Vietnamese cuisine

I am a total foodie 🙂 I love food, I love cooking and experimenting with new recipes. While I hold no official degree in the given field, I have been an cooking instructor and introduced different cuisines to children and adults alike.

One of my favorite national cuisines is Vietnamese. The Vietnamese kitchen is light, full of colors and flavors. Like most Asian philosophies, Vietnamese food is underpinned by the Xu Wing and Mahābhūta principles that emphasise the importance of the balance between the five elements for health and well-being. Due to that, there are five fundamental “tastes” in each Vietnamese meal – spicy, sour, sweet, bitter and salty. Each Vietnamese dish has a distinctive flavor which reflects on one or more of these elements.

Traditional Vietnamese kitchen has found a good balance between vegetables, meat and spices. Most meats are only briefly cooked. Vegetables are eaten either fresh or if they are cooked, they are boiled or only briefly stir-fried. For seasoning, things such as fish sauce, shrimp paste, soy sauce, bean sauce and fresh herbs like lemongrass, ginger, mint, Vietnamese mint, long coriander, Saigon cinnamon, bird’s eye chili, lime, and Thai basil leaves are used. These ingredients, combined together, are what makes Vietnamese cuisine unique and delicious.


Rice plays a big part in Vietnamies culture and economy. Vietnam is the third-largest rice exporter in the world (after Thailand and the US)(2). Over 15 million smallholder farmers derive their livelihoods from rice (1).  Rice is everywhere and in everything. Rice appears in breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. It is grown all over the country, most bountifully so in the Mekong Delta down south, which can grow enough rice to feed all 87+ million people of Vietnam, with plenty left over.

Historic influences

Throughout history Vietnamese kitchen has been influenced by the neighbouring countries Cambodia, Malaysia and China but also by French. Due to influences from French colonization, when the French introduced onions, cauliflower, lettuce, potatoes, tarragon, carrot, artichoke, asparagus, coffee and baguettes, which usually differ from the French counterpart in that the baguette is normally made entirely of rice flour. The French also introduced the use of dairy products in Vietnamese-French fusion dishes. So finding creme brulee in the Vietnamese menu is not uncommon at all.

Regional differences

Vietnam is divided into three main regions: north, south and central. Every region has its own individual characteristics(3).

In northern Vietnam, where the climate tends to be cooler, food tends to be less spicy and black pepper is favoured over chillies. Many notable dishes of northern Vietnam are crab-centered. One of this region’s most famous dishes is bún chả(4).

In southern Vietnam, the food is much sweeter and somewhat spicier than in the north. The sweetness in the dishes comes from added sugar and coconut milk. Thanks to the warmer climate the southerners also grow, use more herbs and a larger variety of vegetables in their dishes which makes their food more flavourful and vibrant. Also, because of the vast shorelines, much of the food includes seafood.  

Central Vietnamese dishes are noticeably spicier than the other two regions. Chili peppers and shrimp sauces are among the frequently used ingredients.

Central region’s cuisine is also notable for meals consisting of many complex dishes that are served in small portions. Some of the regions signature dishes are bún bò Huế(5) and bánh khoái(6).

Vietnamese cuisine provides a plethora of delicious dishes and offers a valuable insight into the country’s culture.

My top 3 favorite Vietnamese dishes

1) Vietnamese Spring Rolls

2)  Vietnamese Noodle Soup- Pho

Photo by T – N G U Y E N 🍁 on

3) Lime and lemongrass creme brulee

10 health benefits of adding more greens to your diet

No single fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients we need to be healthy. Although most of us are aware of the importance of vegetables in our diet, very few of us actually eat the optimum amount. In fact, our typical Western diet often consists of processed, calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods which is contributing to the rise in obesity and other health conditions. The typical diet today leaves our bodies lacking vitality and craving nourishment by prompting us to eat more which ultimately leads to weight gain.  

In spite of mistreatment, our bodies have the power to renew and heal when supplied with necessary nutrients. 

Here are some of the benefits that adding more greens to your diet can have:

  • Vegetables in our diet can reduce risk for stroke, cancer, heart diseases, type-2 diabetes. 
  • Dietary fibre from fruits and vegetables helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. It also helps to fill you up and keeps your digestive system happy.
  • Greens are low calorie but still packed with loads of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that will keep you feeling energized all day as well as help you to lose weight.
  • Leafy greens are an excellent source of folate, which helps your body produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. In other words they are a natural way to help relieve stress levels.
  • The folate in dark green vegetables is also known to prevent age-related cognitive decline.
  • The vitamin K contents of dark green leafy vegetables provide a number of health benefits including: protecting bones from osteoporosis and helping to prevent against inflammatory diseases.
  • Good source of iron! Iron deficiency leads to anaemia, a common health problem among pregnant and lactating women and also children. It is easily preventable by adding greens like spinach to the daily menu.
  • Improve eye health. Carotene in greens gets converted in the body to form Vitamin A which prevents blindness.
  • Green vegetables like kale, broccoli, spinach and cabbage increase chances of conception. They are an excellent source of folic acid which is known to improve ovulation and prevent birth defects.
  • Good source of potassium. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure and may also make blood vessels less stiff.

So, whether you need to lose just a few kilos or are looking to improve your general health, adding greens to your diet will help you achieve your goals.

List of top nutrients and in which vegetables they can be found:  

  • Folate:  Frisee, Asparagus, Romaine lettuce, Spinach, Turnip greens
  • Fiber:  Artichoke, Peas, Avocado, Lima beans, Jicama
  • Vitamin C:  Red bell pepper, Broccoli, Green bell pepper, Green chili pepper, Brussels sprouts
  • Beta-Carotene: Sweet potato, Pumpkin, Carrots, Mustard Greens, Spinach
  • Lutein:  Spinach, Swiss chard, Mustard greens, Turnip greens, Radicchio
  • Magnesium:  Spinach, Swiss chard, Lima beans, Artichoke, Peas
  • Vitamin K:  Mustard greens, Spinach, Kale, Collard greens, Turnip greens
  • Potassium:  Sweet potato, Lima beans, Swiss chard, Spinach, Portobello mushrooms
  • Iron: Spinach, Broccoli, Green soy beans, Asparagus, Baby lima beans, Peets, Sweet potato

If you don’t feel like shopping for fresh vegetables, another good way to increase your daily greens intake is to add superfood powders to your diet. Superfood powders are nutrient-rich meaning they contain a lot of essential vitamins and minerals. They are also very easy to consume, you just need to add one teaspoon to your favourite smoothie, juice, breakfast, or mix it with water. One teaspoon of Super Green Mix is the equivalent to one serving of greens. Superfood mix makes it easy to get your greens every day – even when life gets busy!

Kujutiste tulemus päringule your super super green"