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Herbs: The Unsung Heroes Of Vietnamese Cuisine

People travel to Vietnam from all over the world for the country’s culinary magic. But while broths, meats and noodles are often play the leading role, the unsung heroes of Vietnamese cuisine are fresh herbs which grace almost every dish.

Ngò rí (Cilantro or Coriander)

Photo via arbyreed.

Widely used in Vietnamese cooking, this herb brings a zesty flavor to most Vietnamese soups and salads.


Rau đắng (Bitter herb)

Image via Phuong Tran.

These tiny leaves give noodle soups like bún mắm and steaming hot pots a touch of bitterness.


Rau quế (Asian basil)

Photo via wader.

Found in almost all Vietnamese dishes from spring rolls to soups, Asian basil packs a spicier punch than its Italian cousin.


Húng lủi (Mint)

Image via Darwin Bell.

This herb can add a minty freshness to drinks and is often served alongside soups such as phở.


Xả (Lemongrass)

Image via kt.reis.

Pungent and refreshing in smell and taste, lemongrass can intensify flavors not only in food, but drinks like hot tea. It is also a common ingredient in many traditional flu remedies.


Thì là (Dill)

Image via dspina13.

Very common in the North of Vietnam, dill is usually used to balance the taste in fish dishes like chả cá.

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