Fresh herbs in Vietnamese Cuisine

1. Rau răm – Vietnamese coriander :
Usage: eating raw in salad, vietnamese grilled chicken, boiled eggs

vietnamese herbs_Rau răm

Rau răm

2. Rau quế – Vietnamese Basil
Usage: eating raw in wrap and roll dishes, sour soups, beef noodles soup ( pho tai )

asian herbs_Rau que

Rau que

3. Rau diếp cá – Fish Herb
Usage: eating raw

vietnamese cuisine_rau diep ca

rau diep ca

4. Rau kinh giới – Vietnamese Balm, Vietnamese Lemon Mint
Usage: eating raw ( Beef rice noodles soup Hue style,…)

vietnamese greens_kinh giới

kinh giới

5. Rau húng lủi – Spearmint
Usage: mostly eating raw

asian herbs and greens_húng lủi

húng lủi

6. Rau ôm – Rice Patty Herb
Usage: Used raw with pho tai, canh chua soup, and as medicine in cough treatment

herbs as medicine_rau ôm

rau ôm

7. Rau tía tô – Vietnamese Perilla
Usage: eating raw in wrap and roll dishes and soups

asian herbs usage_tía tô

tía tô

8. Rau ngò gai – Sawtooth Herb, Thorny coriander, Culantro
Usage: Widely used in pho bo ( vietnamese beef noodles soup), bun rieu ( vietnamese crab meat rice noodle soup), sour soup and salads

herbs in vietnam cooking_ngò gai

ngò gai

9. Sả – Lemongrass
Usage: Used in soups, grilled and stir-fried dishes

thai herbs_sả

sả

10. Thì là – Dill
Usage: Most used in the north Vietnam in fish dishes .

vietnamese herbs_thì là

thì là

11. Ngò rí – Cilantro, Coriander
Usage: Mostly used for decorating, vietnamese savoury bread, soup…

thai salad recipes_ngò rí

ngò rí

12. Húng cay – Peppermint
Usage: eating fresh in wrap and roll dishes, salads…

role of herbs in vietnam culinary_Húng Cay

Húng Cay

13. Lá lốt – Pepper leaf, wild betel leaf
Usage: used in stir-fry ,wrapping and soups

pepper leaf_Lá lốt

Lá lốt

14. Rieng – galangal
Usage: Used in soup or eating raw with dog meat ( north vietnam)

thai fresh galangal_Cu Riềng

Cu Riềng

Below are greens and herbs plate which are never missed in vietnam meal

Pancake served with over 23 styles of herbs

Pancake served with over 23 styles of herbs

Herbs and Spicy beef noodles soup Hue style

Herbs and Spicy beef noodles soup Hue style

Herbs plate and Crabmeat Rice noodle soup

Herbs plate and Crabmeat Rice noodle soup


Note that many of these herbs begin with the word “rau” to denote the full name. In daily conversation, however, it’s okay to omit “rau” as people will still know what you’re talking about! However, there are a few exceptions, such as rau ram, which you’ve got say both words for people to understand you.

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3 Responses to “Fresh herbs in Vietnamese Cuisine”

  1. Are the photos of your herbs? They all look so healthy!

    Thanks for the photo of the Pepper Leaf herb. I love making wraps, but always put mint in mind. I’ve asked in various Vietnamese restaurants which the name of the herb was, but I could never get the English name for the herb. Now I have a new herb to add to my garden. :-)

  2. Laura b says:

    Hello, I live in London and I would love to buy a lot of these herbs for different Vietnamese recipes. I’m having a really hard time finding anywhere to buy them. Do you know of any good online supermarkets or have any ideas? Thanks!

  3. says:

    Vietnam Supermarket
    203-213 Mare St
    Unit 2
    Hackney
    London E8 3QE
    Areas: London Fields, Hackney Central

    020 8985 2949
    “this is a smaller Vietnamese supermarket but they have a large selection of fresh veg and herbs, and a surprising selection of stuff generally tucked in the back. I have found them the friendliest of the local shops – if you want to ask them a question you’ll get an answer and they might even tell you which is the brand they cook at home. They sell herbs more cheaply than the more expensive London Star up the road – and if you ask for small quantities (because a lot of stuff looks like it’s in big bags), they may sell you smaller quantities by weight – I cook professionally and have found them cheaper (plus the herbs freeze well). I mean, I can’t say that any of the Vietnamese shops on Mare Street are super-friendly, but these guys are definitely the best of the lot, they’re never rude and generally helpful.” by Alicia W.

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