Vietnamese Food

Category
Fod from Vietnammm
Daily Life in Vietnam, Practical Advice, Vietnam Basics, Vietnamese Culture, Vietnamese Food

How to use Vietnammm

Vietnammm is a great app to use if you want to get food but don’t have the energy to go and actually step out of your door and get food. It’s easy to use and there are a wide range of dishes available. Vietnammm is the perfect app to use if you have had a long day, feeling a little lazy or just want to eat in the comfort of your own home. The app is available in both Vietnamese and English.

 

Vietnammm

 

1. Firstly, select your location. For example city – Ho Chi Minh City followed by district – District 2 . You can also let the app automatically find your location.

2. You have the option to choose whether you want to pick up your order or have it delivered to your door.

3. A selection of restaurants and eateries will appear on the screen and it will show you the estimated delivery time as well as the price of the delivery.

4. You can search for different types of cuisine, if you are looking for something specific.

5. You can also use the map tool to see the location of the restaurant, in comparison to where your location is. You can find this by looking for the pin point icon.

6. There is also a sort function so that you can arrange the selection of restaurants you see in order of price, distance and best match.

7. Once you have selected the restaurant you want to order from, Vietnammm will show the menu, deals available as well as reviews. You will also see that some of the restaurants also have a delivery charge or a minimum spend.

8. If you want to add any extras to your order then make sure you click the plus button to add the extras to your basket.

9. Once you have finished making your selections, click on the shopping bag icon and head to the check out. Here you will see a breakdown of costs, for example the price of each item of food, as well as extras and the delivery cost followed by the total order cost at the bottom.

10. You can then select your payment method. There is a choice of cash, card and PayPal.

11. If you select cash, make sure that you select the right amount so that the driver can bring the correct amount of change for you. After this, click order and pay. Your order will then be processed.

12. Make sure that you use your Vietnamese phone number so that the driver can contact you to let you know when your food is ready and waiting for you.

13. Once the order has been confirmed you can also track your order using the tracking map, if you want to keep an eye on it.

14. An estimated delivery time is also usually provided.

15. Enjoy your meal!

A video version of this is also available here: Video Guide

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a picture of vietnamese food
Practical Advice, Vietnam Basics, Vietnamese Food

Dietary Requirements

Life would be so much easier if everyone liked to eat everything or could eat everything. I know my life would, but, like many people, there are some things that I don’t like and others I can’t eat because I am allergic. There are so many dietary requirements in one’s life that you have to be careful, especially when you are not cooking yourself. When you go to a restaurant and order something, it is hard to know what ingredients they use exactly.

Vietnamese food is full of fresh ingredients and spices. If you are planning on going to Vietnam and you have specific dietary restrictions, this blog may help you get through.

It is ok! You don’t really have to eat EVERYTHING there is. There are several reasons why someone doesn’t eat a specific type of food. It could be allergic reactions, religious reasons or simply because you don’t like it.

Allergies

I hate it when I start eating something and all of the sudden my entire body starts itching because of something I ate (a lot of times I don’t even know what exactly). Others react very differently from me. Sometimes you could have a serious reaction to it, so you have to be careful.

I am allergic

Vegetarian / Vegan

Many of us have chosen to live a certain lifestyle and we all have to respect it. Vegetarian restaurants are really common in Vietnam, as there is a large Buddhist population. It means that being a vegetarian is not a big deal!

It is important to know the Vietnamese word for vegetarian (chay) and that would get you through. You can make any Vietnamese dish into a vegetarian dish like phở chay, bánh xèo chayhủ tiếu chaycà ri chay, and so on. Or say “Tôi ăn chay”, which means “I’m vegetarian” or, if you are a vegan, “Tôi là người ăn chay trường”.

I don't eat meat

Religion

In some religions, certain animals are sacred like the cow in Hinduism. In other cases, for example in Islam is forbidden to eat pork.

I don't eat beefI don't eat pork

But also in Judaism you can find dietary restrictions. Jews are only allowed to eat Kosher.

