fbpx

Category Archives for "Blog"

Sep 27

French Influence on Vietnamese Cuisine

The Beginning of the French Connection with Vietnamese

Unbeknown-st to most, the French and Vietnamese cuisines are connected and this connection goes way back. The link between the two is fostered by the colonial history of Vietnam when the Catholic missionaries arrived in the early 17th Century.

However, the arrival of the missionaries was not a prelude to a peaceful relationship. Instead, Vietnam would eventually be colonised by France. Cambodia was also colonised. As a result, the Indochinese Union was formed in 1887, which allowed for a strong French influence to be maintained in Vietnam in the next seven decades.

After the French left Vietnam, following the Geneva Accord, the influence can still be felt. The cultural ramifications of having the French around for decades lasted, well until the present period. One can only look at the architecture strewn all over Ho Chi Minh City today, which is known as Saigon at the time to see this strong influence. The Saigon Opera House is a prime example of this lasting colonial effect of the French in Vietnam.

How the French Influenced Cuisine in Vietnam

More than the architecture however is the French colonial influence on Vietnamese cuisine. Modern Vietnamese cuisine, of course, cannot be said to be a rendition of French cuisine. Instead, it is a mixture of influences - the culinary impact of Vietnamese flavor before it was colonised and the French influence.

Vietnamese food has a distinct flavor well before the French arrived and made Vietnam a colony. Like most colonies, Vietnam has its history and culture before it was conquered and transformed. This naturally means it has its culinary history and culture. During this period, Vietnamese cuisine is more influenced by its neighbouring countries, more so by China. The influence was mutual.

Vietnamese influence on Chinese food can be observed at the time up until today. For example, the presence of wontons and wheat noodles. Even though Vietnamese noodles are unlike Chinese noodles in different ways, one can usually confuse the two considering they sometimes taste the same - similarly using New World vegetables such as chili peppers and corn, among others. These two ingredients originated from the Ming Dynasty and reached their way to Vietnam, even before the French arrived.

Notwithstanding the influence of the neighbouring countries however, Vietnamese cuisine has its unique characteristics that lasted until today. One of these is the Vietnamese philosophy to concocting a recipe. No other countries have this philosophy.

The Taste Elements in Vietnamese Cuisine

Central to the Vietnamese way of preparing cuisine is not moulding together of the five main taste elements - sweet, sour, salty, spicy, and bitter. This is not only because of the unique flavor that combining them will lead to. Instead, the Vietnamese believe that each taste corresponds to a particular organ of the body. In particular, sweet corresponds to the health of the bladder, sour is associated with the health of the small intestine, salty can affect stomach health,  spicy corresponds to the health of the gall bladder and lastly, bitter is linked to the health of the large intestine.

Vietnamese people are very enamoured with the number five. Cooks before and after the French came made sure to always include the five types of nutrients in their cuisine - powder, water, protein, fat, and minerals. In addition, you can always see five colours in the foods prepared - white, black, red, green, and yellow.

This is why Vietnamese cuisine always looks so colourful, compared to Western dishes. The green is a staple because there’s always something fresh and leafy in Vietnamese food. The resulting dishes are not just attractive to the eyes, but also to a person’s tongue.

Balance in Vietnamese Dishes

Balance is simply the key principle. The combination of five, whether it be flavors, colours, and nutrients, is the result of wanting to achieve balance with the food Vietnamese people would be feeding their bodies. This is why cooks always make sure to balance between heating and cooling properties of the food, which may not make sense to most Westerners.

The Vietnamese know what foods can be categorised as cool foods and what can be considered warm, which is not Western dishes usually taken into consideration. For instance, duck meat is considered cool so it must be served during warm weather or served with some ginger, which is perceived as having warm properties.

Chicken is differentiated from duck meat — again, not so many know about this — and therefore, served during winter because it has warm properties. It is preferably served with sour sauce such as vinegar, considered as having cool properties. These characteristics of Vietnamese cuisine were already present way before French influence and remain integral to understanding their food as a whole.

Asparagus, Potatoes, and Onion

In the modern period, however, French influence on the food cannot be discounted.  These influences exist in the ingredients that did not necessarily exist in the pre-French colonial period in Vietnamese foods, such as asparagus and potatoes. Now, these ingredients are everywhere in modern Vietnamese foods.

