Monthly Archives: February 2019

Feb 28

Top 5 Vietnamese Food That Influence Australia

Ever since the Vietnam War came to an end with the fall of Saigon, the influx of Vietnamese refugees in Australia had spiked and the immigration rates had risen steadily between the 80s and the 90s.

Then, what started out as small-scale cooking operations to preserve cultural ties in immigration hubs (Canley Vale, Cabramatta, and Canley Heights in Sydney; Footscray, Richmond, and Springvale in Melbourne) eventually expanded from the epicenters. And now, almost every suburb in Australia’s major cities has a few Vietnamese restaurants to brag about.

As a matter of fact, the cuisine of Vietnam has saturated the Australian food market to the many where most of the citizens can’t go on without a steaming bowl of pho, goi cuon (rice paper rolls), or a crusty banh mi for long. And where would we be without Vietnamese-Australian Luke Nguyen’s beautiful contribution to society, i.e. our stomachs?

All of this is why we always give thanks to Vietnam.

Here’s a sample of some of the first Vietnamese dishes that have graced the palettes of every Aussie there is:


1.   Pho

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The first on our divine list of Vietnamese cuisine is a hearty, intoxicating but not-too-heavy soup that consists of slippery rice noodles, bone broth, protein (which is chicken or beef) and just enough spices and herbs to fend off the common cold for an entire winter. It’s fair to say that for most Australians, pho doesn’t need any introduction. That’s because of this heavenly recipe of probably the most famous and popular symbol of Vietnamese cuisine in Australia (Luke Nguyen sold over 1 million bowls of pho at his Sydney restaurant, Fat Noodle, indicating that there’s a strong market for it). Pho also happens to be affordable and exceptional in value at restaurants, and easy to make at homes.

In fact, Nguyen himself says that you really can’t go wrong with pho.

He says to take a simple dish like spag bol and imagine the various different ways to make it. It would be as of we were preparing a dish of pho – that easy to make. This is irrespective of how we make it and how our family likes it. Luke remarks how he dislikes it when people say ‘that’s not a proper pho’ because there’s no such thing.

2.   Bun Thit Nuong

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With the warmer months edging in closer, Australians will exchange their hot bowls of pho for a refreshing vermicelli noodle salad topped with marinated, grilled meat and plenty of herbs. This tantalizing dish is known as bun thit nuong, and it’s a staple in Vietnamese restaurants all over the country.

Buncha apparently seems to fit right in with Australia’s dining profile: it’s light, full of enjoyable textures and is perfectly customizable. If you don’t like meat, then you can load it up with vegetarian spring rolls or tofu instead. And if you prefer extra chili or nuoc cham dressing, go right ahead. Nobody should stop you from enjoying the dish however you like.

3.   Banh mi

Melbourne was once regarded as the banh mi capital of the world according to Instagram data from 2016: seriously, there were more photos of the sandwich tagged in the city than anywhere else. But this French-inspired, handheld meal isn’t just limited to Victoria. A quick Google search reveals many have an opinion on where they can find great banh mi in every city in Australia. After all, this ain’t your average peanut butter sanga.

Usually, in Sydney, banh mi is often served as a tasty, affordable lunch (occasionally below $5) for those on the go in Cabramatta and Marrickville, as such is seen as a ‘gateway meal’ to Vietnamese cuisine. But this delicate sandwich is not to be underestimated; between the roast pork, pungent coriander, pork pate, and crunchy spring onion lies a storied history of migration and entrepreneurial acumen.

4.   Nuoc cham

This slightly sweet and slightly salty sauce is found in just about every table in Vietnam. Hence why Aussies with a penchant for Vietnamese food have also followed suit.

We love smothering it with salad, asking for extra whenever we’re out and using it as a dipping sauce for virtually every fish – goi cuon, mouthfuls of banh xeo and fried street snacks.

5.   Banh xeo

These sunshine yellow “sizzling pancakes” that are part crispy taco, part French crepe are rapidly rising in the ranks of Vietnam’s hero dishes in cities like Sydney, thanks in large part to restaurants such as Roseberry’s Banh Xeo Bar.

Whether pho, buncha, banh mi, nuoc cham or banh xeo, the Vietnamese cuisine is made for life among the Australian populous. What’s more is that each recipe serves to give your entire body’s metabolism a good healthy upgrade. For instance, if you’ve got a nasty case of the flu then pho’s bone broth-like properties will do just the trick to fend it off. Or if you prefer something that you have more control over in what to put in the dish, then the Buncha is more to your liking.

If you’re visiting Toowoomba in your next trip, then we suggest you have help yourself with as much of this sublime Asian cooking as you can. We guarantee you that you’ll only get nothing but the best Vietnam food in Toowoomba.

Feb 28

Best Wines For Vietnamese Food

For the past centuries, Asian cuisines have taken a backseat, but that is all starting change these days. Vietnamese food, in particular, is rapidly gaining popularity in Western countries and most especially in Australia.

This no longer comes as a surprise. After all, Vietnamese food is not as spicy as other Asian dishes. Instead, it offers a great balance of textures and flavors of the perfect combination of spices.

