21 Simple Vietnamese Recipes

If you are looking for some new recipes to make your meal plans more interesting, then you should definitely consider trying some Vietnamese cuisine. Vietnamese food is well known for fresh ingredients with bright and aromatic flavours, perfectly cooked meat and comforting broths.

If you haven’t had a go at cooking Vietnamese food before then it might seem a little daunting. But don’t panic – some of the recipes are very simple. 

21 Simple Vietnamese Recipes

We have put together a list of 21 of the best Vietnamese recipes that are simple to make. All the help you need is here so you can try something new and jazz up your weekly menu. Whether you are looking for seafood, chicken, beef, pork, vegetarian dishes or even desserts, there is something on this list for everyone.

There are quick weeknight meals or more impressive dishes that are perfect for impressing your guests at a dinner party. 

Keep reading to find your new favourite, simple, Vietnamese recipes. 

Bo Kho – Vietnamese Beef Stew

If you fancy a beef stew but you want to try something a bit different, then have a go at making this Bo Kho. It is warm and comforting, with aromatic flavours and a rich gravy. The beef is soft and tender, slow cooked to perfection, with carrots and tomatoes.

Lemongrass, star anise and cinnamon make this dish lovely and fragrant whilst soy sauce and fish sauce bring savoury and umami touches. You can serve it with rice and vegetables, or with potatoes and crusty bread to mop the sauce. 

Shrimp(Prawn) Pho – Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Traditional Vietnamese Pho uses bone marrow and takes quite a long time to make. Luckily for you, this simple version is perfect if you want to experience all of those delicious and comforting flavours without spending hours in the kitchen.

The chicken broth is savoury, the spices are aromatic, the herbs and vegetables have a lovely bright flavour, and the shrimp (prawn) is juicy. All of those ingredients come together with soft noodles to create the perfect soup.

There are lots of different versions of pho- some with beef, pork, chicken, or even vegetarian versions. But be warned. Pho is addictive! Once you start incorporating it into your regular meals you will find yourself craving it.

Want to get more seafood into your diet? See our top Seafood Recipes.

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Chicken

The only cooked elements of this meal are the noodles and the chicken. Even better, they only take around 10 minutes to cook. And during that time you can be prepping the raw ingredients.

This means you spend very little time in the kitchen and even less time standing over the stove, which makes this recipe ideal for a hot day when it is too warm to cook.

This salad is vibrant and refreshing with a combination of different flavors and textures that create a satisfying meal. Nuoc cham- a Vietnamese dipping sauce – is used as a dressing and it works really well. Keep reading to find out how to make your own nuoc cham. 

Adore Vietnamese food, but struggle to prepare it yourself? Here are some of the finest Vietnamese Restaurants in Melbourne.

Nuoc Cham – Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

One of the great things about Vietnamese food is the punchy dressings. And once you have a few of these dressing in your kit bag, you can make a number of simple Vietnamese recipes.

Here is a perfect example. If you want to make your own nuoc cham for your rice noodle salad, try this recipe.

You can also use nuoc cham as a dipping sauce or even as a marinade for meat and fish. It is made with fresh lime juice, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, lemongrass, red chillies, garlic and palm sugar.

It is very easy to make and once you try it you will want to serve it on the side of every meal. If you want to get into Vietnamese cooking then being able to make your own nuoc cham is very useful. 

Bun Cha – Vietnamese Meatballs

If you have ever eaten at a Vietnamese restaurant then you have probably tried Bun Cha. These morsels of yumminess are Vietnamese meatballs made with caramelised pork. They originated in Hanoi, and are delicious served over vermicelli noodles with vegetables and nuoc cham.

The meat is seasoned with garlic, salt, fish sauce, pepper, green onions and a little bit of sugar. It it the addition of sugar that gives the meat those lovely, brown, caramelised edges. If you don’t want to use fish sauce then you can use soy, but it doesn’t have the same depth of flavour. 

Have you been searching for a good Vietnamese Restaurant in Sydney? See our guide.

Salmon and Shitaki Goi Cuon – Vietnamese Spring Rolls

These spring rolls are not the fried, crispy kind you would usually get from a Chinese takeout. They are light, healthy and filled with fresh ingredients. The fillings are only lightly seasoned, as the star of the show is the sweet and sour dipping sauce.

