rice Paper‘).
Featuring a fresh and tantalizing lineup of pork, shrimp, green lettuce, mint, and, chives. The recipe also walks you through how to make a peanut dipping sauce that, once served on the table, won’t last long.
3. Banh Mi
Banh Mi is another all-time favorite of the Vietnamese people for picking up off the street and munching down on the run. Ditch your regular sandwich routine of ham and cheese and let the fresh and funky feels of banh mi into your life.
One discloser on this banh mi recipe is you are unlikely to knock it up in the same amount of time as your ham and cheese. But, you know what they said about good things coming to those you wait? Banh mi is the reason to wait.
From the outside, fried fish with tomato sauce doesn’t sound that exciting, but after your first bite, you will understand the hype. The reason be, it’s Vietnamese.
Vietnamese flavors can turn the simplest of dishes into something that keeps everyone coming back for more. Two whole fish fried then simmered in a sweet and delicious tomato-ey sauce is your new midweek go-to.
How do we know? Because it takes just 10 minutes to prepare and 35 to cook.
Crepe is epic no matter who is making it, but when it’s Vietnamese, you know you are going to stand up and pay attention. The trick with this recipe is to ensure the batter turns and stays a crispy consistency.
Soggy crepe is not the one, and with the guiding eye of this recipe, there will be crunch! Filled with thinly sliced pork, prawn, mung bean, and bean sprouts, this is a satisfying crepe to see you through the afternoon.
This authentic Vietnamese dish is calling out to the adventurist eaters with a penchant for pungency. That’s right, this fermented fish and noodle soup will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and go “wow”.
Make no mistake, this is an invested recipe that will take five hours to become proper Bun Mam (Vietnamese for the dish). But, don’t let the time frame discourage you.
This is a deeply-flavored fermented fish broth loaded with everything that is good and it will rock your socks, right off.
Call it a noodle dish, call it a salad, it doesn’t change the fact that this authentic Vietnamese dish hits all the right notes.
You get your protein from the marinated steak slices, you get your fiber from the fresh vegetables, and you get your carbs from the rice noodles.
Like all the best Vietnamese food, there are many flavors at play in this dish and they all do their part of making it divine.
Forget about your overworked apricot chicken, this is the new chicken recipe in town. Don’t worry, though lemongrass comes to the fore in the recipe, there are many other impactful flavors at play here.
We’re talking red curry paste, sweet chili sauce, garlic, ginger, basil, soy, and fish sauce – all the good stuff. The result is a fragrant and tender chicken that is best served over a steaming hot bowl/ plate of rice.
While the steak and rice noodle salad recipe could be confused as a noodle dish, there is no surrounding confusion with this recipe – it is a salad of mango. Sounds simple right?
That’s because it is, in fact, incredibly simple. The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity coupled with its sweet and sour tang.
Mango, cilantro, shallot, and peanut get doused in a dressin of fish sauce, freshly squeezed lime juice, palm sugar, rice wine vinegar, and a little oil, making the perfect sidekick for a plate of summertime chicken.
The great thing about this vietnamese caramel sauce recipe is that you can make a lot of it. Ideal for pouring over just about anything, with chicken and tofu being two examples, you just can’t go wrong with a bottle of homemade caramel sauce in the fridge.
The other cool thing about this recipe is it only uses three ingredients, takes very little time to prepare, and will be there for you through thick and thin.
11. Pok Pok Wings
Swap out the sky-high pile of buffalo wings for these Vietnamese Pok Pok wings on gameday and watch as the crowd goes wild.
Let’s face it, wings are as American as apple pie, and in the true spirit of our country, we should be willing to sample new flavors smothered on old tricks.
This recipe can be knocked up and served on the table in less then 30 minutes, with the smells of Vietnam emanating everywhere.
And if you’re looking for an extra burst of flavor, consider experimenting with buffalo wild wings sauces to elevate your wing game.
Peanut sticky rice is a food institution in Vietnam that everyone signs up for.
Sticky rice smashed together with too-many peanuts and topped with a crunchy sesame and peanut topping, it is safe to say we have already signed up too.
One way to really bring yourself to the streets of Vietnam is to eat this in the morning with a fried egg on top and a bottle of sriracha sauce by your side. You will be both sweating and smiling in no time.
We are not trying to get in the way of your desire for crunch, but variety is the spice of life, and these mung bean dumplings are worth going out on a limb for.
