How We Use Shrimp in Vietnamese Cooking and t

Shrimp is one of the most important and well-developed seafood sources in East Asian, Vietnamese, and worldwide cooking. In commercial farming and wild fisheries In Vietnam, shrimp’s one protein source that is closely sought after. It’s used in several Vietnamese dishes, primarily as a protein source to help beef up noodle dishes, rice dishes, and more. Here’s a little bit as to why shrimp in Vietnamese is so popular and how it came to be used.

Let’s start with why shrimp is so well known and used in cooking. Shrimp’s been used for centuries across many cultures. When it comes to its nutrition, shrimp has some positives and negatives. Shrimp’s high in protein which is the predominant reason, as mentioned, that it’s chosen. Unfortunately, it’s also low in food energy and can be a significant source of cholesterol. In the positive column, shrimp also has a healthy impact on the circulatory system as it lacks saturated fat. Also, shrimp is high in omega-3s with low levels of mercury – very beneficial!

Shrimp can be prepared almost anywhere and with a variety of methods, ranging from barbequing to grilling, frying, baking, or boiling. In Vietnamese restaurants in Toronto such as TorontoPHO, we prepare shrimp by frying predominantly though we use a number of other methods as needed. Shrimp is sometimes used with salads, rice, or in other dishes. Alternatively, deep-frying it is another method of preparation sometimes used though we try to avoid this as more calories and cholesterol are added with this delivery.

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Health Benefits of Pork Liver in Banh Mi and

In Canada, we may not think much of pork liver. A lot of us don’t really know much about it, it seems downright odd to eat it, and we’d hardly see it as healthy. The truth however is that pork liver’s actually as close to a superfood as there is. Once treasured and extremely popular in worldwide ethnic cuisines, liver from any animal generally comes high in protein, low in calories, and contains many essential vitamins and minerals.

To better understand the health benefits of pork liver, one must look to what exactly it is we’re eating. Liver’s the largest internal organ an animal has and serves to process digested foods, clears away waste and detoxifies blood, and stores glucose, iron, vitamins, and essential nutrients the body needs. At one point, organ meats like liver were extremely popular. They’ve long been superseded with muscle meats however.

Regardless of what the culture may believe or where its popularity may sit, Vietnamese pork liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods ever. Though we like to think of fruits and veggies as containing all the vitamins and minerals we chase, pork liver actually has more than any fruit or vegetable you can think of. Even a small amount of it is enough to provide over 100% of your recommended daily intake of many nutrients. It’s also jam-packed with protein and you’re not sacrificing a lot in calories either.

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Why Rice is So Important to Vietnamese Farmer

Rice is used every day in a wide variety of Vietnamese foods and our culture’s not alone in this. Almost 65% of the world’s population relies heavily on rice to survive and did you know there are more than 2,000 varieties – it’s true! If there ever was a multicultural food that transcended boundaries and borders, rice would probably be it.

Although you can find rice playing a prominent role in many different cultures, to Vietnam, it’s sacred. For centuries, rice has played a role in shaping our cuisine, cultural traditions, and ceremonies. Rice in Vietnam is grown predominantly in flooded fields that require a constant supply of water. This type of rice is known as lowland rice or wet rice and it’s usually harvested 3 times a year.

Rice isn’t just used in Vietnamese cuisine although you will find plenty of uses for it here. It’s sometimes made into a pudding while other times, it’s steamed. Rice in Vietnam comes in a collection of colors. You may see white rice occupying plates here in Canada but at times, it’s brown, red, black, or amber, and the rice grains themselves range from short to long, thick and thin. The rice kernels can also be made into rice noodles, cooking oils and stalks, or even wine.

To some degree, rice is a strong symbol of Vietnam culture. Our Mekong River Delta is a large producer of rice, one of the largest in the world in fact. In terms of rice production, Vietnam’s a major exporter of it and is number 2 in worldwide rice production. In Vietnamese temples, rice is used for worship and the grains which are a staple in every family’s diet are seen as a gift from God. There are stories of the importance of rice in Vietnamese cooking and religion, and these get passed down from generation to generation.

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Why a Vietnamese Stir Fry Continues to Be Jus

Vietnamese cooking is occupied by many different kinds of dishes. You will typically hear about pho first and foremost. Occasionally someone may mention banh cuon or another hearty Vietnamese dish but for the most part, you don’t hear about stir fry very much. This is somewhat understandable as stir fry is believed to be a Chinese cooking technique rather than a Vietnamese-invented method of preparation. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a Vietnamese influence on it though. Here’s a little more about how stir fry came to be.

A stir fry is a process of cooking as opposed to a dedicated recipe. You can essentially stir fry anything. All it is is frying an amount of food in very hot oil while stirring. It is a technique that originated centuries ago. It began to be popularized in the 1400s onwards when the wok developed to such an extent that quick cooking in hot oil was made possible. Stir fry for a long time was seen as a representation of affluence. Families who stir fry had to afford the oil and required fuel. For most people, they boiled and steamed their foods which is perhaps why Vietnamese pho has such a deep history among the people of Vietnam.

