On August 31, 2020, the Union of World Records, WorldKings, officially recognized five records made by Vietnamese gastronomy. Once again, the country has the opportunity to promote its culinary values to the world widely.
Spring rolls (nem) or summer rolls (cuôn) are among the most popular dishes in Vietnam. But Vietnam is also:
The country with the most noodle and broth dishes.
The country with the most mam (fish sauce, salted shrimp, etc.) and dishes prepared from this spice with typical flavors.
The country with the most dishes prepared with flowers.
The country with the most types of spring rolls.
The country with the most rice flour dishes.
These are the five records of Vietnamese cuisine that WorldKings have just recognized after approval by its Evaluation Council.
These delicious dishes devote the culinary notoriety of the country. Indeed, WorldKings has recorded that Vietnam has 164 dishes based on noodles and broths (list not closed since constantly updated). Present everywhere in the country, from the city to the countryside, they are illustrated, among other things, by the very popular pho bò (rice noodle soup with beef), bún thang (vermicelli in chicken broth), hu tiêu (noodles of boiled rice with marinated and sautéed beef), bún bò Huê (vermicelli with sautéed beef from Huê)…
On the culinary map from North to South, Vietnam has numerous good dishes and ingredients, such as brines, which are both the sauce and the marinade of different dishes.
The nuoc mam, with its unique taste, occupies an important place in the country's traditional and contemporary cuisine. According to WorldKings, about 100 types of brine and dishes made from this popular spice can be found on "the S-shaped earth." We can thus cite mam cá, mam cá Linh (Henicorhynchus fish sauce), mam tôm (salted prawns), and mam ba khía (crab sauce), which are typical of the" culture of mam" of the Vietnamese.
Endowed with abundant fish resources, the inhabitants of the shores have learned, throughout their history, how to ideally marinate fish and prawns with salt and ferment them for a long time. As a result, almost all coastal localities make their mam, representing many traditional skills and techniques.
You can create many sauces from this spice by combining them with other ingredients such as sugar, lemon, garlic, or chili. Brine sauce is sometimes essential for some rolled dishes.
Mam is not only a common spice in Vietnamese daily meals. It is also central to many dishes such as bún đâu mam tôm (rice vermicelli and fried tofu with salted shrimp), mam Chung (brine concentrated fish over low heat), or the bánh tráng cuôn that her (pork rolled up in a rice cake)…
A real culinary treasure
The third record recognized by WorldKings concerns dishes made from flowers. A "treasure" of 272 dishes prepared from 43 types of flowers shows the dexterity of the locals who combine them perfectly with other ingredients in cooking delicious dishes. We cannot help mentioning some of them, such as bông bí xào toi (fried red pumpkin flowers with garlic), com lá sen (rice in lotus leaves), lâu bông điên điên (hot pot), or the nôm hoa chuôi (banana flower salad)…
The Vietnamese are also very proud of their spring rolls, which can be divided into 103 different dishes, according to WorldKings. They retain all the colorful nature of the country with many vegetables, meat, and aromatic herbs that are often eaten with sauces.
The latest record concerns dishes made from rice flour. Few countries in the world use this ingredient as much in their cooking, especially to prepare cakes, pancakes… Rice cultivation provides the country with an abundant source of food and allows its inhabitants to create unique and original dishes from rice flour: 143 have been recorded by WorldKings.
They have different flavors and recipes, the most notable being bánh đúc (round rice flan mixed with boiled peanuts), bánh giò (rice cake stuffed with pork, pyramid-shaped, steamed), or more specialties from the Center such as bánh ít lá gai (ramie cake), bánh bèo (steamed rice cake)… Many bánh (cakes) inherit a long tradition and are linked to different regions of the country. Whether sticky or not, rice flour is the main ingredient of many cakes with unique aromas.
All these specialties, stemming notably from daily life, enrich the country's secular cuisine. According to the Director General of the Vietnam Records Organization (VietKings), Lê Trân Truong An, the itinerary of discovering these specialties began in 2012. "Based on the presentations of local dishes, we submitted them to WorldKings and the World Records Association (WRA). This is the first time that Vietnam has recorded five records in gastronomy. We are very proud of it," he said.
According to expert opinion, Vietnamese cuisine maintains harmony of sour, salty, spicy, sweet, and bitter flavors and a perfect nutritional balance. Thanks to this particularity, the dishes of the country have acquired their letters of nobility over time and seduced the palates of all Vietnamese and foreigners alike.
Promoting Vietnamese cuisine depends on several elements, such as human resources, promotion through tourism, or the community of Vietnamese residing abroad.
In terms of human resources, each chef must consider himself a culinary ambassador, having to master the techniques and have experience as well as proven know-how to present the gastronomic refinement of Vietnamese cuisine to visitors.
In addition, tourism is an effective way to export national cuisine internationally, not to mention the informal promotion of Vietnamese living abroad.
And if you want to taste some unique and contemporary Vietnamese cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City, head to Xu Restaurant & Lounge in district 1.