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Vietnamese cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine
Vietnamese cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine

Vietnamese Cuisine

Vietnamese cuisine encompasses the foods and beverages of Vietnam, and features a combination of five fundamental tastes (Vietnamesengũ vị) in the overall meal. Each Vietnamese dish has a distinctive flavor which reflects one or more of these elements.

Common ingredients include fish sauceshrimp pastesoy sauce, rice, fresh herbs, and fruits and vegetables. Vietnamese recipes use lemongrassgingermintVietnamese mintlong corianderSaigon cinnamonbird’s eye chililime, and Thai basil leaves. Traditional Vietnamese cooking is greatly admired for its fresh ingredients, minimal use of dairy and oil, complementary textures, and reliance on herbs and vegetables. With the balance between fresh herbs and meats and a selective use of spices to reach a fine taste, Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide.

Philosophical importance

Known for its balance of five elements, many Vietnamese dishes include five fundamental taste senses (ngũ vị): spicy (metal), sour (wood), bitter (fire), salty (water) and sweet (Earth), corresponding to: five organs (ngũ tạng): gall bladder, small intestine, large intestine, stomach, and urinary bladder.

Vietnamese dishes also include five types of nutrients (ngũ chất): powder, water or liquid, mineral elements, protein and fat. Vietnamese cooks try to have five colours (ngũ sắc): white (metal), green (wood), yellow (Earth), red (fire) and black (water) in their dishes.

Dishes in Vietnam appeal to gastronomes’ via five senses (năm giác quan): food arrangement attracts eyes, sounds come from crisp ingredients, five spices are detected on the tongue, aromatic ingredients coming mainly from herbs stimulate the nose, and some meals, especially finger food, can be perceived by touching. Whether complex or simple, Vietnamese dishes also offer satisfying mouthfeel during the dining enjoyment.

Five element correspondence

Correspondence

Elements

Wood

Fire

Earth

Metal

Water

Spices (ngũ vị)

Sour

Bitter

Sweet

Spicy

Salty

Organs (ngũ tạng)

 

Gall bladder

Small intestine

Stomach

Large intestine

Urinary bladder

Colors (ngũ sắc)

Green

Red

Yellow

White

Black

Senses (ngũ giác )

Visual

Taste

Touch

Smell

Sound

Nutrients (ngũ chất)

Carbohydrates

Fat

Protein

Minerals

Water

Yin yang balance

The principle of yin and yang is applied in composing a meal in a way that provides a balance that is beneficial for the body. While contrasting texture and flavors are important, the principal primarily concerns the “heating” and “cooling” properties of ingredients. Certain dishes are served in their respective seasons to provide contrasts in temperature and spiciness of the food and environment.