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Frequently asked questions

Is Vietnamese cooking difficult?

Yes and no.

In general, Vietnamese cooking requires more work than Western dishes, especially in the preparation process. A spring roll dish for example calls for over 10 ingredients. The same applies to Pho or Banh My.

Leaving the hard part in gathering enough ingredients behind, the actual cooking part can be fun for some but rigorous for others. For example, to make spaghetti, all one has to do is to boiled the noodle and make the sauce. To make Pho, one has to gather all the spice: ginger, clove, star anise, shallot, grilled them well and put them in the meat broth to bring out the flavor. The noodle is then added, followed by shredded chicken or thinly sliced beef, and finally herbs and spice.

The cooking of Vietnamese cuisine can be especially challenging if you do not live in the country, as some ingredients may be hard to get outside of Vietnam.

What is the healthiest Vietnamese food?

The healthiest Vietnamese food are vegetable-based dishes. Thanks to its location in the tropical zone but with diverse altitudes, Vietnam enjoys a broad spectrum of vegetables and herbs. Many of which are simply boiled to serve with soy sauce or fish sauce, making them both loaded with vitamin and low in calorie.

What does "nước mắm" mean?

"Nuoc mam" means fish sauce.

This is a common ingredient in Vietnamese recipe- they can be added to braised meat or fish to replace the salt, or serve as popular dipping sauce in any Vietnamese meals. In many dishes, nuoc mam plays a vital role in adding the main flavor to the dish: it's often mixed with lime, sugar and chili or garlic to give a tangy/salty/sweet taste.

Is turmeric used in Vietnamese cooking?

Turmeric is fairly common in Vietnamese cooking. A few popular dishes that include turmeric are:

- Hoi An Chicken Rice

- Oc om chuoi dau (snail stew with green bananas)

- Bun moc (round noodle with meat balls)

What are common ingredients in Vietnamese food?