11 Vietnamese Culinary Specialties Recognised by Asian Records

The Asian Record's Organisation (ARO) has recognised another 11 Vietnamese unique dishes.


The Asian Records Organisation (ARO) included a further 11 Vietnamese culinary specialties in its latest Asian Records listings, VOV cited details given by the Vietnamese record organization (VietKings).

The new specialties to make the list include An Giang province’s Goi Sau Dau (Sau Dau salad), Phu Quoc’s Goi Ca Trich (herring salad), Ca Mau province’s U Minh fish sauce hot pot, Dong Thap province’s lotus-based dishes, and Hau Giang province’s that lat fish-based dishes.

Other recognized dishes and specialties are Phu Yen province’s tuna based-dishes, Ben Tre province’s coconut-based dishes, Quang Ngai province’s Ly Son garlic, Tien Giang province’s Lo Ren Vinh Kim star apple, Khanh Hoa province’s bird’s nests, and Kien Giang province’s Phu Quoc sim wine.

An Giang province’s Goi Sau Dau (Sau Dau salad).
An Giang province’s Goi Sau Dau (Sau Dau salad).

The latest recognition is evidence of the attractiveness of Vietnamese cuisine, particularly due to its array of rustic, simple, but flavourful dishes, all of which have been created using natural ingredients, the passion of local chefs, and the inheritance of tradition.

The ARO will present certificates of recognition to representatives of the localities at a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City later this year.

In the Mekong Delta Province of An Giang, the bitter La Sau Dau (or Azadirachta Indica leaf) is one of the favorite vegetables to eat with Braised Fish, Braised Pork, Macerated Fish, and Steamed Macerated Fish. However, the best way to cook La Sau Dau is to make salads. It depends on the cook to use dried foods, pork, shrimp or fish to mix with La Sau Dau.

Herring salad is a specialty of Vietnam's Phu Quoc Island. Photo dulichvietnam.com.vn.
Herring salad is a specialty of Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island. Photo dulichvietnam.com.vn.

Vung Tau is famous for Mai fish salad, Da Nang is famous for Nam O fish salad and Phu Quoc is famous for ca trich (herring) salad. It is a harmonious combination of sour, spicy, salty, and sweet in this dish.

After cleaning, scraping off the scales, and cutting off the tail, head and intestines, the fish are sliced and chopped into bite-sized fillets.

The next step isn’t frying or grilling, it’s dipping them in vinegar and lemon juice for five minutes before garnishing with spices and a side dish of rice paper, cucumber, and herbs.

While preparing the side dish, put the fish on ice. The sauce can be made with vinegar or lemon, but for a strong taste, the secret is to use guava vinegar which is very famous on Phu Quoc, with salt and a little sugar.

As soon as the fish is ready, it’s time for the garnish. It isn’t banana or grated papaya like many southern salads, but grated coconut.

It seems like a strange combination because coconut is normally used as a topping for desserts, but that’s not the case for herring salad, especially in Phu Quoc.

The dipping sauce for this dish is fish sauce, and when talking about the excellent fish sauce in Vietnam, Phu Quoc’s got to be on top.

The sweetness with a little sourness of the soft herring was so good it melted in the mouth. The taste seemed to envelop the tastebuds as the crispy coconut, onion and roasted peanuts blended together, and thanks to the sauce, the whole experience is heightened.

Another product popular with the many tourists visiting Phu Quoc Island as it delivers a fragrance and sour taste similar to cocktails is Ruou sim (wine made from sim fruit or Rose Myrtle).

Sim is a small tropical fruit which has a dark purple color when it is ripe. Sim is found in some Southeast Asia countries but sim wine is only found in Phu Quoc, part is because sim in this Pearl Island has a very special taste comparing to sim from anywhere else, part is because of the local people’s creation.

11 Vietnamese Culinary Specialties Recognised by Asian Records
The U Minh Fish Sauce Hotpot is one of the key dishes of southern Vietnam. Source: VinLove

Whenever travelling to U Minh, Ca Mau, one must remember to try the U Minh Fish Sauce Hotpot.

To the people in the southern part of Vietnam in general and in U Minh in particular, fish sauce has been around since the time when their ancestors discovered this land. Fish sauce has become a familiar and important part of their life, it is also a must-have food for international tourists in Vietnam.

There are countless dishes made from fish sauce but the most unique dish in U Minh is undeniably the Fish Sauce Hotpot.

The hotpot includes the special fish sauce and an abundance of fresh vegetables, which include common vegetables such as cabbage, coriander, green bananas, chili, garlic, and special local vegetables such as Dau Rong, Bong Sung, Dot Nhan Long, Dot Choai.

All of which are wild vegetables that can only be found in U Minh. Aside from vegetables, there are also other ingredients to add to the flavor of the fish sauce hotpot such as corn, mushroom, fish and eel.

11 Vietnamese Culinary Specialties Recognised by Asian Records
Crispy fried that lat fish mixed with chili and herbs. Source: nongsanhaugiang.com

Meanwhile, nature has particularly bounteous in the southern province of Hau Giang, providing water loaded with minerals that is home to the most delicious that lat fish compared wth other regions in the country. The flesh is fragrant, firm and crisp-skinned.

The fish can be made into soup with bitter gourd, steamed, braised, fried and used in hotpots. Fried that lat fish ball was available in restaurants and at luxury parties. It was also a good gift for relatives and friends.

Hannah Nguyen