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Common Vietnamese Vegetables

vietnamese-vegetable Vietnamese vegetables sol at a local market

In Vietnam, people love eating different kinds of vegetables. One of the reasons is that vegetables contain many vitamins and nutrients good for health. Moreover, the taste and fragrance of each vegetable make the dishes more flavorful. In almost every Vietnamese dish, you will find certain types of greens that are either part of the main ingredients or as a side dish. In this guide, we introduce the popular Vietnamese vegetables (besides carrots, radish, potato, and tomato) that you could see and taste when you eat Vietnamese dishes.

For a more convenient shopping experience, aside from going to the market or supermarket, you can also buy Vietnamese vegetables online and have them shipped right to your door!

Rau Muong (Morning Glory)

vietnamese vegetables rau muong

Shaved morning glory salad with baby shrimps

This Vietnamese vegetable grows easily either in water or on the ground, regardless of the regions throughout the country, so the locals can plant Rau Muong in their gardens. It is a popular ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine. Stir-fried garlic Rau Muong or poached Rau Muong are two favored dished of many families’ meals. You can also find this at most restaurants in Vietnam. Besides, you can have a bowl of Bun Bo Hue with the shaved Rau Muong. This vegetable is also used as traditional medicine and a remedy to detox.

vietnamese vegetables goi rau muong

Rau Muong stir-fried with noodles and seafood

vietnamese vegetables rau muong canh chua

Rau Muong is also one of the quintessential Vietnamese vegetables in the infamous sweet and sour soup (Canh chua)

Rau Lang (Sweet Potato Greens)

Rau Lang

In the summer, many people favor this Vietnamese vegetable to reduce the internal heat within the body. Besides, other benefits of Rau Lang are traditional cures for obesity, backache, and flu. Rau Lang is often made into popular dishes such as soups or poached and dipped in Kho Quet (Salty Braised Dried Shrimp Sauce).

Rau Mong Toi (Malabar Spinach)

Rau Mong Toi

The color of the stem is green or purple and the shape of the leaf is a heart, so people can easily distinguish Rau Mong Toi from other Vietnamese vegetables. Rau Mong Toi can be booked with many different dishes. Poached Mong Toi and Mong Toi Soup are two favored dishes of Vietnamese. It also has some health benefits like reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis and decrease cholesterol for diabetes. It has a soft texture and natural sweetness making it a great green for kids.

vietnamese vegetables mong toi

Mong Toi goes amazing with beef hotpot

Rau Den (Beet Greens)

Rau Den

This is a popular vegetable used in many people's diets. Rau Den contains many minerals and vitamins such as zinc, calcium, and iron. It is a herbaceous plant, has hard roots, and can grow well in drought. Its leaves are small and reddish dark green, are often used to cook in soup with chopped ground pork, or simply poached and dipped in Thit Kho (Braised Pork).

Cai Xanh (Mustard Greens)

Cai Xanh

The size of Cai Xanh's leaves is as large as the size of an adult hand. Therefore, it is regularly used to roll with rice noodles, betel leaf, and grilled beef or Banh Xeo, traditional Vietnamese pancakes, adding the spicy flavor to the dishes. Besides, in some regions, Cai Xanh is used to cure a sore throat and indirectly supports blood vessel pumping activities, so it is recommended in many diets.

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vietnamese vegetables mustard green

Mustard green is usually used as a wrapper when eating Banh Xeo or Banh Khot (Vietnamese pancakes)

Cai Thia (Bok Choy)

Cai Thia

In Vietnam, Cai Thia is also known as Cai Trang. The elliptic leaf of Cai Thia has light green color and slight white near the root. The height of this vegetable is about 23 centimeters and all parts of Cai Thia are commonly processed to cook, except for its root. There are a lot of vitamins and nutrients, such as carotene, vitamin A, E, C that can give you a healthy diet. It is often paired with other nutritious ingredients, especially in vegetarian stir-fried dishes, soups, or hotpot.

vietnamese vegetables bok choy

Bok Choy is more popular in Chinese dishes in Vietnam

Cai Xoan (Kale)

Cai Xoan

Cai Xoan contains vitamin C and other beneficial minerals for the body, such as Vitamin K and A. Therefore, Cai Xoan is known as one of the favored healthy vegetables in Vietnam and people often make salads, filling of spring rolls, or side dishes for greasy dishes like stir-fried beef or deep-fried gourami. Cai Xoan can also be processed into a smoothie to quench your thirst.

Cai Thao (Napa Cabbage)

Cai Thao

The outside leaves of Cai Thao are light green and the inside of leaves has a bit dark green color and the stem of the cabbage is white. It is the common vegetable used to make Kimchi, the famous appetizer in Korean fermented dishes. This Vietnamese vegetable can be found at local markets and supermarkets to cook with chicken meat, pork bones to make soup or stir-fried dishes in their daily meals. Besides, people use Cai Thao to cure sore throats, lower the body's heat, and add some beneficial nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, and E.

