Introduction to Vietnamese Cooking Techniques

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Chien: fried dishes. Vietnamese usually use a non-stick pan for fried dishes at home. You put oil in a wok or nonstick saucepan over high or medium heat. Wait until the oil is hot enough that a cube of bread dropped in the oil browns in 15 sec, and then pat dry the food before putting into the oil. You can fry fish, chicken, meat, bread, vegetables, etc. The Vietnamese have a couple of techniques that are unique to their cuisine.

Quay: Roasted dishes

Lau: hot pot dishes. Hotpot is Asian fondue or steamboat, refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, and seafood. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce. In many areas, hot pot meals are often eaten in the winter, or any gatherings.

Vietnamese cuisine is highly unique as it’s a mix of Chinese and many other types of cooking, including French styles of cooking. There is a lot of Chinese influence on Vietnamese cooking because of the historical influence of China on Vietnam. As with other countries, Vietnamese food is influenced by Vietnamese history as well as location and geography. Vietnam was once a colony of China; therefore they adopted many traditions from China. As it relates to food, one of these is the chopsticks and the other is the use of the work. The Vietnamese often use fish sauce, otherwise known as nuoc mam, which replaces the soy sauce used in China. The only area that really uses soy sauce is the northern region.

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Vietnam, particularly Ho Chi Minh City, produces a lot of vegetables and rice and they supply much of the rest of Vietnam. Vietnamese recipes also tend to use stir-fry, but mostly in the north as well. In the North, Vietnamese recipes also have fewer vegetables and herbs because of their climate. The Vietnamese tend to stay away from chilies, instead opting for black pepper in Vietnamese recipes. Additionally, they use a lot of beef, which is a tradition that they got from the Mongolians during their invasion.

In the Cambodian area, they eat and produce a lot of curries. This influence comes from ancient Angkor. For those in Vietnam that cannot afford some of the more expensive dishes, they eat a lot of noodles. It’s common to see noodle stands along the roads for people that are passing by. Many Vietnamese people eat three meals a day of nothing but noodles. Another dish that is common in Vietnamese recipes is soup. A common Vietnamese vegetarian variant meal would certainly contain bowls of rice, mixed fried vegetables or fit to be tied veggies, Canh a clear brew of vegetables or other soups, soy sauce mixed with garlic or chili.

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