Vietnamese paid homage to France though, by recognising these ingredients are not originally theirs. For instance, Vietnamese called asparagus as “Măng tây,” roughly translated to “Western” bamboo shoots. Up until the present, asparagus is still perceived as an ingredient to be used only for special occasions too, probably because it is considered foreign. Asparagus soup is often served as a first course during weddings.

Apart from asparagus, potatoes are from France as well. As a side story, even though the potatoes are from France, it was not until Antoine Patienter popularised these in the 18th Century, potatoes are in general, considered disgusting, for the lack of a better word.

French look at them as inedible, unfit for human consumption. Instead, they feed them to farm animals, particularly the pigs. Long story short, however, potatoes did become popular in France and the French introduced them to the Vietnamese.

The same as the asparagus, Vietnamese recognised that they are western when giving them a name. Potatoes in Vietnamese are called khoai tây, or Western yam. They associated them to the local sweet potatoes, but they naturally knew they were different and more importantly, foreign.

Onions too are of French influence on Vietnamese. Onions are quite staple in French cuisine, but now they can also be found everywhere in Vietnamese foods. They are called hành tay or “western” shallots. You can check out most Vietnamese cuisines now and see these quick-pickled onions placed as garnishes.

Vietnamese Coffee

Another food influenced by the French is coffee. At present, Vietnamese coffee is quite popular. You go to Vietnamese and chances are you’ll go back to your country bringing some packs of Vietnamese coffee. But it is worth knowing that is actually a legacy left by the French.

The French started to drink coffee as early as the 1600s, although they too were merely influenced, but by the Middle Eastern. France brought coffee to Vietnamese two centuries later during the colonisation. It did not hurt that Vietnamese has a climate so conducive to growing coffee. This is why it quickly adapted and integrated into Vietnamese local cuisine and has even become a symbol of Vietnamese culture.

Right now, Vietnam has become the second-largest coffee exporter in the world that you probably think it was not influenced by any other country, or France in particular. Not that Vietnamese have their coffees similar to how the French take them. If French love their cafe au lait and espressos hot, the Vietnamese love their coffees cold, only sweetened by adding condensed milk.

In fact, if you are looking for that food that you can say to have integrated the French influence totally, this is coffee. Vietnamese people did not accept coffee as is, as they did the other foods such as potatoes and onions. They do not even label coffee as western anything. Instead, they made something new out of coffee.

Many more Vietnamese foods are just like that, integrating French influence and then making them more Vietnamese. Cooked cream desserts are a good example. They are called bánh flan in Vietnam. Unlike how French eat or serve their cooked cream desserts, Vietnamese people use coconut milk and not just a mixture of cream mixture and milk.

Vietnamese Desserts

Moreover, their cooked cream desserts are flavoured with coffee. In France, if you have been, you will be able to taste similar desserts but flavoured with caramel instead. The innovation in Vietnam makes these desserts quite popular, and if you are unaware, you would think there are no outside influences to these delicious desserts, let alone a French one.

Banh Mi

Banh Mi Vietnamese - Original Saigon Restaurant Toowoomba

The same goes for our favourite BANH MI - Vietnamese sandwiches! Bread is not that common in East Asia centuries ago. In fact, it is still not today, compared to other forms for carbohydrates such as rice and porridge. When the French colonists arrived in Vietnam, they naturally brought with them baguettes. The Vietnamese adopted this and now a staple of Vietnamese cuisine or restaurants are bread and sandwiches. Naturally, they do not look like French bread. The Vietnamese made their own versions of baguettes and sandwiches, following their principle of balance. Vietnamese baguettes are strewn all over the nation now, and even in Vietnamese restaurants all over the world, you’d be hard-pressed to say they were influenced by the French.

For one, Vietnamese baguettes do not even look anywhere close to French baguettes, maybe only at a distance. However, if you look at them closely, especially when you touch and taste them, the differences are so clear.

Vietnamese baguettes are made with rice flour and not wheat flour, which is what French baguettes are made of. Just by changing this key ingredient is enough to make the Vietnamese baguettes have their own distinct flavor and texture, so different from the French baguettes.

