How Today’s Generations have Made it Easy to Cook Vietnamese Cuisine at Home
Because some North Americans don’t use these ingredients often, they may not even know they’re found at the local grocery store. Grocery stores are no longer the sort of place that appeals strictly to predominantly European foods. It is as multicultural as the people who live around it. Although we don’t have the freshness or the haggling of Vietnamese markets, the grocery stores here are better in many ways, much of them obvious.
The sugar for example from North America is more reliable than what’s found in Vietnam. Consistently the same, using sugar from your local grocery store, it’s easy to make a bittersweet caramel sauce which is a staple applied across meat and seafood. Lettuce, cilantro, and mint can be combined tow rap fried and grilled morsels as needed. Cake flour is always an excellent substitute for rice flour to make Vietnamese-style steamed rice rolls. Things like chicken, ginger, and onion are easy to find, and create a Vietnamese stock from. The fat and flesh from these can also be used among chicken and celery rice which works wonders at preparing some healthy Vietnamese comfort food.
Although some of these are substitutes, you will find more authentic ingredients here and here. Just as a reference, the average Canadian grocery store in 1975 carried 9,000 items. Today, inventories have grown to more than 40,000 per store. Asian food sections now exist where a shopper can pluck their favourite fish sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, coconut milk, and rice. Daikon and hot chilies can sometimes be found in the produce department. Rice paper ain’t so difficult to locate either. Today’s more globalized audience loves Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese foods. They’re more educated than their parents and more exploratory. The popularity of Asian markets also meant North American grocery stores had to make a change.
Today’s generations are looking for something interesting and unique. That’s why they go to Instagram seeking food photos and recipes to re-create. They want to experiment. No matter where the food comes from, today’s generations just want great tasting food. They’re value-conscious, healthy eaters. If you want quality, one thing you can count on is Vietnamese food. Never too much sugar, too much fat, too much meat, or too many carbs, they’re some of the better balanced meals in ethnic cuisine.
So the next time you’re at your local grocery store, it doesn’t hurt to come carrying a Vietnamese recipe. For those who don’t want to make their own, pick up your Vietnamese favourites at Toronto Pho.