The diversified Vietnamese herbs

Published:  03:31 Friday - July 22, 2016

The diversified Vietnamese herbs

There are many kinds of herbs that are found along Vietnam and many special herbs only grow in a town, a village or a small area. Herb plays an important role in Vietnam cuisine and an indispensable thing in a daily meal.

 

The difference between herbs and vegetables can be argued over, but generally herbs are something that enhances the flavour of food. The Vietnamese have a term for this “rau thom”. “Rau” refers to edible leafy vegetation, and “thơm” meaning aromatic or fragrant. Vietnam loves herbs. They’re used like condiments. It’s a big part of the reason why Vietnamese food is so good. Order a bowl of pho in Vietnam and it will surely come with a plate of greens. Never has a pile of leaves been so intimidating. Some you may recognize – cilantro/coriander, dill, lemongrass, and various forms of mint are popular in Vietnam – but for the unrecognizable ones, hopefully this will help you make the most out of the Vietnamese’s favourite flavour enhancers.

 

 

  • Cilantro: In salads, soups, spring rolls, and beyond. Widely used as the finishing touch garnish. Depending on your genetics, might taste soapy.
  • Mint: Several varieties grow in Vietnam. Some are fuzzy, some taste lemony, some spearminty, others are spicy...
  • Fish Mint or Fish Leaf: Ever tried fish mint? Wow, it's really fishy. Appropriately named, this leafy herb has an awfully pungent smell and taste. You'll think you wrapped actual fish into your spring roll, but really it's just this sneaky leaf.
  • Basil: More popular in Thailand but still makes an appearance in pho and on herb plates.
  • Lime Leaf: Bright green and shiny. Somewhat bitter oils.
  • Lemongrass: Tastes and smells, not surprisingly, like lemon. Used in both sweet and savory dishes.
  • Green Onions and Scallions
  • Garlic Chives: Flat leaves with a delicate onion and garlic flavor.
  • Perilla Leaf: Green on top, purplish on the underside with a complex flavor that combines licorice, mint, and lemon all in one leaf.
  • Dill: Hardly associated with Southeast Asian cuisine but used in a famous Vietnamese fish dish called Cha Ca, where it's treated more like a veggie than an herb.
  • Turmeric: Sometimes called poor man's saffron, it adds a vivid goldenness to fried foods and some peppery flavor.
  • Ginger and Galangal: Both knobby rhizomes, both pervasive in Vietnamese cooking.
  • Saigon Cinnamon: There are different species of cinnamon in the world, and this one is indigenous to Vietnam. Woody, earthy flavor and aroma. Important in pho.
  • Tamarind Pulp: Maybe this doesn't belong on this list, but it needed to go somewhere. The sweet-sour pulp is used in noodle soups and curries.
We appreciate your comments. Should you have any feedback or thoughts on how to improve VIETNAMTOURISM.ORG.VN , please contact us at: info@vietnamtourism.org.vn
Việt nam tourism Chuyên cung cấp website du lịch và dich vụ tour du lịch VIETNAMTOURISM.ORG.VN Xếp hạng 9.5/10 4999 Bình chọn