The recipe leads you through how to make the mung bean filling, the green oil dressing, and the dough, essentially teaching you how to make dumplings, by hand, at home.
Sure, you could just go down to the store, pick up a pack of dumplings, and no one would question you. But this is an authentic recipe worth getting your hands sticky for.
We know we said that this was going to be an authentic list of Vietnamese recipes, but, after you take your first bite of these shrimp tacos, we hope that you will forgive us.
The shrimp needs to marinate in a delectable lineup of lime, fish sauce, ginger, and soy sauce then places in the fridge for two hours.
Stir fry the shrimp then slide them inside some warm tortillas with a funky Asian salsa, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs (see also ‘28 Easy And Delightful Asian Shrimp Recipes‘). Pretty Vietnamese right?
This dumpling and noodle recipe has been inspired by the Vietnamese delight that is bun cha gio. Purposefully low in calories, it is a great lunch or dinnertime meal for people who like to keep it lean and mean.
Loaded with pan-fried crispy gyoza, fresh herbs, and vegetables, it is obvious this recipe goes off.
Everything is smothered in an irresistible nuoc cham dressing of lime, bird’s eye chili, garlic, sugar, and fish sauce, ensuring there won’t be a dry eye or plate in the building.
This is another recipe that keeps it just as low on the calorie front and it does on the effort front. From the collection stage up until service, there is nothing strenuous about this recipe.
The ingredient lineup can be fetched from your local store, without a qualm about it.
Also, the dish, from start to finish, takes just 30 minutes to prepare and serve, meaning you can be eating a healthy fish dish tonight without breaking a sweat.
When you come to know that this Vietnamese carrot salad had just 147 calories to its name, you start to get an idea just how healthy Vietnamese food really can be.
However, even though the calorie count is nothing short of astonishing, this salad still manages to pack a memorable flavor punch.
Lime juice, fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, mint, peanuts, and root ginger are what make this carrot salad so downright delicious, and quintessentially Vietnamese.
Vietnamese people love their rolls any which way, but they have a particular affinity for egg rolls.
You may have to take a trip down to your local Asian supermarket for a few of the ingredients in this recipe, but it will all be worth it for that first light-bulb crunch.
19. Fried Tofu
Though we can appreciate the silky and soft texture of tofu every now and then, it is always the fried variety that we look for.
Vietnamese-style Fried tofu with fresh scallions in a scallion and fish sauce is an authentic dish that originates from the north of the country, and this recipe keeps it strictly traditional.
Boiled cabbage is another dish that may not sound all that impressive on paper, but it’s the way the Vietnamese people do it that makes it so special.
Taking just five minutes to prepare and another ten to cook, Vietnamese boiled cabbage will be the answer to your frantic prayers.
Chili, lime, fish sauce, and egg are the reason why this boiled cabbage is so much more than just boiled cabbage.
Prawn and sweet potato fritters are a perfect side hustle for an Asian-inspired Sunday lunch. Not only do they look unique and will draw attention as soon as they make contact with the table, but they also taste great too.
Whole prawns are battered, fried to a golden perfection, and served alongside a pungent dipping sauce to become the delicious star of the Sunday show.
Save this recipe for one of those days when its cold out and you are in need of something warm and delicious.
One disclaimer is you will need to make this recipe ahead of time to ensure the lamb shanks are sufficiently tenderized. Do that and you will be in for the most insanely delicious off-the-bone dinner to warm your bones right through.
Light, healthy, and easy to put together, this Vietnamese tofu stir fry is an ideal after-work quick-fire dinner.
Taking just ten minutes to prepare and another 10 to cook, you could get home late and be sitting down, feet up, on the couch, just in time for your favorite series to start.
There really isn’t much to say about this prawn noodle salad except that it is another healthy represenation of why vietnamese food is so adored worldwide.
Prawn, spinach, carrot, snap pea, and rice noodle are dressed in a vibrant Vietnamese-style dressing to create a crunchy display of color and taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Vietnamese Like Spicy Food?
Vietnamese people love their spice almost as much as they love their noodles. If you ever go to Vietnam and intend to eat in the streets, prepare to sweat!
What Is The Most Common Dish In Vietnam?
Pho is the most popular dish of Vietnam. Eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner in restaurants and homes from the north to the south, it is hard to tell where Vietnam starts and the pho noodles end.
So there you have it. 24 of the best Vietnamese recipes in existence for you to peruse now and try later.
We hope this article and the food within it have inspired you to make something totally unique tonight, and travel to Vietnam one day.