Vietnamese baguettes are then utilized to create one of the most known Vietnamese cuisine around the world, which is the banh mi or Vietnamese sandwiches. These sandwiches obviously follow the Vietnamese principle of preparing dishes.

They have the five distinct flavors combined - sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and a bit spicy. They have protein and minerals, as they are made of grilled meat, pate and a lot of vegetables. Coriander and other fresh herbs make the banh mi a sandwich of its own league.

If you are in Australia and literally surrounded by breads, you’d know it immediately when you are staring at and smelling Vietnamese baguettes and banh mis. Go to a Vietnamese restaurant and it’s literally impossible for it not to have banh mi on its menu.

Vietnamese Pho

One more French influence on widely known Vietnamese cuisine is PHO. We are actually hearing a collective gasp now. You are asking, “Huh? pho is from the French?” and “What! Pho is not 100% Vietnamese?” now, aren’t you? Well, the soup is not. Pho is actually the mixing of 100% Vietnamese rice noodles and then French meat broths. The name pho itself might have a French connotation, a silent nod given by the Vietnamese to their colonizers.

Pho, pronounced as “fuh” if you speak proper Vietnamese that is, could actually stem from the French phrase, “pot au feu,” literally pronounced similarly — again, if you know how to speak French and know how not to murder the sounds of these words. We know we would.

Also, since beef is not really part of most Eastern cuisines, the fact that there is a good presence of beef on Vietnamese pho, is another evidence that it has a great European influence. Vietnamese pho, if you are not aware, are made of tripe, slimly cut steak, and some meatballs. Coupled with the clear broth, you get a fantastic dish with the pho, a stellar Vietnamese cuisine

 It’s so considered Vietnamese that when you think of Vietnam, pho is part of your immediate thoughts. If you’re thinking of pho right now, you should certainly check us out. Just saying. At Original Saigon, we apply modern cooking techniques to traditional dishes, but you’ll get PHO so masterfully done and so Vietnamese, you’d really wonder if there is French influence to it.

How French Influence is Reflected in Modern Vietnamese Cuisine

Notwithstanding the strong French influence however, Vietnamese cuisine is very unique. If you think about it, most colony retained their colonizers’ cultures and flavors anyway, one way or another. However, most rise up to make sure they would have distinguished personality, Vietnamese is no different when it comes to its food.

In fact, Vietnamese have done it so well that they were able to achieve their own identity when it comes to food. Nowadays, when people think of what food they want to eat – they’ll probably rattle off Italian, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese, no matter where they live. You’d rarely hear people say they want French food, unless you’re in Europe.

Aug 13

What Food Delivery App is Best?

Food delivery apps are certainly god-sent. Not only does it allow us to get what we want to eat delivered right to our door, but it also allows us to order without needing to place a voice call. 

Sometimes calling is no fun, especially if you are an introvert. It also leaves room for a lot of errors to be committed, especially when you have a long list of foods you want to be delivered to your house. You no longer have to shout, “can you hear me now?” in frustration anymore with food delivery apps. 

Ordering food through delivery apps instead of placing a phone call makes more sense these days since almost everyone are already more comfortable with their desktops, laptops, and smartphones anyway. Restaurants are recognizing this too, so they are making online apps to cater to their loyal customers as well. This allows them to do away with having a lot of people watching the phone and taking customer orders. If they have an app for foods to be ordered, they can just be notified when an online order is placed, which will not ruin the workflow of employees. 

Restaurants also find having their own food delivery apps a joy because it meant being paid upfront. Usually, apps make sure customers can pay ahead and using their credit cards for payment too. This benefits both sides, the restaurant, and the customers. The delivery person also does not have to wring their hands waiting to be paid, sometimes in quarters even! Customers can have the option of paying using credit, and that is so much more convenient than counting cash or looking for pennies. The best food ordering app could also save the information of the client for convenience so ordering in the future can even be faster!

We at Original Saigon Restaurant know how customers love ordering through apps too. We have our own app in both iOS and Android, so order away.

Fancy a pho?

Craving authentic Vietnamese cuisine?

All your favorites are just a click away.  If you live in Toowoomba and want to know how to find food delivery in your area, read this too.

Aug 13

What Food Can You Order for Delivery?

