In a lot of Asian cuisine, like Thai, spices are frequently used. To Canadian eaters, they may not necessarily be prepared for Asian spices and the way a lot of these dishes are prepared. Understandable, spices are a part of the culture in cuisines like Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and others. The result is beautifully delicious, spicy dishes that can mirror the spiciest of dishes from almost any other cuisine worldwide, despite the fact that Asian cooking isn’t singularly known for spiciness.Read More
Eating as a vegan, it’s not always easy going to different restaurants and seeing what’s on the menu. Especially in Asian cuisine and restaurant culture, a lot of the establishments use a lazy approach. The type of vegan faux meat or vegan dishes are generally light on the nutrition and all-around weak.
Vegan eating in Vietnamese cuisine is a little different. In fact, it’s a lot different. Vietnamese cooking puts an emphasis on fresh, healthy vegetables, herbs, spices, and balanced meals. Vietnamese meals do not focus on the meat or non-vegan foods. Instead, method of preparation’s a major focus and being a vegan – either at a restaurant or at home – is incredibly easy when you eat like this.
Is Vietnamese cuisine vegan?
Vietnamese cuisine, to a certain degree, is vegetarian although not vegan. This cooking uses a lot of fish and fish-related products. You can use a lot of other meat products but it’s not necessarily. A great example of this is vegan Vietnamese pho which can be customized according to what you like. Any meat – pork, beef, or otherwise – does not need to be included in pho. It can be made entirely vegan without any intervention. If you’re concerned about Vietnamese vegan eating, pho is a great dish to rely on among many others.Read More
As one of Toronto’s top Vietnamese restaurants, we love learning about our patrons and their preferences. The average Vietnamese-Canadian’s food habits are increasingly hybridized alongside typical Canadian foods. It’s interesting to see how so many cultures including ours continue to blend in this country, creating some truly unique dining experiences.
Across Canada, there are over 240,000 Vietnamese-Canadians mainly spread across British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. Though this demographic isn’t as often discussed as others in Canadian newspapers or media, Vietnamese-Canadians have a strong history in cooking, cuisine, and culture.
3 waves of Vietnamese immigration
Before we delve into the lifestyles and diets of the average Vietnamese-Canadian family, it’s important to understand where they’re from and how they came to arrive here. Vietnamese families began arriving in large numbers in Canada stating in the mid-1970s. They came in boats as refugees following the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Prior to this, only a few thousand Vietnamese were living in Canada and primarily in Quebec.Read More
Coriander, a herb in Vietnamese cooking, is common to a number of dishes. Coriander’s taste is notoriously tart, almost like a lemon or lime. It’s not only a key to a large amount of Vietnamese dishes but it also has medicinal properties. In fact, the chemical composition of the herb demonstrates properties that range from antimicrobial to antioxidant, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, anxiolytic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, and even anti-cancer.
A rising interest in herbal medicine
Traditional medicines, using herbs and natural ingredients as opposed to those created in a laboratory, continue to gain attention. There exists a number of medicinal plants grown in countries like Vietnam, one of which is coriander. This herb is not only cultivated in Vietnam but across North Africa, Central Europe, and the Mediterranean area as well.
How coriander is made
How do we make coriander in Vietnamese cuisine – it all starts with the seeds which are ground up. Once ground, they are used in condiments or as a spice, as an ingredient in curry powder, and/or to flavor foods like fish, meat, bakery items, and confectionery products. Subsequently, while making coriander, the leaves of the same plant can be made into cilantro or ‘Chinese parsley’. The entirety of the plant from which coriander comes from is edible, and all are very important in Vietnamese cooking as well as in the cuisines of Thai and Chinese.Read More
Nuoc cham is a type of Vietnamese dipping sauce, commonly made from a mix of fish and complementary ingredients. It is used in many, many cultural dishes native to the region. It works well as a freshly made sauce to dip veggies and other foods into, or can be served from the refrigerator premade for meals throughout the week. How to create a basic Vietnamese fish sauce starts with knowing what it is or rather, what it’s supposed to be.
What is nuoc cham?
Nuoc cham isn’t just a fish sauce. It can refer to any number of dipping sauces, usually made similar to how we use condiments in North America. Sometimes, they are sweet or sour, while other recipes will make them savoury, salty, or spicy. It’s all in what you want it to be and how it suits the type of foods you’re serving.
Nuoc mam pha is your fish sauce!
When we discuss nuoc cham as a fish sauce, what we’re talking about is nuoc mam pha. This is the most well-known fish sauce in Vietnamese cuisine. The simplest recipe uses a combination of lime juice and is one part fish sauce, one part sugar, and two parts water. In vegetarian eating, you can substitute Maggi seasoning sauce for fish sauce and it comes off surprisingly similar. Adding to this further, one can put in minced uncooked garlic, chopped or minced bird’s eye chilis, and/or shredded pickled carrot and green papaya.Read More
Vietnamese families, immigrants, and refugees have been entering Canada in significant numbers since the late 1960s.
As they have adapted to the multicultural life of living in Canada since arriving here, they have brought unique customs and foods to this new country. In a truly global world, these unique customs and foods have never been so important to identifying culture, preservation, and ethnic background.
Like what’s happened in the United States with the ‘melting pot’ phenomenon, as Vietnamese families came to Canada over the years, customs melded. This produced a sort of Vietnamese-Canadian culture of togetherness.
There’s a lot of views on how this happened. It’s not anything specific to Vietnamese families either. The same thing has occurred with most of the immigrants who have come to Canada, to become Canadians. Neither good nor bad, here’s a closer look at what’s happened to Vietnamese customs and culture as they’ve adapted or welcomed themselves into the modern Canadian identity.
Is Vietnamese culture being left behind?
Adjusting to life in Canada for Vietnamese families from the 1970s until today is not easy. Though Canada’s more multicultural today than it’s ever been, for immigrant families, there is still a lot which has to be left behind. To come to Canada and become Canadian, a part of one’s background needs to be left behind but this is not to say one’s culture, customs, beliefs, food, or personal values need to disappear. Visit a city like Toronto and see beautiful Vietnamese and Asian cultures shared in restaurants and cultural events all over the GTA. Is Vietnamese culture being left behind – no, not in Canada.Read More
Asian cuisine has come a long way in Canada since the post-war era in the 1950s. These days, cities across the country have dozens of restaurants serving Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, and more. Perceptions of these Asian cuisines have changed albeit not equally across each.
While Vietnamese cuisine is currently thought to be the healthiest Asian cuisine, generally using less oil, more vegetables, and more balance in mind, its current popularity took a long time to develop. Here’s a quick rundown of how each Asian cuisine’s perception changed and the impact this may have had on the rise of Vietnamese food in Canadian cities like Toronto.
For years, Chinese cuisine was the most favourite Asian cuisine by North Americans. Chinese restaurants were popular, the purchase price was cheap, and perception was that Chinese cuisine was on par with a lot of American dishes such as hamburgers, fries, and the like.
Unfortunately for fans of Chinese, it’s actually decreased in popularity in the past two decades. This isn’t to say that less Chinese restaurants exist but perhaps due to the growing momentum behind Vietnamese restaurants in Toronto and other major cities, there has been less focus on Chinese options.
What Chinese restaurants have done, as neither positive nor negative, is that they’re almost perceived as mainstream American foods now. This is how common Chinese food is. There isn’t any mystery or anything left to discover. Also, Chinese food has had such an impact that when someone opens a Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, or Thai restaurant, they are likely to include numerous Americanized Chinese-influenced dishes on the menu.Read More