Vietnamese food is renowned for emphasising healthy, fresh ingredients while harmonising flavours and textures. The following are some of the most nutritious ingredients popular in Vietnamese cooking:
- Herbs: Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its use of fresh herbs, which provide dishes flavour and nutrients. Examples of these herbs include cilantro, mint, basil, and lemongrass.
- Vegetables: Fresh and crunchy components like carrots, cucumbers, and bean sprouts are popular vegetables in many Vietnamese meals.
- Rice noodles: Rice noodles are a common ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine, providing a gluten-free alternative to wheat noodles. They are low in calories and high in fiber.
- Seafood: With a long coastline, seafood plays a prominent role in Vietnamese cuisine. Fish, shrimp, squid, and clams are often used in soups and noodle dishes, providing lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Tofu: Tofu is a popular ingredient in vegetarian and vegan Vietnamese dishes, providing a source of plant-based protein.
- Lemongrass: Lemongrass is a flavorful herb commonly used in Vietnamese cuisine. It is rich in antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Ginger: Ginger is another common ingredient in Vietnamese cooking, adding flavor and providing health benefits such as anti-inflammatory and digestive properties.
- Lime: Lime is often used in Vietnamese cuisine to add acidity and brightness to dishes. It is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Peanuts: Peanuts are a staple in Vietnamese cuisine because they include fibre, protein, and healthy fats.
- Coconut milk: Coconut milk lends a creamy texture and flavour to many Vietnamese curries and sweets while also delivering health advantages including healthy fats and antioxidants.