Sometimes, knowing what you want to eat can be hard. You’re hungry and yet knowing what it is exactly what you want to eat can be a challenge. This applies even on foods you want to have delivered — you feel too tired or lazy to go out and at the same time, too tired and lazy to choose what to eat too! 

Be careful because this indecision can lead to bad food choices. Unfortunately, it is precisely why some eat so unhealthily these days, with delicious foods coming in with just a phone call or some clicking on one’s smartphone.  Too tired to cook? Pizza sounds good! Too lazy to go out? Ordering in a bucket of chicken sounds yummy! While doing this occasionally is fine, doing this every time you feel tired can be harmful.

Choices, choices, choices. Sometimes having too many choices can be expensive too. Knowing that there are various types of foods that you can have delivered right to your footstep can certainly tempt you to have everything delivered. After all, why choose to eat only pizza when you can eat gourmet food in front of your television almost every dinner?

If you know you are going to have food delivered tonight or for several nights, make sure to choose something delicious, healthy, and affordable, all at the same time. We at Original Saigon Restaurant just might meet all these criteria. Our pho, banh mi, noodle salads, rice paper rolls, and many more can satisfy your craving for yummy gourmet food but are healthy and reasonably priced.

We also offer highly efficient delivery services. No minimum orders and our fees only start at $5. Very reasonable indeed. So if you are in Toowoomba and stuck in a rut figuring out what to eat and want something different from your pizza and chicken, try our authentic, homecooked Vietnamese cuisine.

Want to know what food delivery app is best to have our food brought to you? Read this.

Aug 13

How to Find Food Delivery in Your Area

Hungry but do not want to go out? Thinking of having food delivered right to your doorstep but don’t even know where to start, which phone number to call, what steps to take? Should you just suffer in hunger? Of course not! Get your favourite restaurant food delivered right to your front door (provided they exist in your area!) just by following these tips and steps.

Logically, the first step is to check out the phone book and flip it around to find restaurants near your area with delivery services. Of course, this might not sound wise anymore, since you already have your smartphone. You can just do a Google search or even check Google Maps to note which restaurants are actually within your area and see if you want some of the foods they are serving. Then you can just call them in their published numbers!

We cannot recommend using Google Maps enough. This application, usually built-in in most smartphones, can reveal to you what establishments and restaurants exist in your immediate area. But not only that. It can even show you when the specific restaurants will open, or open for phone calls. This can be helpful, considering you do not just want to call in vain. Some information such as the menu and ratings are also sometimes presented, which are helpful.For instance, if you live in Toowoomba City, whether in North, South, or East and craving for Asian or Vietnamese cuisine, you can just to Google Maps and type in Vietnamese restaurants. It can show you a list of restaurants near your location apart from showing the map of your area. We are sure Original Saigon Restaurant might even be part of the list. 

If you see our restaurant, we can assure to deliver the Vietnamese foods you crave. Fancy a pho? Let us bring this right to your footsteps! Want to know what food you can order for delivery, check this out

Aug 06

What is the Healthiest Takeaway Food?

Original Saigon offers healthier alternatives to your fast food cravings. In fact, all our foods can be considered light and healthy. Some of them are also gluten-free. Want to know what is the healthiest takeaway food in our menu? Then read on.

Naturally, when we say healthiest, this is still quite subjective. What is healthy for one person may not be the same for another. However, Original Saigon restaurant can assure you that all our menu items are healthy. We make our pho, our noodle salad, our sandwiches, and rice paper rolls with the best ingredients and utmost care.

Our pho for example, is perfect for people with colds.  You can take these home using an insulated food container and you won’t even need to worry about it becoming cold and mushy. The beef included in the soup is premium and the herbs all fine-class, so the soup is clear and not cloudy. Our rice sheets and other rice paper products do not contain wheat flour and tapioca flour, so you do not have to worry about it so much if you want to eat gluten-free.

Our banh mi can have pork, chicken, or vegetable fillings, so depending on what you find healthiest for your diet, you can choose. Naturally for some, having an all-vegetable banh mi is the healthiest. We assure you, even if it is healthy, it does not sacrifice the rich Vietnamese flavor we all love. You can enjoy eating a vegetable sandwich and still be very happy about it, not feeling deprived just because you do not have meat.