Gia (Beansprout)

Gia

Beansprout is very popular in Eastern Asian countries. It is popularly paired in all kinds of noodles soups in Vietnam and Banh xeo filling. It is also used in Canh Chua (tamarind sour soup), along with other vegetables like okra and tomato. A variety of vitamins and protein but few calories can be found in this Vietnamese vegetable. It is believed to have many benefits like keeping longevity, reducing anxiety caused by stress, and being good for cases of genital deformity, eyes, and immune system.

vietnamese vegetables bean sprout

Bean Sprouts is a popular side dish for Southern-style Pho

Xa Lach (Lettuce)

Xa Lach

It is very easy for anyone to buy Xa Lach at local markets and supermarkets in Vietnam. Xa Lach is suitable to be grown in the cooler weather, so most of Xa Lach in Vietnam are planted in the central highland areas like Da Lat. This is kind of edible leaves is favored to roll with Vietnamese pancakes such as Banh Xeo and Banh Khot and dipped in the savory fish sauce.

vietnamese vegetables lettuce

Xa Lach is one the most favorite Vietnamese vegetables as it goes well with almost any dish and soup

vietnamese vegetables lettuce cha ram

This is also a widely used type of Vietnamese vegetables for wrap-and-roll dishes

Rau Dang (Prostrate Knotweed)

Rau Dang

In Vietnam, Rau Dang is mostly grown wildly alongside the riverbanks and the coasts in the Mekong Delta. “Dang“ means bitter in Vietnamese, so the taste of this vegetable is not everyone's favorite. Vietnamese often use Rau Dang to cook Lau Mam (the fermented fish hotpot with boiled fish, shrimp, squid, and roasted pork), or eat raw with porridge and steamed pork. In traditional remedies, Rau Dang is an effective medicine for headaches, constipation, and eyesores.

 

Rau Nhut (Water Mimosa)

Rau Nhut

The special trait of Rau Nhut is that its leaves are very small, and the locals often use both stems and leaves with other ingredients to make soup or stir-fried dishes like with Rau Muong. Rau Nhut contains a high level of protein than other vegetables like lettuce. It is a special traditional cure for people who suffer from insomnia.

Rau Tan O (Crown Daisy)

Rau Tan O

Some delicious foods made with this vegetable are fish meatball soup, oyster sauce with steamed Rau Tan O, stir-fried Rau Tan O. A sweet and slightly bitter taste of the vegetable is believed to be loaded with health benefits, such as reducing the risks of cancer, inflammation, and improving the digestive system.

Rau Day (Jute Vegetable)

Rau Day

Vietnamese often use Rau Day with different ingredients such as fish, crab, and shrimp to cook diverse kinds of soups. Many people eat this vegetable because they believe Rau Day has many minerals and nutrients that help to prevent sickness and constipation.

Rau Ngot (Katuk)

Rau Ngot

The size of Rau Ngot is smaller than other vegetables in this guide. It grows wildly in many countrysides and local farmers pick them to use as the main ingredient to cook meatball soup and process traditional medicines. However, Rau Ngot is among the types of Vietnamese vegetables that are not suitable for those with low blood pressure due to their powerful body cooling effect. Sometimes, the leaves of Rau Ngot are crushed and made into a nutritious drink.

Bap Chuoi (Banana Flower)

vietnamese vegetables banana flower

The flower of the banana tree is an edible plant that is used to cook many Vietnamese traditional dishes. Bap Chuoi is often shaved to eat raw with Bun Bo Hue or mixed with peanut, shrimp, and pork to make the delicious “Goi” salad, the refreshing Vietnamese starter. Traditional medicine practitioners use Bap Chuoi to process many kinds of medicine used for digestive disorders and the antioxidation process.

Rau Cang Cua (Peperomia Pellucida)

Rau Cang Cua

Rau Cang Cua is not popular with many people, but its sour and crusty taste makes people want to add this vegetable into dishes, such as soup or side dishes for stir-fried beef. People also use Rau Cang Cua to mix with, boiled shrimp, some other vegetables, and vinegar to make a healthy salad.

