My Favourite Vietnamese Recipes

Here is a collection of my favourite Vietnamese recipes. I learned many of these recipes by attending cooking courses while I lived there in 2011. Each region has its own specialties, and even their own version of the spring roll. I’ve also created a recipe which is a fusion of the Vietnamese spring roll with foie gras. Actually, it comes from trying a similar dish at Bobby Chinn’s, but sadly that restaurant is no longer there. The combination of foie gras and Vietnamese food is not so hard to imagine. While living in Hanoi, the previous influence of the French was very apparent.

Luckily, it is easy to find most of the ingredients in London at Asian shops. Some of the fresh herbs and vegetables need to be substituted. However, green papaya is possible to find most of the time and that is one of my favourite fresh foods! Also, most of the key flavours like fish sauce, lemon grass, coriander, dill, spices, etc are easy to find.

Starters and Snacks

The starters and snacks in Vietnam were delicious, and I could have a whole meal just with those small plates. My favourites were the many types of spring rolls and the green papaya salad. One of the most unusual starters I had was a cricket salad at Highway 4. It was definitely crunchy and it was okay if I didn’t think about it too much.

Main Dishes

Vietnamese main dishes are so flavourful and delicious! The most well-known dish is probably pho, a soup with rice noodles and usually beef or chicken. Another type of thinner rice noodles, bun, are served without soup and are usually topped with grilled pork, beef or chicken. In Hanoi, a popular traditional dish is cha ca, or dill fish. All of these are possible to make at home!


Desserts in Vietnamese are called Che. Although there were some desserts in Vietnam, these were usually like hot, sweet soup and were not my favourite. At two cooking courses we made che – banana coconut and sweet lotus and longan. I tended to mainly choose ice cream or fresh fruits. Of course the ice cream flavours were exotic compared to what I was used to. They included purple yam, green tea, and durian (a very smelly fruit).

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