De-mystifying Vietnamese cuisine

Making great tasting, authentic Vietnamese dishes isn’t as hard as you think.

Vietnamese cuisine is incredibly flavorful, and rich in aromatics and spices. Add fresh vegetables, and distinct meats, and you get some of the most uniquely tasting fare this side of the Mekong River. If you’ve ever tried Vietnamese food, one could not help but to think the complexity and time required to make these dishes must’ve been long?! Yes, some dishes do require significant preparation, but others are fairly simple with easily obtained ingredients.

My mother always told me the best tasting food always was home made. Some of her best dishes required minimal preparation cooking-wise. The majority of this preparation involved gathering ingredients, and then slicing, and dicing.

Take for instance the Vietnamese spring roll. This can be eaten as an appetizer, or an actual entree. Spring roll wraps are made from rice paper, and are simply dipped in water to create the sticky outer shell. The ingredients within can be a myriad of items. Rice noodles that are blanched. Shrimp that is boiled. Fresh vegetables purchased from your local grocery store. Don’t forget the fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, and Thai basil. If you like bean sprouts, those can be included as well. If you don’t like meat, make it a vegetarian roll. There are so many variations of “Goi Cuon” (Vietnamese word for salad rolls, pronounced “goy koong”), a person could almost make up his own granted the basic ingredients were utilized.