Culture Tuesday is a weekly column in which Best of Vegan Editor Samantha Onyemenam explores different cultures’ cuisines across the globe through a plant-based and vegan lens. Before you start exploring vegan Vietnamese recipes, you might want to click here to read her original column about Vietnamese cuisine.
This is a complementary piece to the article on Vietnamese Cuisine. This article is a compilation of 10 delicious dishes from Vietnam. They include breakfast dishes, lunch/dinner dishes, finger foods/snacks, and desserts with some recipes consisting of few ingredients that require less than ten minutes to prepare while others take longer.
If you try any of these vegan Vietnamese recipes do let the creators of the dishes know what you think.
Culture Tuesday — 10 Flavourful Vegan Vietnamese Recipes
Phở is a flavorsome and fragrant broth-based dish. The broth is simmered for hours with rock sugar, aromatic herbs, spices, and vegetables with soy sauce, seaweed, and/or mushroom often included in chay (vegetarian) versions for an umami flavor. The final dish is assembled with noodles, fresh vegetables, sprouts, quẩy (fried dough), tofu, and/or condiments of choice. In this recipe, Huong (aka Serena), shows how she makes her Phở Chay.
Xoi Gac is a breakfast food made of gac (baby jackfruit) and glutinous sticky rice. While the rice is uncooked, it is rinsed and marinated in a baby jackfruit paste for at least a half hour prior to it being steamed. The cooked mixture is then combined with sugar, salt, and oil (some cooks include coconut milk) then left to cool before it is packed into a mould and served with toppings of choice. Potential toppings include muối vừng (roasted peanuts and sesame seeds), meat substitutes, and shredded coconut.
The notable redness of the dish comes from the baby jackfruit paste as the flesh of the fruit is red with vibrant red seeds which are pulverized to make the paste.
Bánh Xèo nấm are thin crispy crepes made from a rice flour batter that is filled with a seasoned and sautéed mixture of mushrooms and leeks (or spring onions/green onions/scallions) during the cooking process and folded to somewhat resemble a filled omelet. In this recipe, Helen includes a bit of turmeric in the batter to give it a yellow egg-y color as well as minced leek for additional flavor.
Bánh bột chiên chay is a greasy flavourful rice cake dish made using a steamed mixture of rice flour and tapioca starch for the rice cakes. The rice cakes are seasoned and fried before being cooked further with (vegan) eggs then topped with fresh and/or sautéed spring onions (green onions/scallions) and served with a dipping sauce.
In this recipe, Lisa shows you how she makes her beautiful and delectable bánh bột chiên chay.
Tau hu nuoc duong is a warm dessert dish consisting of silken tofu generously topped with a sweet ginger syrup.
In this recipe, Vicky teaches how to make this dish from scratch as opposed to purchasing silken tofu and a ginger-infused syrup. The recipe starts with the process of making tofu using dry soybeans, water, a coagulant and salt then goes on to the process of making a ginger brown sugar syrup and then assembling the tau hu nuoc duong. It is a very rewarding process.
Bánh beo chay is a rice cake dish that consists of steamed rice cake disks which are topped with scallion oil, a sweet coconut mung bean purée, sautéed ground mushrooms, sautéed minced carrots, crushed peanuts, breadcrumbs, and a sweet, zesty soy sauce, and coconut water sauce. It can be served as a finger food snack or meal.
This Đậu Hũ Kho Nấm recipe is Lisa’s take on a vegan version of thịt kho. For it, she replaces the animal products with tofu, king oyster mushrooms, and vegan shrimp (which can be substituted with more tofu and mushrooms). After sautéing the ingredients needed for this dish, the braising liquid used to finish the dish is a coconut soda. However, this can be substituted with water. The final dish is delicious, sweet, and savory.
Bap Nuong Mo Hanh is a smokey sweet and savory dish made by cooking corn (in boiling water or by steaming), then grilling it and slathering it with a fresh sweet and salted scallion oil. It makes a great barbecue summer dish.
Cà tím cào is a side dish that is a great accompaniment to Đậu Hũ Kho Nấm. Its recipe can be relatively complex with a plethora of ingredients (often nine to twelve, but could be more) or as simple as five ingredients – aubergines (eggplant), chili flakes, oil, onions, and soy sauce. The final dish is dark, tender, and flavorsome.
Vietnamese dishes are often served with a side of vegetables. In this recipe, Vicky gives directions on how to make Cải Làn Xào Tỏi, a sautéed choy sum, and garlic side dish.
The chicken bouillon powder linked in the recipe is a vegan one. However, if it is hard to source a vegan chicken bouillon, substitute that ingredient with mushroom powder or vegetable bouillon.
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