Really Vietnam


Bánh mì
The Bánh mì is a typical sandwich of the elaborate Vietnamese kitchen with a baguette of bread blaco and ground rice. The sandwich contains some pickles of carrots, daikon, onions, coriander, and well meat or tofu. The most popular backfill of the bánh mì include the hog, the paté, chicken and chicharros. The contrast of flavors and textures is one of the characteristics of this sandwich, as well as its low price — what becomes a food it very popular of the Vietnam.

Bánh chưng
Bánh chưng is a traditional Vietnamese food consisting of glutinous rice in a square shape wrapped in dong leaves (Phrynium placentarium; lá dong in Vietnamese; a relative of arrowroot) and stuffed with mung beans, fatty pork, and black pepper. It is traditionally eaten during the Lunar New Year (Tết). Bánh chưng is served with pickled scallions, vegetable pickles or "dưa món", and/or fish sauce.

A few days before Tết, family members gather to prepare sticky rice, pork, mung beans, and banana leaves. Making bánh chưng requires a lot of care, from choosing ingredients to the preparation and cooking process. Bánh chưng are boiled for approximately 8 hours. Because bánh chưng have to be watched until they are done, the cooks gather their friends and neighbors to talk during the cooking night.

Traditionally, every house must have at least one or a pair of bánh chưng to be placed on their ancestor's altars. Before Tet, families often offer gifts of bánh chưng to other families, and it is typical for a family to end up with piles left of uneaten bánh chưng long past the holiday.

Canh chua
Canh chua (literally "sour soup") is a sour soup indigenous to the Mekong River region of southern Vietnam. It is typically made with fish from the Mekong River, pineapple, tomatoes (and sometimes also other vegetables such as okra or bạc hà), and bean sprouts, in a tamarind-flavored broth. It is garnished with the lemony-scented herb ngò ôm (Limnophila aromatica), caramelized garlic, and chopped scallions, as well as other herbs, according to the specific variety of canh chua; these other herbs may include rau răm (Vietnamese coriander), ngò gai (long coriander), and rau quế (Thai basil).

The sour taste of the soup comes from tamarind, which is mixed with a small amount of hot water; the mixture is then stirred for a few moments to release all the essence, and the liquid (minus the tamarind seeds and other solids, which are discarded) is then added to the soup.

When made in style of a hot pot, canh chua is called lẩu canh chua.

The dish is similar to the Cambodian dish samlar machu.


* Canh chua me - made with tamarind; includes most varieties of canh chua
o Canh chua me đất or canh chua rau nhút - made with water mimosa (Neptunia oleracea)
* Canh chua cá - made with fish
o Canh chua đầu cá - made with fish heads
o Canh chua cá lóc - made with snakehead fish
o Canh chua cá bông lau - made with Pangasius krempfi catfish
o Canh chua cá lăng - made with Hemibagrus catfish
o Canh chua cá ngát - made with Plotosus catfish
o Canh chua cá trê - made with airbreathing catfish
o Canh chua cá linh bông so đũa - made with mud carp and Sesbania grandiflora flowers
o Canh chua lá giang cá kèo - made with Aganonerion polymorphum leaves and mudskipper fish in the genus Apocryptes
o Canh chua lươn - made with eel
o Canh chua cá hồi - made with salmon
o Canh cải chua cá - made with made with pickled mustard greens and fish
* Canh chua tôm - made with shrimp
o Canh chua tôm rau muống or canh chua rau muống nấu tôm - made with shrimp and water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica)
o Canh chua thơm nấu tép or canh chua thơm nấu với tép - made with pineapple and small shrimp
* Canh chua gà - made with chicken
o Canh chua lá giang gà or canh chua gà lá giang - made with chicken and Aganonerion polymorphum leaves
o Canh chua lá giang cá kèo - made with Aganonerion polymorphum leaves and mudskipper fish in the genus Apocryptes
* Canh chua rau muống - made with water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica)
o Canh chua tôm rau muống or canh chua rau muống nấu tôm - made with water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) and shrimp
* Canh chua chay - vegetarian
* Canh chua măng - made with with pickled bamboo shoots
* Canh cải chua - made with pickled mustard greens
o Canh cải chua thịt bằm - made with pickled mustard greens and ground pork
o Canh cải chua sườn non - made with pickled mustard greens and baby back pork ribs
o Canh cải chua cá - made with made with pickled mustard greens and fish
o Canh cải chua ruột non or canh cải chua lòng heo - made with pickled mustard greens and pork intestines
o Canh cải chua nấu với bắp bò - made with pickled mustard greens and beef shank
* Canh chua Thái or canh chua Thái Lan - an adaptation of Thai tom yum

Ingredients and preparation
Phở is served as a bowl of white rice noodles in clear beef broth, with thin cuts of beef (steak, fatty flank, lean flank, brisket). Variations featuring tendon, tripe, meatballs, chicken leg, chicken breast, or other chicken organs (heart, liver, tongue,[citation needed] etc.) are also available.

