Vietnamese Food

Cuisine culture in Vietnam

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Someone asked me the other day what my favorite food was..."Vietnamese!" I quickly replied, "At least for the moment."

About Viet Nam...

Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea, referred to as East Sea (Vietnamese: Biển Đông), to the east. With a population of over 86 million, Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world.

10 Amazing Vietnamese Restaurants

Finding decent cuisine in a foreign country need not be difficult. Throughout your travels you’ll find that most major cities and towns feature not only local cuisine but foreign and international fare as well. This means finding a food you enjoy should be relatively easy.

So where in Vietnam will go for the best meals? We’ve got an astounding variety of restaurants for you to choose from in cities all over the country. Check out some of these amazing Vietnamese eateries for decadent cuisine you’ll never forget.

vietnam-food
Image Credit: trippinlarry

10. Au Parc – Ho Chi Mihn City

In Ho Chi Minh City you’ll find the incredible Au Parc café. The café is mainly open for breakfast and lunch and serves snacks and coffee in between meals as well. The ambience inside the café is European and serves French, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern fare. Make sure you go for lunch and try a sandwich. The bacon, lettuce, and avocado on a baguette is to die for. Au Parc should be a short walk or drive from your Hoi Chi Mihn hotel depending on what part of the city you end up staying in.

9. Bon Banh Mi Bakery – Ho Chi Mihn City

Also found in Ho Chi Mihn City is the astounding Bon Banh Mi Bakery. This astounding little store is a cross between a fast food restaurant and a bakery but the sandwiches you’ll pick up are simply amazing. Imagine biting into a hero sub on a fresh baguette filled with pork sausage, pickled carrots, and dried fish flakes (amongst other things). This bakery has sandwiches that cater to the tastes of the Vietnamese public and you should definitely make at least one trip here to give them a try.

8. Bun Cha – Hanoi

Bun Cha
Image Credit: hermmermferm

In the city of Hanoi you’ll find Bun Cha, a restaurant named after its signature dish. Bun cha features a barbecue flavored pork ball served with a fish sauce on the side. You’ll have your choice of additional sides including bean sprouts, morning glory, mint, lettuce – or whatever the vendor across the street has to give the chef that day. This is an incredible lunchtime dish and if you don’t arrive early enough you may not get to try it. Make sure you ask the concierge at your hotel in Hanoi for directions!

7. No Noodles – Hanoi

Another Hanoi favorite is No Noodles – a restaurant known for turning its back on traditional Vietnamese cuisine and instead focusing on the type of sandwiches visiting Westerners will love. They specialize in using the finest meats, cheese, breads, and condiments to create fast and delicious sandwiches in no time flat. This is the perfect destination for visitors looking for a sandwich to remind them of home.

6. The Palm Tree – Phu Quoc

In the city of Phu Quoc you’ll find The Palm Tree. The Palm Tree is incredibly popular amongst resort guests and backpackers passing through the area. They serve fresh grilled seafood as well as fresh coconut meats and juices throughout the entire day. The fresh squid, garrupa, scallops, and kingfish make this delightful restaurant well worth the trip. Take some of the money you save by booking cheap Phu Quoc hotels and use it to eat here – over and over and over again.

5. Wild Rice – Hanoi

Wild Rice is one of the newest restaurants in Hanoi but is also quickly becoming one of the most popular. The ambiance inside is contemporary as are the dishes – which blend modern culinary style with traditional Vietnamese flavors and ingredients. Think yogurt-marinated chicken served with a papaya and prawn salad and you’ll only be scratching the surface when it comes to this restaurant’s incredible menu.

4. Song Hoai – Hoi An

In the Song Hoai restaurant you’ll find not only astounding Vietnamese cuisine but a menu of dishes that reflects exactly what the city of Hoi An itself has to offer. One of Hoi An’s specialties is a dish known as mi quang, featuring al dente noodles mixed with baby prawns, pork, and a delicious broth. If you want to taste this local dish you need to have it at Song Hoai – and make sure you have a bahn bao banh vat (steamed dumpling) while you’re there.

3. Evason Anna Mandara & Six Senses Spa – Nha Trang

Evason Anna Mandara

Most of the restaurants we’ve featured so far have been independently owned but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a delicious meal in one of Vietnam’s stunning hotels. In Nha Trang you’ll find that the restaurants within the Evason Anna Mandara & Six Senses Spa serve some of the finest Western-infused Vietnamese cuisine in the area. Every dish, regardless of its inspiration, is made with fresh ingredients purchased from local markets. Don’t be turned off by the spa experience, either – there are plenty of other affordable hotels in Nha Trang and you can stay in one of those in between visits to Evason Anna Mandara for meals.

2. La Fourchette – Ho Chi Minh City

Also found in Ho Chi Minh City is the incredible La Fourchette restaurant. This tiny French bistro gives visitors an opportunity to take a break from Vietnamese style foods and instead enjoy other delicacies – like buttery escargots.