Mang (Bamboo Shoot)

Mang

Mang is the newly grown bamboo. It is commonly used as the main ingredient to cook soup with freshwater fish and tomato or stewed pork. The light sour taste of this edible plant makes the flavor of the soup a little sour but also slightly sweet. Mang has many minerals and goods nutrients, such as protein, vitamin, phosphor, and calcium.

vietnamese vegetables mang

Dried bamboo shoots can be used in a famous noodle soup called Bun Mang Vit (vermicelli soup with dried bamboo shoots and duck meat)

La Giang (Aganonerion Polymorphum)

La Giang

This genus of La Giang is a vine plant and grows mostly in riverbanks across Indochina. The La Giang chicken soup is a specialty food in Southern Vietnam, and the La Giang beef hotpot in Cu Chi District is also a favored dish by many locals. The taste of La Giang adds a light sour flavor to the soup, which is quite different from the sweet and sour taste of tamarinds.

Ngo Sen and Cu Sen (Lotus Rootlet and Lotus Root)

Cu Sen

Cu Sen (lotus root) has a bit of starchy texture to it, while Ngo Sen (lotus root string) is crunchy and plain in flavor. Cu Sen is mostly used as a sweetening ingredient in soup or for a myriad of Vietnamese sweet soup desserts, or stir-fried with beef. On the other hand, Ngo Sen is mostly mixed to serve with carrot, boiled shrimp, pork, and fish sauce in the most common salad in Vietnam (Goi Ngo Sen); sometimes you can use Ngo Sen in a stewed soup as well.

vietnamese vegetables lotus stem stir fried

Stir-fried lotus roots

These parts of the lotus can be a traditional medicine used to reduce body heat. It contains many minerals and nutrients, such as vitamins, glucose, asparagine, and arginine. Lotus roots appear a lot in Vietnamese vegetarian dishes, find out more about Vegetarian Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City here.

vietnamese vegetables lotus stem

Lotus roots chips

Rong Bien (Seaweed)

vietnamese vegetables seaweed

Rong Bien has been a refreshing and tasty ingredient of the Sam Bo Luong sweet soup. And in recent years, because of the nutritious benefits, Rong Bien has become more popular in Vietnamese cuisine, especially in functional foods that are good for health. It is the main ingredient in some popular dishes like tofu soup, salad, and rice rolls.

Can Tay (Celery)

Can Tay

Can Tay is an aromatic vegetable that goes really well with beef. It is often used to enhance the fragrance and color of dishes. Moreover, most foods cooked with Can Tay are not just nutritious but also a remedy for common diseases like flu, insomnia, and high blood pressure. It is said to be more nutritious when consumed raw like in smoothies or salads.

Kho Qua (Bitter Melon)

Kho Qua

Kho Qua is a common Vietnamese vegetable and is often used in daily family meals. Although its taste is very bitter, it has a lot of health benefits good for people with a high level of cholesterol or skin irritation. In cooking, people can use Kho Qua to make different foods such as stir-fried pork or egg with Kho Qua, Kho Qua salad with pork/chicken floss, and minced pork stuffed in Kho Qua stew - a popular soup during Vietnamese Tet Holiday.

Su Hao (Kohlrabi)

Su Hao

Su Hao is a kind of vegetable that is suitable to be planted in cold weather. It is not too hard to find and buy Su Hao in local markets and food stores in Vietnam. The easiest recipe is stir-fried with carrots and pork. It has a low amount of fats and cholesterol. Therefore, its health benefits are necessary for people having problems with their heart and circulatory system.

Dua Leo (Cucumber)

vietnamese vegetables cucumber

Cucumber as a side dish in Bun Dau Mam Tom (vermicelli with deep-fried tofu and fermented shrimp paste) 

In cooking, chefs often cut this vegetable into many slices to decorate dishes like the Broken rice and Bun Dau Mam Tom. It can also be used in salad, especially the dried fish (Kho ca man) salad. Not only this kind of vegetable is regularly used in cooking, but Dua Leo is also great for facial skin care because it contains a lot of vitamin C, improving the function of the immune system, eyes, and reducing the body's internal heat.

Su Su (Chayote)

Su Su

Su Su is regularly cooked with other foods like pork, fish, mushroom to make some common dishes in daily family meals. The stewed Su Su with pork and other vegetables like carrots, potatoes, radishes, and beetroot is a delicious and nutritious soup for kids.

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Summary of Common Vietnamese Vegetables

Most of the Vietnamese vegetables are used in cooking soup, side dishes, vegetarian dishes, and making traditional medicine. The taste of each green enhances and creates a unique flavor for Vietnamese dishes. Besides, a variety of health benefits in these greens is also the reason why many Vietnamese people love to add them to their daily diets.

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Other guides on Vietnamese foods: Vietnamese fruits and Vietnamese street foods.

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Comments

Guest - Hanh on Tuesday, 28 April 2020 07:40

Rau Muong is called water spinach. Morning glory is a type of flower.

Rau Muong is called water spinach. Morning glory is a type of flower.
Guest - Mabel Munoz on Saturday, 05 October 2019 11:34

wow so many, can we try these on the food tours?

wow so many, can we try these on the food tours?
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