Only eat kosher

Or if you simply don’t like a certain time of food you just simply say “I don’t eat (type of food)” in Vietnamese “Tôi không (…)”. For example,

I don't eat seafood

 

There are many other dietary requirements and restrictions. Don’t be afraid to try new things. You never know if you like something if you haven’t tried it!

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vietnamese Pho
Vietnamese Culture, Vietnamese Food

Yin and Yang, Banh and Pho

Imagine yourself walking through the streets of Ho Chi Minh City in the south of Vietnam and a wave of people with food in their hands comes towards you. Suddenly you are surrounded by all sorts of smells and flavors! Just the thought of that makes you hungry, right? So let’s explore the wonders of Vietnamese food together.

Vietnamese Food

Some might say that Vietnamese food is like any other in Southeast Asia, nothing special. What they don’t know is how wrong they really are! Vietnamese food is neither bland nor boring.

The combination of fresh herbs and spices makes the food not only colourful, but also full of flavor. Although it might differ from region to region, there is always something that makes Vietnamese cuisine unique. The aroma, the taste of sweet and sour, and the hint of fish sauce are all combined and perfectly balanced. It is all about yin and yang, in every meal providing beneficial input to your body!

China influences heavily the food in the north. That means a lot of stir-fries and noodle-based soups. Then towards the southern part the flavors become more and more tropical, almost blending with Thai cuisine. But it is hard not to talk about the French influence in Vietnam cuisine.

One example would be the bánh mì which is basically a crispy/fluffy baguette filled with seasoned pork and vegetables like cucumbers, cilantro and pickled carrots. Some say you can find the best bánh mì in the streets of Ho Chi Minh City.

InternVietnam - Banhmi

When you walk through the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, you are definitely going to find Ph. Pho is made of a smooth broth with vermicelli rice noodles and meat, topped with the freshest herbs you can find. It is a very popular street food in Vietnam and probably the most known Vietnamese food in the world. Surprisingly, is usually eaten as a breakfast!

InternVietnam - Pho

If you are a pork fan, then bún mọc is for you. In it you can find pork sausage, fried pork meatballs, pork ribs and pork belly with a light mushroom broth and garnish with fresh herbs. That is a lot of pork and all in one bowl!

 

Exotic ‘Nam

If you have more of an adventurous side, you can try the coconut worms in fish sauce and chili slices, usually eaten alive while drinking! One bite of these fellas pops salty and spicy flavors into your mouth. But be careful with their mandibles because these little worms may bite while you are trying to eat them!

Another daring option would be the balut, a fertilized bird embryo, usually duck. The Vietnamese believe that the balut is very nutritious and restorative for pregnant women.

InternVietnam - Balut

 

But enough about meat!

Don’t be afraid to visit Vietnam if you are vegetarian. Vegetarian restaurants are really common in Vietnam, as there is a large Buddhist population. It means that being a vegetarian is not a big deal. And even if the restaurant is not specifically vegetarian, you can still find or ask for vegetarian options.

It is important to know the Vietnamese word for vegetarian (chay) and that would get you through. You can make any Vietnamese dish into a vegetarian dish like phở chay, bánh xèo chayhủ tiếu chaycà ri chay, and so on. Or say “Tôi ăn chay”, which means “I’m vegetarian”. Another option is to say that you don’t eat pork “Tôi không ăn thịt heo” or beef “Tôi không ăn thịt bò“.

InternVietnam - Veggies

There are a variety of vegetarian dishes you can get, like sticky rice (xôi). Most of the xoi are vegetarian and found in the food stands on the streets. Đậu sốt cà chua is a fried yellow tofu with tomato paste and onions. You can accompany your dậu sốt cà chua with some fried water spinach and garlic (rau muống xào tỏi) or some bok choy with shitake mushrooms (cải xào nấm).

Cheers!

Drinks are on me! A common drink is the Vietnamese iced coffee or cà phê đá made with freshly brewed dark roast Vietnamese-grown coffee and condensed milk. But if you go to Hanoi, you might come across the egg coffee (cà phê trứng) which includes egg yolk. Sugarcane (nước mía or mía đá) is a really popular drink during the hot summers. Kumquat juice is often added to the sugarcane to balance the sweetness.