Gradually, from the twentieth century onwards, stir frying grew more and more popular as affordability made it ok for families to enjoy veggies, meats, and fish in such a method. These days, when we stir fry something, we are doing it for flavor and/or as a sort of nod to our neighbors in China. The sweet and sour flavors in some Vietnamese cooking are brought out in even fuller force through a stir fry. A simple chicken stir fry for example can bring together Vietnam favourites like rice, chicken, Vietnamese-grown herbs and spices, and of course fish sauce. Nuoc mam, a Vietnamese fish sauce, adds so much.

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See the Best Seasonal Vietnamese Dishes for S

Like any homegrown ethnic cuisine, a large influence over what dishes are served on any given night is the time of year it is and the season. Vietnam experiences drastic changes in weather, culture, and cuisine depending on the season. The same food all year round – I think not! If you visit Vietnam, you’ll find out firsthand the ways weather and climate influence eating. Here’s a rundown of some of our favourite dishes divided according to season.


Spring’s filled with traditional Vietnamese dishes, such as banh chung. This rice cake is made according to a mix of sticky rice, beans, pork, and wrapped in banana leaves. Sticky rice is actually a very familiar food to eat during spring time. Spring rolls are very popular during a Vietnamese spring, made from things like pork, shrimp, mushroom, onions, eggs, salt, and pepper. Lastly picked onions are very flavorful and a common addition to the fatty foods mentioned above.


Summer’s a great time for cool desserts and cuisine that recharges the batteries. After all, Vietnam’s scorching in the summer so a lot of what you’ll find are easy-to-please meals. For example, white jelly cubes in sweet porridge are trending in Vietnam right now in a big way. As expected, this is whit jelly cubes made from milk and lychee submerged in a mix of sugar water and grapefruit flowers. Douhua soy milk, sweet and sticky glutinous balls known as banh troi, and mixed fruits are all very common and favourites as Vietnamese summer desserts.

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Vietnamese Fruits We Miss So Much Native to V

A Canadian may not think it but Vietnam is actually a tropical country with a mix of what Torontonians would label as ‘exotic fruit’. Travelers who come to Vietnam have the luxury of expanding their palate and partaking in these adventurous, colorful fruits. Here in Toronto, unfortunately, we don’t always have access. As a top Toronto Vietnamese restaurant, we try to mix in fruit whenever we can for our patrons. Here’s a few of the Vietnamese fruits we know and miss from our homeland.


Lychee is very, very popular in Vietnam, particularly at the beginning of summer. Lychee’s skin is dark red and it’s probably the easiest fruit you could ever peel. The juice white center’s suited up with vitamin C and sweetness. Lychee can be served raw or made into a beverage, adding additional sugars and fruits like mango or dragon fruit along with it.


Mangosteen is widely considered to be one of the most delicious fruits in the world. Considered superfruit-esque, there are a numerous health benefits associated to its mix of nutrients and antioxidants. The soft, sweet center is balanced with an outer purple skin, absolutely gorgeous.

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Toronto Foodies Flocking to Vietnamese Cookin

Toronto foodies are coming in droves to try one of the world’s trendiest cuisines and one that’s heating up in the restaurant scene here in the city. We are talking about Vietnamese cuisine of course.

As families from Vietnam spread across the globe in the post-war period, they brought with them homegrown recipes that are on their way to becoming stone cold classics. Vietnamese cuisine creations are packed with flavors and taste unique to this part of the world, delivered in an Instagram-friendly presentation. Pleasing to the eye and the palate both, the cuisine is one every foodie should try.

What’s so attractive about a Vietnamese dish is that they’re made to be balanced. When a sugar is added, a salt is as well. When a dish involves a little bit of spice, something anti-acidic is added in to establish a clear balance. In this era of very healthy eating, this has also given rise to vegetarian Vietnamese eating. These dishes bring together protein source, carbs of some kind, herbs and spices, and careful consideration on what else to include. There are all sorts of contemporary modifications made on classic Vietnamese eats such as pho to bring them to vegetarian or vegan standards. For foodies, they’re well worth a taste!

Like a few other ethnic cuisines, Vietnamese is having a bit of a moment right now. It’s a very diverse and seductive cuisine, perhaps one of the most diverse in the world. Vietnamese brings together regal French influence with age-old Asian flavors and techniques. There’s a deep cultural history to a lot of the cooking in this cuisine, in addition to Vietnamese being called one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. The heath of Vietnamese has everything to do with the balance of nutrients managed throughout. Again, we come to a philosophy of balance. Unlike Chinese, Japanese, Thai, or other cuisines, you won’t ever find a dish prepared Vietnamese-style to be so much of any one thing.

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