Vietnam TravelThe Differences Between Northern and Southern Vietnamese Cuisine

Kaylin2 months ago7
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There are many differences between Northern and Southern Vietnamese cuisine, the most notable being the use of fresh herbs and vegetables in Northern Vietnamese cuisine versus soy sauce and fish sauce in Southern Vietnamese cuisine. Another difference is that Northern Vietnamese cuisine is typically less spicy than Southern Vietnamese cuisine. However, despite these differences, there are also many similarities between the two cuisines, such as the use of rice as a staple food.

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Northern Vietnamese cuisine is characterized by its use of fresh herbs and vegetables. This is due to the climate in Northern Vietnam, which is cooler than Southern Vietnam and thus conducive to growing these types of ingredients. Northern Vietnamese cuisine also typically uses less soy sauce and fish sauce than Southern Vietnamese cuisine. This is because the cooler climate in Northern Vietnam means that these ingredients are not as readily available. As a result, Northern Vietnamese cuisine often has a lighter flavor than Southern Vietnamese cuisine.

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Southern Vietnamese cuisine, on the other hand, is characterized by its use of soy sauce and fish sauce. This is because the warmer climate in Southern Vietnam is ideal for producing these ingredients. Southern Vietnamese cuisine also typically uses more spices than Northern Vietnamese cuisine. This is because the spicier flavors are more suited to the warmer climate. However, despite these differences, Southern Vietnamese cuisine still relies heavily on rice as a staple food.

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Some dishes that represent Northern Vietnamese cuisine include Pho (a noodle soup with beef or chicken), Bun Cha (grilled pork with rice noodles), and Goi Cuon (spring rolls). Southern Vietnamese cuisine, on the other hand, is represented by dishes such as Banh Mi (a sandwich filled with meats and pickled vegetables), Cao Lau (a noodle dish with pork and vegetables), and Cha Ca La Vong (fried fish with turmeric and dill). Despite these differences, the two cuisines share many similarities, such as the use of rice as a staple food.

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There are many differences between Northern and Southern Vietnamese cuisine, but the best way to experience them is to try them for yourself! The dishes we’ve listed represent just a small sampling of what each type of cuisine has to offer. So why not head over to your favorite Vietnamese restaurant and give them a try? You won’t be disappointed!

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Larsay
Member

Very few differences, except that sea-food products are more frequent and cheaper in the South (for example, shrimps are very expensive in the north).It is true that they cook more spicy in the south, but, basically, Vietnamese food is not spicy.

NomNomNom
Member

I think both are very similar in most cases. It is only certain dishes you will taste a difference. I think for the most part both areas use the same ingredients, vegetables, meats, and so on. 

kikosan
Guest
kikosan

Correct me if I’m wrong but I’ve heard that the difference between the north and south is that Northern food tends to be less spicy, while Southern food is spicier.

1988TQ
Member

@kikosan This is only true for certain dishes. You can find spicy food up north and not-so-spicy food down south just the same. 

SoVintage
Member

I always considered northern dishes to be more vegetable forward and southern ones to be more protein forward. That seems to be the case from the places I have been and eaten at but it likely comes down to traditions. 

Caphezilla
Member

I agree with you, but I think it’s important to note that this is a generalization. There are a lot of exceptions, and there are also many differences within each region. For example, in southern Vietnam, there are tons of different types of noodles that people eat on a regular basis. I’m not sure if the same is true for northern Vietnam

ElizabethGardner
Guest
ElizabethGardner

I’m so glad someone wrote about this! I’ve always been curious about the difference between northern and southern Vietnamese cuisine. The two regions share a lot in common: rice, noodles, fish sauce. But there are some differences that are just so interesting.

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