Being surrounded by so many countries, Vietnamese cuisine is influenced by many cultures. Whether it be the influence of neighbouring countries like Thailand and Cambodian or through the colonization of China, Japan or France, Vietnamese food is full of tasty dishes that are packed full of flavour!
One dish in particular is called Bún Thịt Nướng (I would just call it a “ban”). This is a vermicelli noodle dish with that is filled with veggies and meat. This particular one that I had recently contains lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumbers, grilled pork and peanuts on top. However, it can be prepared with grilled chicken or beef too.
It can also come with additional toppings, like Vietnamese style sausage and shrimp on sugar cane (the orange thing on a stick shown above) or shredded pork and a spring roll (shown below).
However, it isn’t just the dish itself that has all the flavour. In fact, if you look at the top-right corner you will notice a bowl with some strings of carrots floating around in liquid. This is fish sauce (aka nước chấm) and it is what you would put into the noodle dish (or dip the pieces from the dish into the bowl…depending on your style). It doesn’t require much because it has a pungent flavour to it. It’s sweet, yet savory and slightly tart. It can also be spicy, depending on whether red chilies have been added.
The most popular dish in a Vietnamese restaurant is probably pho, which is a noodle soup. It’s a great dish to have, but when you want an alternative try a bún thịt nướng. The raw vegetables make it refreshing and the added sides make it satisfying. If pho is good for winter, a bún thịt nướng is great for summer!