Over the centuries, Vietnamese cooks adopted techniques, ingredients, and recipes of their conquering overlords, trading partners, and neighbouring nations, and created a cuisine that is arguably one of the best in the world.
Vietnam’s three main areas, the north, central, and south, have their own regional culinary variations, reflecting their different climates, cultures, and traditions. You can read more about geography of Vietnam here.
The flavours of Vietnam are fresh and light, featuring herbs such as basil, Vietnamese mint, lemongrass, coriander / cilantro. The great attention is paid to the colours, spices, textures, and presentation style which applies to even the most humble dishes. Vietnamese cooks believe that each dish should appeal to all five senses. Many follow the Chinese belief that each meal should contain a yin-yang balance of “hot” and “cooling” foods. Read more about the 5 flavours of Vietnam here.
The versatile fish sauce known as nuoc mam makes an appearance at most meals, as does seafood, rice noodles, fresh vegetables, rice, and lime juice.