I am very much a spice person. I love adding flavor using herbs, salts, spices, and so on. I am wondering what the most common ones of Vietnam are. I would like to incorporate them more into my cooking.
Salt, pepper (the Phu Quoc one is the best in the world, far superior to the Cambodian Kampot), fish sauce (nuoc mam), alas ketchup for the young, some chili sauce (the Viêt are not very fond of spicy dishes). basilic (dâu hum) Lots of garlic !
I noticed that many dishes contain two things, fish sauce (or oil) and garlic. I have heard of some use of fish paste as well but I am not sure which recipes that is used in.
Pepper, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and star anise are just a few I know off the top of my head that are used in many different dishes. Roucou seeds are used in many different pasta dishes and ones with poultry.
I swear garlic is in everything I have ever had in Vietnam and I love it. Garlic is my favorite herb/spice to use in food.
Listen up folks, Vietnamese cuisine is seriously underrated. In my opinion, the use of fresh herbs like mint, cilantro, and basil sets it apart from other Asian cuisines. And let's not forget about the bold flavors from spices like chili peppers, lemongrass, and ginger. These spices give dishes like bun bo hue and banh xeo a kick that will leave you wanting more. End of story.
I love their use of ginger in a lot of dishes. It seems to only be used with beef around here but over there, they use it with poultry and fish and it tastes amazing!
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