Of course, if you want the most usual food considered healthy and you can take out, then the salad is the best option. Our salad contains all fresh produce and quality meats. If you want no meat, then we can cater to your preference. Worried about our food becoming too cold once you reach home? Read our article on how to keep takeaway food warm here.

Aug 06

How to Start a Takeaway Food Business: Open a Franchise!

Starting any business, especially food business, can be challenging. Of course, everything worth doing will have a level of difficulty attached to it. Do you really want a food business? Original Saigon Restaurant offers you an opportunity to do so!

Franchising is one way to go if you want to have your own business but is too daunted to start from scratch. Moreover, you get the benefit of having a relatively known brand, which can drive in profits relatively faster than an unknown restaurant. Aside from the name and the products, franchisees also have the advantage of using valuable insider information to aid the operations, such as possible amount and direction of this investment and the strategies of conducting the business.

Original Saigon Restaurant offers all these and more. If you want to open your own Original Saigon, we will aid you in the process from start to finish. We offer training and support, deviating us from other franchise opportunities. With extensive backup, you can reduce the risks that most new entrepreneurs face.

If you franchise with us, we will give you all our best tips to get the business up and running. As such, you can avoid the usual challenges faced by those at the starting stage of opening a business. You do not have to worry if growth can be experienced. Since we trust our name and foods so much, we can promise you quick payback of your investment.

The company, no matter if it is still not that big, already has a loyal clientele. It is known for its quality and delicious Vietnamese foods at reasonable prices. Our pho and banh mi are crowd favourites! We also have gluten-free food choices, perfect for those who have these preferences.

With such great choices of Vietnamese foods, Original Saigon Restaurant really set itself apart from other Vietnamese restaurants.

Hungry now and want to know what takeaway food is gluten free? Read the next article!

Apr 09

BUN – Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Description:

The bun is a cold linguine noodle dish, packed with crunchy green vegetables like cucumber and lettuce, sweet and sour juicy pickled carrots and an overload of fresh herbs. Bun comes with a wide array of sizzling meat options to choose from. Bun is ideal for anyone looking for a meal that is both easy on stomach and budget. The ingredients used in the dish make sure that the food is easily digestible and also do not cost a lot.

To offer you a twist in the Vietnamese food, you can find a rice alternative to noodles with optional flavors including: pork spring rolls, vegetarian spring rolls and tofu. With so many options to choose from, you won’t ever get tired having your favourite Vietnamese food.

Ingredients:

Making the BUN takes quite some time, and its making procedures must be followed in the same way as they were done years back. The rice for the Bun is carefully selected. The rice is roasted, treated well and then soaked overnight. Once soaked properly, the soaked rice is being blended with water to form a sticky dough of rice flour. The sticky dough is then treated with sour water and are then kneaded. Once the dough turns to starch, it is then added to the noodle mold. After the noodles are molded, they are then boiled for a few minutes for them to ripen and to make sure they do not stick to each other. In almost all the Vietnamese restaurants, Bun is made in the same manner as it is made back in Vietnam

Ingredients for this Vietnamese delicacy are Vermicelli noodles. This dish also includes crunchy cucumber, sweet and sour pickled carrot, green lettuce, mint all dressed in taste-bud tingling NUOC MAM. All over Vietnam, the ingredients remain the same.

Flavors:

  • Classical: Home-style pork spring rolls, Marinated Pork Mince, BBQ Pork 
  • Pork Spring Rolls
  • Seafood Spring Rolls 
  • BBQ Pork
  • Tofu & Vegan spring rolls

Nutrition Value:

  • Home-style pork spring rolls – 2610kJ
  • Tofu & veg spring rolls – 2445kJ

Apr 08

Pho – Classic Viet Noodle Soup

Descriptions: 

The recipe for pho classic Viet noodle soup is hard to duplicate or remake and making this classic Vietnam Pho soup each day demands lengthy procedures such as overnight broth brewing. However, we have managed to speed up the procedures without a single sacrifice to the taste or flavour of this classic Viet noodle soup.

Pho has an incredible lightness in terms of texture and extreme richness in flavor that captures the true essence of harmony in Vietnamese Cuisine. The linguine-shaped noodle soup is a blend of flat-rice noodle locally called bánh phở, a sprinkle of herbs, hot broth, and meat. Pho is served in either chicken or beef.

