What comes to mind when you think of Vietnamese food? Banh mi sandwiches? Summer sandwiches? If you’re unfamiliar, let us take you on a tour of some of our Vietnamese favorites, from hearty protein-packed dinners to simple, flavorful side dishes (and even drinks). Whether you’re looking for something super authentic or into classic Vietnamese flavors, we’ve got you covered. Check out our list of 15 Vietnamese recipes — some of these just might become your new favorite Asian food go-tos.
There are a few standout ingredients in Vietnamese food that are worth mentioning, especially if you’ve never cooked with them. One is lemongrass, a tough vegetable stalk with a herbaceous, lemony scent (not unlike the smell of Froot Loops, tbh). Try our Gà Kho Xả Ởt, or Braised Lemongrass Chili Chicken, for an introduction to the flavor in a succulent chicken dish. Another special ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine is fish sauce, a sweet and funky sauce made from fermented fish. It makes certain dishes common to many Southeast Asian cuisines feel very Vietnamese, often without the taste of fishy at all – add it to our coconut chicken curry, experience it in our green papaya salad or use it to marinate pork for a banh mi sandwich to taste the extra level of mysterious umami it brings.
We’d be remiss not to shout Nước Mắm Me, a Vietnamese tamarind dipping sauce that really goes with EVERYTHING. Dip your summer rolls in it, marinate chicken wings or shrimp, or use it as a dressing for a salad or rice bowl. It’s so simple and so customizable – make it as sweet or as spicy as you want.
For more Asian menu inspiration, check out our favorite Thai recipes, Chinese food, and Indian recipes.