Another thing that makes Vietnamese dishes stand out is its colonial heritage. It is heavily influenced by a lot of foreign cuisines, particularly the French. This is the very reason why most of their dishes are best paired with wine.

But what is the best wine for Vietnamese food? How do you choose which wine should go with your Vietnamese recipe? Read this article to find out!

The Best Wine for Vietnamese Food Pairings That You Need to Know

If you love wine and Vietnamese is your favorite takeaway, then you need to familiarize yourself with which wines go best with Vietnamese food. Well, here are the wines that you should know about and which Vietnamese dishes they should go with.

1. Riesling

Most Riesling variations give off a hint of sweetness that will not clash with the spiciness of Vietnamese dishes, and that is why it is a great option.

The high acidity and natural minerality of an off-dry Riesling will work well with the flavours of Pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup made up of soft rice noodles, a good dose of protein, and a wide array of spices including spring onions, brown onion, lemon, hoisin sauce, hot chilli sauce and chilli.

The sweetness of this wine is also able to stand up against spicy flavors so if you love Sriracha (Vietnamese hot sauce) and can cool down its heat a bit without altering its taste. Lastly, its acidity can cut through the richness of fatty meats like pork.

2. Pinot Noir

This wine is considered to be a light variety of reds. More than that, this is also believed to be low in tannins and is bland enough to perfectly match the herbal and sweet notes of Vietnamese dishes rich in cilantro and basil.

Because of this, it is recommended that you pair this wine with Banh Mi, Curry, Pork Bao,…

3. Sauvignon Blanc

This wine is a bit tricky. It gives off an intense fruity flavor with an equally strong herbal note. For millennials, fruity wines seem to be a thing of the past but do not turn your back on this just yet.

A fruity wine tastes good with something spicy, sweet and sour. This white also goes well with fried foods and the famous Vietnamese dipping sauce, Nuoc Cham.

Since it is fruit-based, this wine also enhances the flavors of citrus and spices, two ingredients that are common in Vietnamese dishes so you can consider this one to be a good all-rounder.

4. Lambrusco

This is an Italian red wine, so it is not commonly offered in Vietnamese restaurants, but this is a great at-home option. Same with Pinot Noir, this red wine also contains only a small amount of tannins which makes it perfect for Vietnamese Pork Dishes.

You see, tannins make pork dishes bitter and can overpower the flavor of herbs that are common with Vietnamese cuisines. So go ahead, feel free to pair it with Bun Thit Nuong (Vietnamese grilled pork with rice vermicelli).

A dry Lambrusco has a bit of tartness and contains residual sugar which highlights the sweetness of the pork.  It also gives off a cleaning effervescence that works well in washing away the richness of fried dishes, so it is also usually paired with fried spring rolls and banh mi.

5. Torrontés

When it comes to Argentinian wines, Malbec is the king. But when it comes with Vietnamese cuisines, the best Argentinian wine to drink would be Torrontés.

This wine grape variety is light and not too sweet, so it is best paired with light Vietnamese dishes like Cha Gio (deep fried Vietnamese spring rolls made of a mixture of proteins (shrimp or pork) and veggies like carrots, white onions, mushroom…

6. Txakoli

This is a rare wine with a unique flavor from the Spanish Basque country. Txakoli contains high amounts of acids and produces a bit of effervescence that matches seafood pretty well.

In the region where it is produced, locals usually drink it with barbecued prawns, so the safest bet is that it will taste great with Vietnamese seafood dishes like shrimp rice paper rolls(summer rolls) and catfish vermicelli.

7. Savignon Rosso

Pho is the most celebrated Vietnamese dish, and it is probably due to its intoxicating mix of flavorful spices like fennel, clove, anise, and cinnamon—all soaked up in a steamy hot broth. Because of its pool of flavors, it may seem like no wine will ever complement its taste.

Well, Sauvignon Rosso has hints of rose and pomegranate. Both of these citrus and floral notes match the flavor of fragrant ingredients in Pho pretty well. Moreover, these flavors also stand up well with fatty and meaty dishes.

8. Grenache

Do you like Vietnamese pancakes? I bet you do! This dish is a typical Vietnamese street food filled with bean sprouts, pork and shrimp strips, and spring onions dipped in salty and sweet sauces.

As you already know, these pancakes are already bursting with flavors so you should shy away from wine with strong, full-bodied flavor and go for light-bodied, low-acid, and bland wines and Grenache is one of them.

If you want to know more about Vietnamese food and wine pairings, please watch this video:

Vietnamese Food and Wine Pairings | Original Saigon Restaurant

Final Words

At first thought, it may seem like pairing wine with Vietnamese food is not a good idea. After all, the bland and subtle taste of wine may be overpowered by the salty, sour, sweet, and spicy taste of Vietnamese dishes.

But as it turns out, some types of wine can complement the big and bold flavors of these dishes. All that you have to do is choose the type of wine carefully. When prepping for a big Vietnamese dinner at home, keep this guide in mind so you can find the best wine for Vietnamese food!

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