The salad is a simple yet very delicious Vietnam cuisine appetizer that is on the menu of almost every weekend party. Whatever sizes of the parties or the family meals, salad seems to be the popular first course of a meal, as the good “contact substance” to awake the palate. In Vietnam, salad (called “gỏi” or “nộm”) has ingredients of vegetables mixed with spices, onion, chili, herbs, peanut, shrimp, fish, and meat. Following are top 4 appetizer salads in Vietnam that most women know how to cook.
#1: Gỏi Củ Hủ Dừa (Salad with shrimp, pork, and young coconut)
The “young coconut” here means the youngest part on the top of the coconut tree. This part is white, soft, and sweet which is ideal for making the salad. A long time ago, the Vietnamese people took this coconut part to mix with shrimp, pork, peanut, shallots, coriander and various spices. The key to this dish is the spicing recipe which results in different versions. People can also dress the mixture with fish sauce appropriately. As usual, the “Goi Cu Hu Dua” looks very attractive on completion, including the white young coconut, the light pink boiled shrimp, the green coriander, the orange carrot, etc. This is the typical example of the beautiful Vietnam fine cuisine.
#2: Gỏi Ổi Tai Heo (Salad with guava and pig’s ear)
The ingredients of guava and pig’s ear in this food are spiced to be sweet and sour that enchant all foodies. This first course of the meal is in favor of the Vietnamese men who are celebrating parties with wine or beer. Often, this salad is served with the crispy prawn crackers that highlight the tastes of the guava as well as the fermented pig’s ears. Though these ingredients might sound unfamiliar to some people, this salad is very yummy and worth eating. Here is a common how-to: rinse the pig’s ears, pound ginger, and vinegar. Then, boil the pig’s ears with slices of ginger and salt. When the ears of the pig are cooked, put them right away into the iced water; this is to make the ingredient whiter and crunchier. Till the ears are cool, cut them into slices and mix them with guava, carrot, coriander, and the special fish sauce mixture.
#3: Gỏi Xoài Tôm Chua Ngọt (sweet-and-sour salad with mango and dried shrimp)
The salad mixed with sour mango and succulent dried shrimp is the ideal dish in weekend parties, of which the guests are fed up with the full-of-oil feast. This sweet-and-sour salad is also the favorite item in the daily Vietnamese family meals that you’re likely to be treated if visiting a Vietnamese friend. Besides, “Goi Xoai Tom Chua Ngot” is often on top of the Vietnamese wedding menus chosen by the hosts. The additional ingredients of this salad could be minced onions, chili, fish sauce, carrot, lemon juice, and other herbs.
#4: Gỏi Cụ Kiệu Tôm Khô (salad with pickled small leeks and dried shrimp)
This kind of salad has the diverse tastes which can be sour, spicy, salty, and sweet. Its highlights lie in the mixture of the dried fish and the dried shrimp, plus pickled small leeks that are all well-spiced in a Vietnamese style. Decorated on the dish are some tomato slices and coriander. Several types of vegetables and herbs make this beautiful Vietnam food and cuisine very healthy to all foodies.
Each salad food in Vietnam brings the distinctive and enjoyable tastes to the foodies. They have positive effects of stimulating the palate as the yummy first course of the meal. So if you attend a party when you travel to Vietnam, check whether these salads are on the tables and try using chopsticks to eat like the locals do.
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