InternVietnam - IcedCoffee

Vietnam has its own brewery called Sabeco, which is Vietnam’s leading beer producer. They produce not only the classic Saigon Beer, but also Vietnam’s favorite 333. Bia hơi is a draft beer popular among the locals. It can be found in small bars and on street corners. It’s brewed daily and each bar gets a fresh batch delivered everyday! Going to the stronger liquor is the rượu đế, rice wine, made out of cooked glutinous rice.

InternVietnam - SaigonBeer

 

Enjoy these delicacies and join us!

Daily Life in Vietnam, Vietnamese Food

Vietnamese Breakfast vs. Western Breakfast

Breakfast

One of the most notable differences between Vietnamese and Western cuisine is breakfast. When most Westerners think of breakfast, images of toast, cereal, pastries, bacon and orange juice come to mind. In Vietnam, breakfast is a whole different ball game. A major difference in Vietnamese cuisine is the lack of dairy.

Milk, cheese, butter and yogurt are not staples in Vietnamese cuisine and often aren’t readily available in smaller markets and grocery stores., so many Western breakfast staples aren’t eaten often here. Vietnamese breakfast is usually savoury and people don’t shy away from stronger flavours such as pickled vegetables, marinated meat and spicy chilli peppers to eat first thing in the morning. Work and school start early morning, so many people go out for breakfast and grab a quick bite to eat on the way. Street vendors will open up early to sell their goods to passing commuters – always at a very cheap price!

Below I’ve listed some of the most common breakfast foods. This, however, is only a sampling of what options are out there – especially for the more adventurous eaters. So get your taste buds ready, and before you know it you will be a Vietnamese breakfast convert!

Pho

Pho is the most well-know Vietnamese dish in the world. The secret of its taste is a broth cooked on pork and beef bones (Pho Bo) or pork and chicken bones (Pho Ga) with seasoning and spices. Pho is served with rice noodles made of fragrant rice “gao te”, vegetables and meat pieces. Lemon and chilli are a “must” for the best taste of Pho.

Xoi (Sticky rice)

Xoi is one of the most popular breakfast dishes in Vietnam. Walking along the Vietnamese street you can see many street vendors carrying baskets of Xoi covered in banana leaves advertising their shops. There are two main types of Xoi: sweet and savoury. The sweet ones can be served with peanuts, corn. black urad beans, mug beans and more. The savoury one is with chicken, pork floss and/or quail eggs.

Bahn Mi

Also called Vietnamese sandwich or Saigon baguette, origins from colonial period in late 1800’s. It is made of Vietnamese baguette filled with meat options: pork, chicken, cha lua (Vietnamese sausage), meatballs, liver pate or fish patty and raw vegetables (mostly cucumber, tomato and coriander), often with mayonnaise or chilli sauce.

Bun (Rice Vermicelli)

Similar to Pho, Bun is also made of rice flour but has different shape. Pho has rather flat shape, whereas Bun is a more circular shape. There are many kinds of Bun, of which the most popular are: Bun Cha (vermicelli and grilled chopped meat), Bun Rieu (vermicelli and crab meat soup), Bun Thang (varied vermicelli), Bun Ca (vermicelli with fried fish), Bun Oc (vermicelli and snail) and Bun Bo (vermicelli with beef). The main ingredients of Bun are tomato, garcinia cowa and lemon lime, which give the soup its specific sour taste.

Mien

Also known as Cellophane Noodles or Glass Noodles, Mien has a similar shape to Bun but it is made of seaweed and cassava flour. Mien’s broth is similar to Pho but contains more sour spices and has a fishy taste because is mostly served with seafood. The most popular type of Mien in Vietnam is Mien Luon (Mien with eel) and the other variables are Mien Ngan (Mien with goose meat), Mien Cua (Mien with crab meat) or Mien Ga (Mien with chicken).