When it comes to accents, who can forget the classic garnishing over each serving of soup: crispy spring onions and onions along with mouthwatering chili and a squeeze of a juicy lemon to top it off. So good, you’ll crave for more. 

Food history:

Pho is considered one of the signature dishes of the country and is believed to be first made in the early 20th century somewhere in Northern Vietnam. The term pho is believed to be influenced by the le pot au feu – a boiled French dish. Though flat rice noodles and broth soup characterises Vietnamese cuisine, it is believed that the meat and other ingredients were added to meet the French taste. Though no one is quite sure where the name of the dish originated, one theory suggests that the word “pho” means fire and it originated because of French feu corruption in the region.

The classic Viet noodle soup recipe varies significantly across the country. In Northern Vietnam, the spices are kept to a minimum whereas, in the southern region up to 15 different spices can be added for a single serving of Pho.

Ingredients:

Pho - Classic Viet noodle soup is a mixture of beef bones that enrich the soup with full-bodied flavor, onions and charred garlic along with a pinch of cinnamon and star anise to give this classic Vietnam soup its distinctive aromatics. The broth is often brewed for long hours, preferably overnight. To give a mouth-watering flavor contrast, thin slices of brisket are mixed and cooked in the broth along with fresh chillies, Thai basil and crispy bean sprouts.

Flavour:

  • Shredded chicken
  • Sliced rare beef
  • Rare beef & Beef brisket
  • Rare beef & Meat balls 
  • Combination(Rare beef, meat balls and beef brisket)
  • Chicken and Tofu

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Bowl:

  • Shredded chicken – 2015kJ(481596.558317 Calories)
  • Sliced rare beef – 2111kJ(504541.108987 Calories)

Banh Mi Toowoomba - Original Saigon Restaurant
Apr 06

Banh Mi – Vietnamese Baguette

Description:

Banh Mi sandwiches are traditionally meat-filled sandwiches that are made in local Vietnamese banh mi bread. As compared with the French baguette, Banh Mi is a Vietnamese baguette that is baked with wheat and rice flour and has a thin crust and white, airy crumb.

Banh Mi comes in some different filling ranging from some traditional fillings to some amazing new fillings. One of the most traditional filling for this sandwich is the cha lua along with thit nguoi. Cha Lua is the pork rolls whereas thit nguoi is the cured pork cold cuts.

In the more modern fillings, we have shredded chicken, pork meatballs, grilled pork, and tofu. There is also a vegetable filling for this yummy Vietnamese sandwich. Some of these fillings are our signature recipe so make sure to try them all. You will love them.

Food history:

Banh Mi Sandwich was introduced in Vietnam back in the mid-19th century during the French colonization. It became a staple food by the early 20th century and the food of choice for on the go meal. Banh Mi is a fusion between the French and Vietnamese ingredients which includes baguettes, chilli and pickled carrots. However, in Vietnam, Banh mi is considered to be too dry for dinner and is usually eaten for breakfast or as a light snack. Following the Vietnamese war, overseas Vietnamese have popularized in many countries such as Australia, USA, and UK.

Flavors:

The Banh Mi sandwich comes in a variety of tantalizing taste bud flavors such as;

  • BBQ chicken

  • BBQ Pork

  • Pork Meat Balls 

  • Eggs 

  • Tofu

  • Special (Pork and Meat balls)

Ingredients:

To make Banh Mi as delicious as it is now, the ingredients for the sandwich are carefully selected. The common ingredients include pate, crunchy cucumbers, sweet and sour pickled carrot, coriander. The sandwich can be topped with a little bit of soy sauce and chili. Having additional sauce is highly recommended since the sandwich itself is a bit dry. With all these fresh ingredients, Banh Mi is an ideal healthy takeaway meal in Toowoomba. You can get one for yourself today

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:

LIST OF VIETNAMESE FOOD THAT INFLUENCE AUSTRALIA

1.   PHO – Classic Viet Noodle Soup

This is the image description

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 – Vietnamese Noodle Salad

This is the image description

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 – Vietnamese Baguette

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 – Dipping Sauce

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 – VIETNAMESE PANCAKES

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.

Homepage

>