Chicken, shrimp, pork, and vegetables are also popular fillings for Vietnamese spring rolls, but the combination of salmon and shitake mushrooms works very well in this recipe. 

Bhan Mi – Vietnamese Sandwich

Bhan Mi has become very popular here in Australia. Once found only in neighbourhoods where a lot of residents have Vietnamese heritage, this alternative to the lunch roll is now widespread. And with this recipe, you can now make your own at home.

They are usually made with pate, mayo, Vietnamese cold cuts, pickles, green onion, coriander (cilantro), fresh chillies and a dressing. The three most popular types of cold cuts are Thi Nguoi which is made from pigs ears and skin, Cha Lua which is pork loaf, or slices of pork belly.

If the authentic cold cuts sound daunting, don’t worry – these are simple Vietnamese recipes, after all. You can use ham, pork slices or even chicken loaf. 

If you have leftover pork, popping it in a Vietnamese-style roll is ideal. Here are some more Leftover Pork Recipes.

Ca Ri Ga Bi – Vietnamese Chicken Curry

This recipe takes 45 minutes to make and is very easy. It is mild, but you can add extra chilli to make it as spicy as you want. There is plenty of sauce, so serve it with steam rice and some nice crusty bread for mopping up whatever is left in your bowl.

You can customise the recipe to include whatever vegetables are in season, but this recipe uses potatoes, squash and mange tout. The curry is flavoured with fresh ginger, lemongrass and garlic as well as coconut milk and Vietnamese curry powder – making it creamy and packed with flavour. 

Coconut milk is a magical ingredient, adding to richness to so many dishes. Here are some of our favourites.

Banh Xeo – Vietnamese Crispy Pancakes

These savoury pancakes are made with rice flour which means the batter is very light. They are a very popular street food in Vietnam, with each region offering their own signature filling. This recipe uses shrimp (prawns), pork and bean sprouts.

They are often served with dipping sauce to add even more flavour. Don’t let the yellow colour fool you- there is no egg in this pancake batter – it is the tasty turmeric that gives these pancakes their colour.  

These delicious pancakes are gluten-free, egg free and dairy-free. Swap out the fish sauce for soy and fill them with tofu and veggies for a vegan and vegetarian friendly option.

Looking for a good vegetarian feed in Sydney? Here are some of our top Vegetarian Restaurants in Sydney.

Thit Heo Quay – Vietnamese Crispy Roasted Pork Belly

Crispy roasted pork is a beloved dish in Vietnam, often served at parties and weddings. For big events, a whole pig will be roasted! But you can enjoy this traditional Vietnamese favourite on a smaller scale using pork belly.

You need to start preparing the meat the day before to ensure it is dried out properly and marinaded. On the day of cooking there isn’t much to do, so you can concentrate on preparing your side dishes.

The meat will be juicy and tender with a deliciously crispy and bubbly skin. Slice it up and serve it to your guests with a rice dish, vegetables and a side salad. 

Pork belly cooked well is a thing of beauty. Here are some of our favourite ways to serve this succulent meat.

Vietnamese Caramel Trout 

This fish dish is the perfect blend of sweet and savoury – the sweet caramel balances out the salt and the spice and perfectly complements the flesh of the fish. The ginger and lemon add a fragrant, aromatic element to the meal which is distinctively Vietnamese.

The trout is served with steam rice and pak choi for a simple but deeply satisfying meal. 

All this talk of caramel has us thinking of desserts. Here are our most-loved Mango Dessert Recipes.

Cai Lan Xao Toi – Choy Sum and Garlic

Choy sum is a leafy, stalky green vegetable that is also called Asian broccoli. In Vietnam it is called rau cai lan and is often stir fried with garlic to serve as a side dish with meat or fish.

The choy sum and garlic is cooked in sesame oil with salt, white pepper and chicken stock powder. You can use mushroom or vegetable stock powder if you want this dish to be vegetarian. 

Easy to make and totally delicious, it’s one of our best simple Vietnamese recipes.

