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12 Vietnamese Dishes Everyone Should Know

From warm and aromatic noodle soups like phở to refreshingly crisp gỏi cuốn spring rolls, this overview of Vietnamese recipes will inspire your next meal—and many more to come!

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vietnamese recipes Vietnamese Food, Banh Mi Thitxuanhuongho/Getty Images

Bánh mì

Loved around the world, this Vietnamese baguette sandwiches together cold, grilled or roasted meats, along with pickled daikon and carrots, chiles, cucumbers, cilantro, smears of pâté, mayonnaise and Maggi seasoning for a multidimensional bite each time. You can make this Chicken Banh Mi at home.

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Bahn Xeo vietnamese recipesasab974/Getty Images

Bánh xèo

With its golden crispy edges, this pan-fried crepe of rice flour, coconut milk and turmeric envelopes minced pork, bean sprouts and shrimp. Wrap with lettuce and fresh herbs and dunk in sweet, sour and salty nước chấm sauce for best effect.

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Vietnamese Pork Lettuce WrapsTaste of Home

Lettuce wraps

There are many Vietnamese dishes that are best enjoyed wrapped in lettuce and herbs before dipped into a sauce such as Bánh xèo, Cuốn giấm bổng (pork and shrimp wraps) and Chả giò (fried spring rolls). If you’re feeling inspired by crisp emerald leaves and zesty sauces, make our Vietnamese Pork Lettuce Wraps.

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vietnamese recipes Vietnamese Snack Prawn Summer Roll And Dipping Saucesimonlong/Getty Images

Gỏi cuốn

Often called “fresh spring rolls,” Gỏi cuốn are soft, translucent rice paper rolls stuffed with rice noodles, fresh herbs, leafy greens and shrimp or pork. Dipped in nước chấm or peanut sauce, they make a great lunch or dinner party appetizer. Learn how to make spring rolls at home.

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vietnamese recipes Bun Cha, A Vietnamese DishI.S.S Photography/Getty Images

Bún Cha

Although there are several amazing Vietnamese dishes that feature Bún (vermicelli noodles), Bún Cha is a refreshing noodle bowl topped with warm grilled pork, fresh herbs and drenched in nước chấm sauce. It’s an all-day favorite in Hanoi!

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Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup DishYinYang/Getty Images

Phở

We bet that pho is one Vietnamese recipe you’ve already heard of. So, what is pho? With its fragrant broth seasoned with star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves and cardamom, this rice noodle soup is widely enjoyed across the country. You’ll find a myriad of toppings, from paper-thin slices of raw beef to handfuls of fresh herbs like coriander, sliced onions, basil and mint all doused in a spritz of lime juice.

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vietnamese recipes Vietnamese Rice Noodle Soup Bowl Bun Bo Huebaoquang/Getty Images

Bún Bò Huế

With notes of lemongrass, shrimp paste, chili and rock sugar, this spicy noodle soup features vermicelli noodles with an assortment of beef and pork cuts. Garnished with onions, scallions, Vietnamese coriander and banana blossoms, this dish is characteristic of the Imperial cuisine of Huế.

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vietnamese recipes Vietnam Saigon Typical Street Food Broken Rice Com Tam With Grilled Pork Ribs And Vegetablebaoquang/Getty Images

Cơm Tấm

This “broken rice” dish typically pairs softer steamed rice grains with different types of grilled meats and either a fried egg or Chả trứng (Vietnamese steamed omelet). It is usually served at any mealtime with a side of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and scallion-infused oil.

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vietnamese recipes A Bowl Of Thit Kho Trung (vietnamese Caramelized Pork And Eggs Cooked With Coconut Water)Zoe Life Photography/Getty Images

Thịt Kho Tàu

Blending sweet and savory, this warming stew of caramelized pork and eggs braised in coconut water is a beloved lunch or dinnertime staple with an accompaniment of steamed jasmine rice and tangy Dưa giá (pickled bean sprouts).

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vietnamese recipes Sour Soup In Vietnamese Style With Grouper Fish In White BowlDuy Doan/Getty Images

Canh

A true Vietnamese meal is not complete without Canh, an everyday Vietnamese soup made from water instead of stock. While some can be simple, more complex Canh recipes marry together either meat or seafood with an abundance of different vegetables to create sweet, sour and savory profiles.

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vietnamese recipes Vietnam Sweet Dessert CheNguyenDucQuang/Getty Images

Chè

Why choose one type of dessert when you can have them all in a singular, multi-layered, rainbow? Chè are traditional Vietnamese sweet beverages, puddings or dessert soups that mix fruits, beans and jellies soaked in sugary syrup or coconut cream. They are served hot or cold.

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vietnamese recipes Egg coffee, a popular Vietnamese coffee with fresh egg.Photo by Rafa Elias/Getty Images

Cà phê trứng

Although only served at cafes in Hanoi, Cà phê trứng is where a quick pick-me-up meets delightful dessert decadence. Made with robusta coffee, egg yolk and creamy condensed milk, Cà phê trứng is an experience simultaneously reminiscent of tiramisu, eggnog and fluffy egg custard.

Ashley Thuthao Keng Dam
Ashley Thuthao Keng Dam is a Khmer and Vietnamese-American food and medical anthropologist who grew up in the D.C. metro area. Thao's research focuses on the traditional food-medicines of Cambodia as a part of their PhD in Ecogastronomy at the University of Gastronomic Sciences. They are the host of the podcast Bites of the Round Table, the editor of the zine "Gastronomical Grrrls" and are a long-time contributor to the food magazine The New Gastronome.

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