Rice is the main ingredient in Vietnamese food

Published:  09:19 Wednesday - July 13, 2016

Rice is the main ingredient in Vietnamese food

Vietnam is an agriculture country with rice is the staple food. Moreover, Vietnam is influenced by the Wet Rice Civilization so rice becomes the most necessary food in Vietnam meals.

Vietnamese sometimes wonder why the Western people can survive by eating bread day by day. Most tourists coming to Vietnam are so surprised at the presence of rice and many dishes related to rice, which makes the outstanding of features in Vietnam food. Many pagodas and temples in Vietnam use rice for worshipping, as it is believed that rice comes from the Mother Goddess Worship.


Many major Vietnamese dishes and snacks are made from rice such as rice porridge, steamed rice, glutinous rice cake, Banh Chung, especially plain rice which is the main dish in Vietnamese daily meal. In addition, Pho is made from rice. It means that rice is the center of dishes in Vietnamese cuisine.

Vietnamese food culture varies by regions from the north to the south. In Northern Vietnam, Vietnamese food is characterized by light and balanced flavors as the harmonic combination of many ingredients. Northerners has been using many kinds of meats like pork, beef, and chicken to cook; besides, some kinds of freshwater fish, crustaceans, and other mollusks like shrimps, crabs, and oysters, etc. Many famous dishes of Vietnam are cooked with these ingredients such as Bun Rieu. Northern Vietnam is seen to be the cradle of Vietnamese civilization in general and Vietnamese cuisine in particular with many notable dishes like Pho, Bun Rieu, Bun Thang, Bun Cha, Banh Cuon, etc.


Then, food culture in Northern Vietnam became popular in Central and Southern Vietnam with suitable flavors in each region. In Central Vietnam, the topography is characterized by mountains, thus, the regional cuisine of Central Vietnam is famous for its spicy food, which differs from two other parts with mostly non-spicy food. Hue cuisine is typical Central Vietnam’s food culture. Dishes of Hue cuisine are decorative and colorful, which expresses the influence of Vietnamese royal cuisine in the feudal period. Food in the region is often decorated sophisticatedly and used with chili peppers and shrimp sauces, namely, Bun Bo Hue, Banh xeo, or Banh beo, etc.


In Southern Vietnam, the region is characterized by warm weather and fertile soil, which creates favorable conditions for planting a variety of fruit, vegetables and livestock. Thus, food in the region is often added with garlic, shallots and fresh herbs. Particularly, Southerners are favored of sugar; they add sugar in almost dishes. 

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