LIFESTYLE

Vietnamese food - tasty and nutritious

SAJU RAJAPPAN (Former Chef of New World Saigon Hotel)

Updated : 08/27/2016 16:15 GMT + 7

 
Vietnamese people’s culinary styles and dishes do not make diners obese. Vietnamese people generally look fit instead. Take pho for example. Foreigners at our hotel are hooked on pho for breakfast rather than their own traditional dishes, including butter, eggs, and bread. 
 
The taste of pho is not too strong for foreigners as its broth is sweet and fatty enough. Its rice vermicelli shreds and aromatic herbs also make the delicacy even particularly more tempting and give foreigners a healthy feeling. 
 
These days, diners, particularly foreigners, tend to pay attention to how healthy and clean food and ingredients are and what health benefits certain dishes give them in order to ward off risks of hypertension, and heart diseases.
 
Readily accessible information on food-related diseases and disease prevention has boosted people’s awareness of health benefits, food safety and how to prepare and enjoy food. These elements can be used to the advantages of Vietnamese gastronomy. Needless to say, clean, healthy food is an advantageous element that helps Vietnamese cuisine win over diners.
 
I have travelled profusely across Vietnam and tried a wide variety of Vietnamese dishes since I began living and working in Vietnam more than 3 years ago. My family love phở, chả giò (spring rolls), bánh xèo (Vietnamese pancakes), and bánh khọt (round small Vietnamese pancakes) most. These dishes are eye-catching with rich colors of the pancakes, vegetables, bean sprouts, pork and shrimp, and taste perfect when served with sweet and sour fish sauce.
 
Every time the hotel kitchen prepares Vietnamese dishes, I try learning the recipes and invent my own ways. I also frequent Vietnamese eateries, and treat my friends to Vietnamese delicacies much to their delight.
 
A world-famed marketing expert once shared that “Vietnam should become the world’s kitchen.” In my opinion, he is fully aware that Vietnam boasts plentiful culinary strengths to offer the world. However, despite these strengths, Vietnamese gastronomy has yet to make this possible.
 
Vietnamese restaurants can be found in several large cities in the world, but that is not enough. There should be more chefs to open Vietnamese restaurants to promote Vietnamese cuisine to foreign gourmets.