What Vietnamese people eat every day?

Typical Vietnamese meal

Working as a local guide over 10 years there are common questions to ask about Vietnamese food includes typical Vietnamese dishes, what do they eat everyday and explain how healthy the food is. 

Is Vietnamese food healthy?

Is it safe to eat on the street?

How may meals does a Vietnamese person eat everyday?

What is a typical meal of a Vietnamese food?

What is Vietnamese specialities ?

This article provides you with everything you need to know about Vietnamese food

1. What do Vietnamese people eat daily – A typical Vietnamese meal?

Rice is served almost every meal, even breakfast, in some rural areas. Because there are tons of rivers across the country, so we also eat fish. There are two types of fish: freshwater and ocean.

On the other hand, we also eat lots of meats such as geese, ducks, chickens, and pork, along with eels and eggs, which provide additional protein. Beef and seafood are only used on special occasions, such as at weddings or festivals.

Nuoc Nam is a dish that won’t be missed in every meal of Vietnamese, a liquid sauce made from fermented fish, which has a strong smell

2. Typical Vietnamese meal

Typical Vietnamese meal

The typical Vietnamese meal consists of a bowl of rice, and vegetables and the main dish is meat or fish.. Vegetables are often grown in the front garden of the house and include soybeans, sweet potatoes, corn, greens of various kinds, onions, and other root crops. Fruit includes bananas, grapefruit, dragon fruits, mangos,and pineapple.

Vietnamese rice noodle soup is a signature dish of Vietnam, either with beef or chicken. Eating in Vietnam is such a big thing to learn about. We applied the theory of Yin Yang balance when cooking food. For example, Balut is considered as a cold food, often served with ginger and knotgrass (hot element); chicken (cold element) is stir fried with red chilly (hot element) and so on.

Vietnamese drink green tea all day long, from the morning until the evening. During the traditional New Year of Vietnam “Tet”, we also serve rice liquor, soft drink, and beer for the guests.

In Vietnam, breakfast isn’t considered as a main meal, so it is short. We eat Pho soup either with beef or chicken, Banh Cuon (steam rice wrapped with mince pork and mushroom), Banh mi sandwich and Xoi (sticky rice)  in the North, Bun Bo Hue (savory beef noodle soup with pork feet and fresh herbs), My Quang (flat yellow rice noodle with pork belly,roasted peanuts, sesame rice crackers, shrimp, and hard-boiled quail eggs.

In the South, they eat Vietnamese sandwich (Banhmi), Com Tam Suon (Vietnamese grilled pork chop with broken rice), Banh Canh (Vietnamese thick rice noodle soup)

The big meal is lunch and dinner. Lunch is usually Com Bui (buffet rice meal). Dinner is the most important meal when all family members are back from school and work; enjoy it together.

We eat with chopsticks and sit on a mat on the floor in the old days. But lots of families eat on chairs and tables like Westerners.

But when many guests are coming for a meal without having enough chairs, they will sit on a mat. Vietnamese eat loudly, slurping, sucking, and chomping. Such table noises are not considered bad manners; they are evidence that people enjoy their food.

3. How many meals does a Vietnamese person eat?

We eat three main meals per day : breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast is from 6 am to 8 am. Lunch is from 11.30 am to 1pm and dinner is from 6pm to 8 pm. 

For students, they will have some kind of snack like Chao (congee) after afternoon school which is about 4.30 pm. Because lots of them take extra class until the evening like 7.30 pm to 8 pm so that they will have late dinner. 

4. Is Vietnamese food healthy?

In my opinion, Vietnamese food is one of the most healthy and tasty ones all in the world. Vietnamese cuisine with its ingredients with lots of vegetables, vitamins, protein, lipids, and so on because there is a variety of food and vegetables in this tropical country, especially in Northern Vietnam, with four distinct season.

5. Some of the typical Vietnamese food

Pho Soup Hanoi

Pho Thin – A well-known Pho in Hanoi for years

  • Pho soup (Pho bo – Rice noodle soup with beef, Pho ga – rice noodle soup with chicken)
  • Nem Ran in Northern Vietnam or Cha Gio in Southern Vietnam – Deep fried spring roll with pork
  • Bun Cha (Grilled Vietnamese meatballs with fresh herbs and rice noodles)
  • Cha Ca (Grilled fish with turmeric and dill )
  • Banh Canh (Vietnamese thick rice noodle soup)
  • My Quang (flat yellow rice noodle with pork belly,roasted peanuts, sesame rice crackers, shrimp, and hard-boiled quail eggs) 
  • Banh Mi sandwich
  • Com Tam Suon (Vietnamese grilled pork chop with broken rice)

6.Where to eat traditional Vietnamese rice meal

Restaurant 1946 Hanoi – Typical Northern Vietnamese dishes

Banh Ganh restaurant in Hue

Home kitchen restaurant in Hoian

Gia Thien – Com Nha Hoian

Cuc Gach Quan in Ho Chi Minh city 

Other frequently asked questions for Vietnamese food culture

Why do Vietnamese people eat out a lot?

Because eating out is pretty affordable in Vietnam. Sometime it’s even cheaper than home-cooked. We don’t have to think about taking family eating out or saving money, we can decide at once. 

That’s also the reason why we don’t bring food from home to work. Eating out is much easier and faster. 

Is it safe to eat on the street?

In Vietnam, we don’t have strict food safety regulations. It should be all right as long as you don’t eat raw meat or any strange things like snails, nem chua ran (sour pork sausage) etc. Also wash the fruits and peel the skins of apples, grapefruits

I also don’t suggest you to drink tap water, animal rice liquor like cobra, gecko etc…

How to find a good local place to eat?

Just walking around and go to an eatery you see many customers going in and out. 

What kind of weird food that you should not eat?

Trung Vit Lon (Hard-boiled fatal duck egg)

Oc Luoc ( Hard-boiled snails)

Tiet Canh (Blood pudding)

Bun Dau mam tom (fried tofu with rice vermicelli and shrimp paste with a stingy smell)

Thit chuot (Field mouse meat )

What are the typical food for eating out with friends?

Lau (hotpot) and Nuong (BBQ)

Over to you 

By reading this article, we hope that you have gained an in-depth understanding of what to eat in Vietnam as a local. On the other hand, you may be interested in Hanoi farm tour and cooking to experience authentic local foods with Hanoi Eco Tour

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