1. Pho 24 – Ho Chi Minh City

Pho 24

Pho is, of course, a favorite dish in Vietnam and one you’ll find listed on almost every restaurant menu. It is fun, however, to eat in a restaurant that features the national dish. Pho 24 is actually a chain that feels somewhat like a fast food restaurant  except the quality of the pho – highlighted with the flavors of clove, anise, and ginger – is far above what you’d come to expect from a quick stop. Pho is a favorite dish all day long – including breakfast.

Are you hungry yet? We are! Pack your bags and hop on the first flight to Vietnam. No matter what city you end up in you’re bound to find a spectacular local restaurant serving spectacular Vietnamese fare. Make sure you give it a try!

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Stuffed Cabbage Soup Recipe (Canh Bap Cuon)

Canh Bap Cuon (Stuffed Cabbage Soup Recipe) Recipe
Stuffed Cabbage Soup Recipe - Canh bắp cải cuốn, which literally translates to stuffed cabbage wrap soup is my way of using the leftover potsticker filling I recently made. I stuffed the leftover mixture into whole cabbage leaves that were previously softened by par-boiling. I served them phở-style, meaning that I brought them to the table in bowls and then covered them with celery and carrot broth just before everyone dug in.
Creating little cabbage “gifts” is a great way to vary the vegetarian meals we've been having this week for Tết (Vietnamese Lunar New Year, on February 3rd). I tied the cabbage with green onions strings. The entire thing is edible and looks very playful.

Ingredients

Yields: 8 servings
1 head white cabbage (about 1 pound total)
1 cup vegetarian filling
2 bunches green onions
4 carrots, peeled
1 daikon radish, peeled
6 celery stalks, peeled and sliced
2 Fuji apples, quartered
1 tablespoon dried fried shallot (store-bought)
2 teaspoons palm sugar (or granulated sugar), grated
2-½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 teaspoons sesame oil (optional)
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Preparation

Preparing the green onions: Thinly slice about 3 tablespoons of the white part of the green onions. Remove the bulbs from the rest. Separate them and create green, long strings. Set aside.
How to wrap the cabbage packages:
Core and separate all the cabbage leaves from the root, which is fibrous and tough to eat. Wash the cabbage thoroughly under cold running water. Turn the leaves over and carefully slice off some of the thick vein so the leaves roll up more easily.
Boil both the cabbage leaves and green onions in about a quart of salted boiling water. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until softened. Drain and immediately transfer the greens into a cold water bath. Pat dry on towels. Remove as much liquid as possible. Season with salt.
Place about 2 teaspoons of the filling in the middle of a cabbage leaf. Fold the cabbage around the filling. On the horizontal side of the leaf, take one side and fold it over to the bottom of the little package. Then take the other side, folding it over, too. Make sure the filling is nicely covered. It should be about 2-½" package. Add 2 green onion strings. Make sure your ribbon is long enough and can go around the gift in whatever pattern you decide. Form the look of a cross on top and bottom. Tie it until perfectly secure.

How to make vegetarian broth: In a large pot, place the apples in 3 quarts of water. Bring to a roaring boil for about 30 minutes and cook until the broth is reduced by 1/3. Regularly skim the impurities rising to the surface of the broth using a fine mesh strainer. Add the carrots and daikon and lower the heat to a bubbly simmer. Cook for about  20 more minutes. Add the celery, palm sugar, dried shallots and salt. Cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the apples from the broth. Slice the vegetables and place them back in the broth. Check the seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust sweetness of the broth. The amount of sugar varies with the sweetness of the apples. Finish with a drizzle of sesame oil.

Assembly time:
Line up your serving bowls. Place some sliced green onions and cilantro in each bowl. Add 2 to 3 cabbage packages per person. Ladle the boiling broth into the bowls with carrots, celery and daikon radish.
Serve with chili garlic sauce (tương ớt) on the side.
Serve immediately.
Bon appétit!

Tips

Parboiling means briefly boiling the cabbage leaves. Think "par-tial" boiling = parboiling. You could skip this step but you'll have very large wraps.
Daikon (củ cải trắng in Vietnamese) is an Asian radish that looks like a large white carrot. I use this root a lot when making broth to add natural sweetness to it.
If you're a vegetarian, infusing apples gives a natural sweetness that resembles chicken broth. You can substitute 2 tablespoons of frozen apple juice concentrate for the fresh apples. When I make vegetable broth, I tend to use Fuji apples or Golden Delicious, which are some of the sweetest varieties.
If you have vegetable broth left over, place the broth in containers and store in the freezer. It will keep for up to 6 months.

Source: phamfatale.com
TAGS:  Stuffed Cabbage Soup Recipe, Canh Bap Cuon, Stuffed Cabbage, Soup Recipe, Canh Cai Bap Cuon, Canh Cai Bap

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