Vietnamese food is well known as one of the best cuisines in the world. In general, Vietnamese food is not as spicy as Thai food. Instead, it has a pleasant and fresh flavor, thanks to the mix of different vegetables. If you love Vietnamese cuisine or even think about learning how to cook Vietnamese food, you must take a look at the list of vegetables in Vietnamese introduced in this article. You will also learn how Vietnamese people usually cook vegetables for their daily meals.
Leafy Vegetables In Vietnamese
Vietnam is a tropical country, so there are a lot of different vegetables, especially leafy greens. Let’s have a look at the most popular ones!
Rau Muống (Morning Glory, Water Spinach)
Rau muống is the Vietnamese name for water spinach. It is also known as morning glory in English. Rau muống can be stir-fried with garlic, boiled, or eaten fresh as salad. This vegetable is trendy all year round, and you can easily buy a bunch of water spinach at any local market or grocery store.
Cải Thìa, Cải Chíp (Bok Choy)
Bok choy is a favorite vegetable of many people. Vietnamese people call it cải thìa or cải chíp. It is a bit sweet and a bit crunchy. You can boil or stir fry cải thìa with some garlic, mushrooms, and ginger.
Mồng Tơi (Malabar Spinach)
Mồng tơi is a Vietnamese name for Malabar spinach. It seems that this vegetable is not popular in Western countries. It tastes a bit plain and it could be slimy. To cook mồng tơi, you can stir fry it with garlic, or add it to crab soup (Canh cua mồng tơi).
Rau Đay (Corchorus, Jute Mallow)
The English name of rau đay is corchorus or jute mallow. This is a tropical vegetable that is popular in Vietnam. The corchorus plant can be cooked as a vegetable, but can also be used to produce fiber. Vietnamese people usually cook it with Malabar spinach in crab soup. This soup is said to cool you down during hot weather in Vietnam.
Rau Cần (Water Celery)
Rau cần, or water celery, is a vegetable grown in winter in Vietnam. You can stir fry rau cần with garlic, tomatoes, or cook as soup. You can also ferment water celery with carrots, sprint onions, and ginger, which turns to pickles after 2-3 days.
Rau Dền (Amaranth)
Amaranth is translated as rau dền in the Vietnamese language. This plant is considered rich in iron, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and calcium. You can stir fry amaranth with garlic or boil it. When you boil the vegetable, remember to dress some lime juice into the soup after taking the vegetables out. The soup will turn from plum color to yellow, which is quite interesting.
Bắp Cải (Cabbage)
Cabbage is a winter vegetable in Vietnam. It means that you can buy cabbage at a cheap price in winter, and its quality is usually better than when you buy it in summer. In Vietnam, people call cabbage bắp cải. In Vietnamese cuisine, cabbage can be boiled with tomato and pieces of ginger, or stir-fried with garlic and ginger.
Súp Lơ (Cauliflower)
If you want to buy cauliflower at a local market in Vietnam, ask for ‘súp lơ’ or ‘súp lơ trắng’. You can boil or stir fry súp lơ with garlic and tomatoes.
Súp Lơ Xanh (Broccoli)
Because broccoli looks like cauliflower, it is called súp lơ xanh which means green cauliflower. The way to cook broccoli in Vietnam is as same as the way you cook cauliflower.
Xà Lách (Lettuce)
Xà lách is how Vietnamese speakers call lettuce. This vegetable is mostly eaten as salad or herbs when you eat some Vietnamese dishes such as fish soup with bamboo shoot (cá nấu măng), Hue-style noodle soup (bún bò Huế, a specialty in Hue, a province in Vietnam). Xà lách is also an ingredient in Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, together with carrot, shrimps, eggs, cucumber, noodles, and some herbs.
Cải Xanh (Mustard Greens)
Mustard greens are also a favorite vegetable in Vietnam. People call it cải xanh. You can either stir fry it with garlic, ginger, mushroom, or boil it. This vegetable is also put in a hot pot (lẩu), a popular eating style in Vietnam. When eating lẩu, all raw and fresh ingredients will be prepared on the table. People will sit together and cook the ingredients by themselves with the same hot pot containing the soup during eating.
Other Vegetable Names In Vietnamese
As mentioned earlier, there are different kinds of vegetables in Vietnam. Below are some other vegetables you can find in Vietnam.
- Cải thảo: napa cabbage
- Giá, giá đỗ: beansprouts
- Rau rút: water mimosa
- Cải cúc: crown daisy
- Cải bẹ xanh, cải đắng: mustard greens
- Cải bó xôi, rau chân vịt: spinach
- Rau ngót: katuk
- Đọt bí: pumpkin buds
- Măng: bamboo shoots
Vietnamese Vegetables That Are Actually Fruits
The following vegetables in Vietnam are actually fruits:
- Su su: chayote
- Mướp đắng, khổ qua: bitter melon
- Dưa chuột: cucumber
- Bí ngô: pumpkin
- Bí đao, bí xanh: winter melon
- Mướp: sponge gourd
- Bầu: calabash
- Ngô: corn
- Cà chua: tomato
All of the fruits listed above, except the bitter melon, have a sweet taste. They can be either boiled, cooked as soup, or stir-fried with garlic or onion.
Root Vegetables In Vietnam
Vietnamese people also use some roots as vegetables. The following list shows you some examples of root vegetables in Vietnam.
- Khoai tây: potato
- Khoai lang: sweet potato
- Sắn: cassava
- Su hào: kohlrabi (this is actually a stem)
- Cà-rốt: carrot
Popular Vietnamese Herbs And Spices
Herbs and spices are important ingredients in any Vietnamese kitchen. In many recipes of Vietnamese dishes, different types of herbs and spices are usually used together to create flavorful Vietnamese food. Do you know how to say herbs and spices in Vietnamese? Have a quick look at the list below to see how many names you know:
- Tỏi: garlic
- Hành tím: shallot
- Hành tây: onion
- Gừng: ginger
- Hạt tiêu: pepper
- Rau mùi, rau ngò: coriander
- Rau răng cưa, mùi tàu, ngò gai: culantro
- Rau cần tây: celery
- Rau thìa là: dill
- Ớt chỉ thiên: bird’s eye chili
- Ớt sừng: cayenne pepper
- Ớt chuông: bell pepper
- Diếp cá: chameleon plant
- Lá lốt: piper sarmentosum
- Rau răm: Vietnamese coriander
- Rau má: kodavan
- Kinh giới: Vietnamese balm
If you love to eat Vietnamese food, you must try at least these five Vietnamese dishes when traveling in Vietnam. You can also learn Vietnamese with the Ling app to learn how to order food in Vietnamese or describe the ingredients of a Vietnamese dish you like.