Banh Cuon

It is a paper-thin rice crepe filled with ground pork and wood ear mushrooms. Banh Cuon is served with Vietnamese ham cha lua, cucumber, boiled bean sprouts, cilantro, Vietnamese basil and topped with fried shallot. Banh Cuon is the most popular in Hanoi, where it originated.

Com Tam (Broken Rice)

Com Tam is the signature of Saigon’s street food. This rich and filling meal contains of broken rice (where the name comes from), honey marinated pork, shredded pig skins, egg meatloaf, fried eggs, cucumber and pickled carrots with a side of fish sauce. What is worth mentioning, Com Tam is one of few dishes in Vietnamese cuisine that are not eaten with chopsticks but with a knife and fork!

And of course, no breakfast is complete without a cup of Ca Phe, a flavourful coffee that can be found only in Vietnam.

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Vietnam Basics, Vietnamese Food

How to Use Chopsticks

An estimated 33% of the world’s population (give or take) use chopsticks on a daily basis. For the hungry first time user, guzzling down your meal with two small wooden sticks can be a real challenge! Chopsticks might seem tricky to master and somewhat unnecessary for those of us that grew up with a knife and fork in hand, so why have they come to dominate the culinary habits of much of Asia?

History

Chopsticks are over 5000 years old! Long sticks of bamboo were first used in China to retrieve morsels of food from cooking pots on the fire. Later, evidence of chopsticks used as table utensils emerged as far back as 500-400 AD. It’s said the spread of popular chopstick use across China was down to population boom and fuel shortages; food was chopped into smaller pieces in an attempt to make the meagre rations go further (thus eliminating the need for knives at the table). Whatever the reason, people in Vietnam, Japan and Korea soon followed the trend not far behind!

Different types of chopsticks

Vietnamese

Made of lacquered wood or bamboo, lightweighted but not giving the impression of fragility. Typically 9 inches long with a blunt, slightly tapered tip. A đũa cả is a large pair of flat chopsticks that is used to serve rice from a pot.

Chinese

Typically unfinished wood, slightly rectangular top with a cylindrical blunt end. Doesn’t roll off the table so easily and more surface area means you’ve got a higher chance or transferring those tasty morsels all the way from the middle of the table right to your bowl!

Japanese

Traditionally lacquered wood or bamboo, with a rounded top and a pointy end that’s perfect for de-boning fish. They’re a little bit smaller than the Chinese equivalent and you often find red pairs for the ladies and black ones for the gents.

Korean

The shortest model of the three, Korean chopsticks are usually stainless steel and flat or rectangular shaped. Potentially more hygienic but it definitely makes it harder to get a grip on your food!

FUN FACT: The king used pure silver chopsticks which would change colour if they came in contact with certain poisons. The people started using metal chopsticks to emulate him.

Chopsticks Etiquette

The behaviour etiquiette in a Vietnamese restaurant is not that strict as in Western countries, but there are some rules when using chopsticks that must be followed!

1) Don’t dig in the food on a plate, just get the piece which you want to eat.
2) Don’t pick one piece, then drop it back on the plate and change to another piece.
3) Don’t let your chopsticks be covered with oil, just try to keep them as clean as possible. If it happens your chopstics are very dirty and there are no communal untensils provided to pick up food, it is allowed to reverse them into the clean side.
4) Don’t use your chopsticks to make noise (like pretending to be a drummer using the bowls on the table!)
5) Don’t wave your chopsticks.
6) Don’t use chopsticks like a fork.
7) Don’t use your chopsticks as toothpicks.
8) Don’t lick or suck on your chopsticks.
9) Don’t put chopsticks vertically in any rice bowl ,since it resembles the incense sticks for the dead.
10) Don’t put the food directly from shared plate to your mouth, first put it in your bowl.
11) Don’t put chopsticks in a “V” shape after finishing your meal, it’s interpreted as a bad omen.
12) Don’t put your chopsticks in shared soup bowl.

Remember these guidelines and you will never have any problems in a Vietnamese restaurant!