The broth is generally made by simmering beef (and sometimes chicken) bones, oxtails, flank steak, charred onion, and spices, taking several hours to prepare. Seasonings include Saigon cinnamon, star anise, charred ginger, cloves, and sometimes black cardamom pods.

The noodles, called bánh phở in Vietnamese, are traditionally cut from wide sheets of fresh rice noodles similar to Chinese Shahe fen, although dried noodles (also called "rice sticks") may also be used.

The dish is garnished with ingredients such as green onions, white onions, coriander leaves (cilantro), ngò gai (culantro, or long coriander), Thai basil, lemon or lime wedges, and bean sprouts. The last five items are usually provided on a separate plate, which allows customers to adjust the soup's flavor as they like. Some sauces such as hoisin sauce, fish sauce, and the Thai hot sauce Sriracha, are popular additions as well. The herb ngò ôm (Limnophila aromatica) is sometimes added as well.

For the phở connoisseur, other garnishes which may be ordered on the side include hành trần (the white "bulb" portion of scallions, blanched in boiling broth) and hành giấm (sliced white onions with a dash of vinegar). These are only brought to the table when specifically requested, as opposed to the general platter of greens and lime wedges. The diner typically squeezes a few drops of lime juice onto the vinegared onion slices before eating them. The hành trần and hành giấm, when eaten with the beef slices, are believed to cut the fattiness and balance the strong beef aroma that some find overpowering.

The Vietnamese word "phở" is properly pronounced with a falling-rising tone, as if asking a question. Its final vowel is not a long "o," but instead rhymes, at least to Anglophone ears, with the "u" in the English word "but". So the final pronuncuation can be phonetically indicated as "fuh?" in English.

Origins and regional differences
Phở originated in northern Vietnam and spread to southern and central Vietnam in the mid-1950s, after the defeat of the French and the eventual partitioning of the country. It is likely that phở came into being around 1910-1912, early enough in the new century. The communist government of North Vietnam forcibly closed many private phở businesses in the 1950s, opening government-run eateries in their place. Northern Vietnamese fleeing communist rule for South Vietnam introduced phở to their southern counterparts. Unlike in Hanoi in North Vietnam, the phở business flourished in South Vietnam, especially Saigon.[citation needed]

There are conflicting beliefs as to how phở came to be. Some believe it originated from French methods used in bouillon or consommé cooking. Oxen were valued work animals and were rarely eaten, but the arrival of the French had probably prompted servants to prepare a dish that suited the French palate. It is even said that phở, or at least the etymological derivation of that name for the dish, came from the French beef stew dish pot-au-feu, with phở being a Vietnamization of the word feu. The broth for pot-au-feu, as it is for phở, is prepared with a bouquet garni containing spices such as cloves and black pepper. Another word for phở, used in Vietnam while Chinese was still the national written language, is hà phấn (河粉; Cantonese: ho4 fan2);[citation needed] the Chinese characters are the equivalent of the Chinese he fen, which comes from Shahe fen (沙河粉), the original name for the rice noodles originating in the town of Shahe, Guangdong.

Others believe that phở possible origins more likely lie in China. China had ruled over Vietnam for over a millennium and greatly influenced Vietnamese culture, including cuisine. Cooking ingredients used in phở, such as spices also seen in Chinese cooking (see five-spice powder and red cooking), as well as the use of rice noodles, are all Chinese influences.

With the arrival of anti-communist Vietnamese exiles and refugees (that is, hailing from South Vietnam) in the post-Vietnam War period, phở was also gradually introduced to Western countries, especially to France and the United States.There are also many phở restaurants in Australia and Canada, as these countries also received many Vietnamese refugees and immigrants. Vietnamese immigrants also brought phở noodles to the former Soviet bloc countries, including Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic.


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