Every day Vietnamese cuisine conquers more and more hearts – lovers of exotic Asian dishes. At home, Vietnamese cuisine is divided into three varieties, depending on the region (North Vietnam, Central and South). The cuisine of North Vietnam is characterized by a moderate taste, salty dishes prevail, many vegetables and freshwater species of fish and animals are used. In Central Vietnam, the dishes are especially refined, since for a long time the imperial capital was located in this region. Dishes are mostly more saline and spicy than those of North and South. In the South, dishes are distinguished by sweet and sour notes of taste; sugar and coconut milk are often used in cooking. The cuisine of this region is most influenced by Chinese and Thai cuisines.
The main feature of Vietnamese cuisine is a harmonious and balanced combination of ingredients and tastes. The Vietnamese do not eat one dish separately, but combine it with other dishes, sauces and seasonings. The products are combined according to the principles of balancing the opposites of Yin-Yang (there are heating and cooling products) and the five fundamental elements (each basic taste corresponds to the element).
At one time, Vietnam was a colony of France, which undoubtedly influenced the Vietnamese culinary traditions. New ingredients began to be used, new methods of cooking (for example, cooking on butter or adding wine) of products familiar to Vietnamese. New dishes were introduced, but they were significantly “Vietnamised”, and some Vietnamese dishes became closer to European cuisine.
The most famous example of Vietnamese-French fusion dishes are “banh mi” - Vietnamese sandwiches. The basis for this is white bread – a baguette cut lengthwise, and the filling is traditional Vietnamese products: Vietnamese sausage, cilantro, cucumber, pickled daikon, etc. often with French dressing – mayonnaise.
Another “echo” of the colonial past is the abundance of beef dishes that appeared at that time. For example, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the custom appeared in the South to serve 7 different dishes of beef during one meal.
Vietnamese cuisine is extremely rich and varied, but there are, of course, dishes in it that have earned national and world fame and best represent the culinary traditions of Vietnam. Among them is pho soup (this is not quite a soup in our understanding, but noodles, which are poured with separately cooked broth). Pho is considered a classic dish of Vietnamese cuisine, but it appeared relatively recently – during the French colonial period.
The main ingredients are white rice noodles and a transparent broth made from bones with spices (ginger, onion, cinnamon, anise, cardamom, etc., calcined in a frying pan without oil). Most often, pho is cooked with beef and chicken. Usually noodles are placed in a large bowl, thin slices of meat on top. Then they are poured with hot broth and sprinkled with herbs (green onions, bean sprouts, cilantro, etc.). Separately, fresh lime, chopped herbs, a little chili sauce, ground pepper are served to the pho.
Another popular dish is bun bo. There are two varieties: Bun Bo Hue (appeared in the ancient capital of Hue) and Bun Bo Nam Bo (the native land of this species is South Vietnam). The bun bo from the ancient capital of Hue, like the pho, is noodles with broth, but there are a number of differences. The noodles used for bun bo are thicker and larger; they are round in section. The broth is cooked from beef bone and spices. Unlike pho, bun bo Hue is more spicy, served with salad, bean sprouts and lime.
Here you will find Bun Bo Nam Bo – the southern version of the dish. It differs from other types of noodles in that it does not use broth, but a combination of sweet and sour fish sauce and fried onions, fresh vegetables. Fresh greens are laid out in a plate, then boiled noodles, poured with hot sauce, thin slices of fried beef on top, all sprinkled with fried onions and peanuts.
The dish that gave the name to our restaurant is nem. This is one of the most popular Vietnamese dishes in the country and abroad. The name "Nem" is more common in the North of Vietnam. In Central Vietnam it is called “ram”, and in the South - “cha gio”. Nems are rolls: a filling wrapped in rice paper, which includes lean pork, egg, glass noodles, vegetables, mushrooms, shrimp (ingredients may vary from region to region).
Nems are fried in oil until golden crisp. Served with a fish sauce, to which chili pepper and garlic are added. Also, as a side dish can be served noodles and vegetables, especially greens: cilantro, salad, basil.
And this, of course, is far from all. Vietnamese cuisine can surprise you with an abundance and variety of dishes and please the original taste of any gourmet. Experience the spirit of Vietnam with traditional Vietnamese dishes at NEM.