Getting Started with Vietnamese Cooking

Vietnamese cuisine is characterized by the use of a lot of vegetables and fresh herbs, making it a cuisine that features an abundance of plant-based ingredients. In addition to that, a wide selection of proteins are cooked using methods such as grilling, sautéing, or boiling, and then added to various dishes. Dairy products such as milk, cream, or cheese are rarely, if ever, used.

Aromatics often include garlic, shallots, lemongrass, chili, and fish sauce. Depending on the region, the flavor profile of Vietnamese dishes may differ, with Southern cuisine using more sugar to season dishes than Northern Vietnam.

Is Vietnamese cuisine vegan-friendly? Thanks to the influence of Buddhism, Vietnam is an incredibly vegan-friendly country with vegan restaurants present almost everywhere. Basically, all the traditional meat-based dishes are available in vegan versions (which translates to “chay” in Vietnamese).

If you are new to Vietnamese dishes, we highly recommend starting with this easy Vietnamese curry, eggplant stew, and lemongrass tofu.


Vietnamese dishes rely a lot on using various condiments to add flavor. Below are essentials you should have on hand if you plan to cook Vietnamese dishes.

Comforting Stews

Vietnamese cuisine is not all about fresh salads and summer rolls, warming and hearty dishes are also part of the repertoire.

Ingredient Highlight: Taro

Taro is a starchy root vegetable that is used in many Asian countries, including Vietnam. It has a denser texture than white potatoes and a subtle nuttiness. Taro is used in many Vietnamese dishes such as curry, soups, braised dishes, as well as sweets like taro milk tea and taro buns.

Learn how to cook taro with our step-by-step guide!


Whether you are looking for an afternoon snack or a dessert after enjoying a piping hot bowl of Phở, we have fantastic options for you to choose from!

All Vietnamese Recipes

Looking for a full list of all of our vegan Vietnamese-inspired recipes? Check them out below.