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Increasingly famous worldwide with restaurants sprawled over the globe no Vietnamese food abroad can equal in flavor or quality to that made in Vietnam itself. In brief, Vietnamese cuisine depends heavily on rice grown in water paddies throughout the country, with dishes varying from simple everyday meals to most complex dishes designed for the King. Reaching a balance between fresh herbs and meats; as well as a selective use of spices to reach a fine taste, Vietnamese food can be considered one of the healthiest yet most divine cuisines worldwide.
Spices and ingredients
Vietnam's ingredients reflect its geography and climate. Rice (grown in water paddies throughout the country) is the main starch used in everyday meals, and is also made into different kind of cakes and noodles. Besides a number of Buddhist vegetarian dishes, most Vietnamese dishes or meals are a combination of a variety of vegetables, herbs and meats.
Common herbs may include lemon grass, lime or kaffir.
Popular meats are pork, beef, chicken, prawn and various fish. Lamb, duck, birds, and even dog or other wild animals are also used but not widely. Fish sauce and soy sauce are used as both flavorings and dipping sauces for nearly every dish.
Peanuts are also used widely in Vietnamese cuisine.
Vegetarians and those with allergies should be careful and ask beforehand while enjoying Vietnamese cuisine.
Using leaf and flower: Welsh onion or green onion (hành lá or hành hương or hành hoa), Garlic chives (hẹ)
Using bulb: garlic (tỏi), shallot (hành tím), onion (hành tây), Allium chinense (củ kiệu) and chives (củ nén or hành tăm).
Welsh onion (hưng cừ) and leek (tỏi tây or hành boarô) are not traditionally used.
Family Zingiberaceae: using ginger (gừng), galangal (riềng)- greater galangal (riềng nếp) is preferred to lesser galangal (riềng thuốc) because of the stronger flavour, turmeric (nghệ) and black cardamom (thảo quả).
Bacopa monnieri (rau đắng)
Coriander/Cilantro_USA (rau ngò or ngò rí)
Lemon grass (xả or sả)
Dill (thì là)
Elsholtzia ciliata (kinh giới)
Long coriander/culantro (ngò gai)
Rice paddy herb/Cumin (ngò ôm)
Houttuynia cordata (giấp cá or diếp cá)
Peppermint (húng cây or rau bạc hà)
Perilla (tía tô)
Spearmint (húng lủi)
Thai basil (rau quế, húng quế, or rau húng quế) sometimes substituted with sweet basil in the United States
Hot mint (rau răm)
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