Vietnamese Sriracha Mackerel Rolls

This recipe is inspired by Bhan Mi and uses sriracha sauce which is very popular in Vietnamese cooking. They take just 10 minutes to put together and make an excellent lunch. Serve them with fresh cilantro and wedges of lime. 

Do you live in Brisbane and have a passion for Asian food in all its forms? Here are some of our regular dining spots.

Che Chuoi – Vietnamese Coconut and Banana Tapioca Pudding

This warm, sweet pudding is made with tapioca pearls, coconut and banana. It works best with bananas or plantains that are perfectly ripe, so they are sweet and soft but not mushy.

Make sure you soak the tapioca pearls for 15 to 20 minutes before you cook them to reduce the overall cooking time and achieve the right consistency.

Do not replace the coconut cream with coconut milk – coconut cream has a much stronger flavour and a creamier texture which is needed for this dessert. 

Do you know much about the cuisine of the Philippines? Here are our go-to Filipino Desserts.

Tra Chanh Hanoi – Vietnamese Lime Iced Tea

Lime iced tea is a very popular drink in Hanoi and is a big part of their street food culture. . Fortunately, it is very easy to recreate the delicious drink at home. With just five simple ingredients- green tea bags, limes, water, honey and ice – you’ll be sipping happily in no time.

You can also use loose leaf tea for an even better flavour, but you will need to strain the tea before serving. 

Fancy something a bit stronger than tea? Have a bash at some of these Cocktail Recipes.

Vietnamese Slaw

Side dishes are very important in Vietnamese cuisine, and slaw is a very popular Vietnamese side dish. It is also used in other recipes like Bhan Mi.

This slaw is crunchy and packed with flavor. It has shredded cabbage and carrot, sliced red onions, fresh mint, zingy lime, fish sauce and crushed peanuts.

The fish sauce and lime juice from a light dressing around the slaw. The hard boiled eggs are optional but make the slaw even tastier and more satisfying. You can use this slaw as the base for a lovely Vietnamese salad. 

Bun Thit Nuong – Vietnamese BBQ Pork

Vietnamese BBQ is a big part of Vietnamese cuisine. There are lots of Vietnamese BBQ restaurants in the towns and cities in countries all over the world. It is traditionally a sociable meal, enjoyed as a group around a communal grill.

This recipe recreates those classic flavours in a way that is easy to enjoy at home, served with rice noodles. 

Korean culture also has a love of BBQ. There are our top-rated Korean BBQ Restaurants in Sydney.

Vietnamese Braised Pork Ribs

This recipe for braised pork ribs is mouth-wateringly good. They are succulent and juicy and perfectly tender. Flavoured with lemongrass, soy sauce, fish sauce, chilli paste, five spice powder, garlic and ginger, they are divine.

Serve them with rice and vegetables for a restaurant quality meal from the comfort of your own home. 

Are you on the hunt for a good Sichuan Hot Pot in Melbourne? See our guide.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Buns

These buns are similar to cinnamon buns, but with a denser texture and flavoured with coffee and espresso.

They are perfect to enjoy at breakfast time, and once you have had one you will definitely want more! Make a big batch of them to eat over the weekend, or to serve to friends or family with an afternoon coffee. 

Here are some great places to try for exquisite Desserts in Melbourne.

Vietnamese Glazed Chicken Wings

To our minds, no list of simple Vietnamese recipes is complete without a wings recipe.

Chicken wings make the perfect game day snack or Saturday night meal, and they are great to serve at a party. If you are bored of the same old buffalo or BBQ chicken wings then you should try this recipe for glazed chicken wings.

They are sweet and sour with a thin, crunchy coating and a sticky glaze that tastes amazing. They are flavoured with fish sauce, lemon, garlic, chilli and sugar. 

Do you sometimes find yourself wondering what to do with Leftover Chicken? The solution could be here.

Vietnamese Salt and Pepper Squid

This recipe for fried squid is very light and crispy with simple but impressive flavours. They have spicy chillies, plenty of garlic, a hint of five spice, and zesty fresh lime juice.

You can buy prep-prepared squid if you want to cut down the preparation time, but it will be more expensive.

Unlike other crispy squid recipes there is no batter- the moisture from the squid combines with the cornstarch they are dipped in to create a nice crunchy coating that is much lighter than batter. 

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