What are the healthiest Vietnamese dishes? Top 11 best food options

healthiest Vietnamese dishes

The healthiest Vietnamese dishes are a must-try during your Vietnam travel experience. These delightful culinary creations are a testament to the harmonious blend of fresh ingredients and bold flavors that Vietnamese food is renowned for. From the aromatic goodness of Pho to the wholesome delights of Goi Cuon (fresh spring rolls), you will find a wealth of options that tantalize the taste buds while supporting your well-being.

1. Vietnamese chicken porridge (chao ga)

Vietnamese chicken porridge, locally known as “chao ga”, is a standout among the healthiest Vietnamese dishes. It is renowned for its soothing flavor and revitalizing properties. This dish is prepared by simmering rice in water (or stock) for hours until the grains disintegrate into a thick consistency. 

Additions like shredded chicken, mushrooms, beans, or even medicinal herbs enhance both the flavor and health benefits. In Vietnam and other Asian countries, porridge is cherished for its easy digestibility, making it an excellent choice for anyone seeking a comforting and nutritious meal.

2. Vietnamese fresh spring roll (goi cuon) – one of the healthiest Vietnamese dishes

Vietnamese fresh spring rolls (goi cuon), often dubbed Vietnamese vegetable rolls, are a shining example of wholesome Vietnamese cuisine. These delectable rolls are an amalgamation of various ingredients, including succulent shrimp or steamed meat, vermicelli noodles, and an array of fresh herbs, all elegantly encased in delicate rice paper. 

The secret to their exquisite flavor lies in the dipping sauces. You can choose to dip these fresh spring rolls in a sweet and sour fish sauce or a luscious peanut sauce. These healthy Vietnamese food recipes for fresh spring rolls are exceptionally low in fat, offering a guilt-free dining experience. It’s crucial not to confuse them with deep-fried counterparts like “cha gio” or “nem ran”, which are immersed in hot oil. Vietnamese fresh spring rolls are a mouthwatering and nutritious appetizer, brimming with veggies and herbs. 

healthiest Vietnamese dishes

>>> Check out other dishes on the Vietnam food list to have the best culinary experience in Vietnam!

3. Vietnamese sweet and sour soup (canh chua)

Vietnamese sweet and sour soup (canh chua), an addition to the realm of healthy Vietnamese cuisine, originates from the lush Mekong Delta region in southern Vietnam. This soup boasts a tantalizing flavor profile, combining the natural tartness of tamarind with a medley of fresh ingredients like pineapple, tomato, and bean sprouts. 

To further elevate the dish, fish and prawns are incorporated for depth of flavor and added texture. With subtle garnishes of scallions and several aromatic herbs, this Vietnamese soup is a wholesome choice among the healthiest Vietnamese dishes. You can enjoy it as a standalone soup or elevate it with rice vermicelli for a heartier noodle soup experience.

4. Vietnamese lotus root salad (goi ngo sen) – one of the healthy Vietnamese dishes

Vietnamese lotus root salad (goi ngo sen) is certainly a unique creation among the healthiest Vietnamese dishes. Brimming with fiber and a plethora of essential vitamins, this salad champions digestive health. Its key ingredient, lotus root, brings forth a plethora of benefits, from blood pressure regulation to improved digestion and cholesterol reduction, making it one of the low-calorie Vietnamese food options.

Combined harmoniously with carrots, pork, shrimp, and fragrant herbs and seasoned to perfection, this dish is a flavorful, vegetarian-friendly delight that emerged from the heart of Vietnamese culinary tradition.

5. Vietnamese shrimp salad (goi tom)

Vietnamese shrimp salad (goi tom) is a beloved dish among locals, and it’s an excellent choice for seafood enthusiasts seeking healthy Vietnamese cuisine. This salad is packed with succulent shrimp and often includes pork. Goi tom comes in diverse variations, each featuring an array of fresh and crisp vegetables and fruits. “Gỏi đu đủ tôm thịt” incorporates crunchy green papaya, while “gỏi tôm ngó sen” has unique lotus root slices, and “gỏi xoài tôm thịt” includes fragrant mango. These dishes are all delightful and refreshing options to explore.

Vietnamese shrimp salad is often enjoyed as a side dish, pairing wonderfully with a bowl of sticky rice, shrimp chips, or Vietnamese rice crackers. With its vibrant mix of flavors and wholesome ingredients, Vietnamese shrimp salad exemplifies the diversity and taste that make Vietnamese salad dishes a culinary sensation.

healthiest Vietnamese dishes

>>> Check out some Vietnamese street food to try during your stay in Vietnam! 

6. Pho – among the healthiest Vietnamese dishes 

Pho is an iconic Vietnamese noodle soup celebrated for its exquisite balance of flavors. Often enjoyed as a hearty breakfast, it features a clear, fragrant broth, tender slices of beef, and a variety of aromatic herbs. 

As one of the healthiest Vietnamese noodles, pho is not only delicious but also nutrient-packed. Rich in fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, it is definitely a wholesome choice. For those seeking a lighter option, asking for less meat is a wise choice.

7. Fried water spinach (rau muong xao)

Stir-fried morning glory, or fried water spinach, is a beloved Vietnamese dish known for its delectable flavors. This vibrant green vegetable is stir-fried with fragrant garlic, creating a simple yet satisfying side dish. For a wholesome meal, pair it with steamed fish and a serving of brown rice. 

While it can be a tad salty due to the fish sauce, you can easily request a reduction to lower the sodium content. Rich in essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients, this healthy Vietnamese dish will benefit your overall well-being.

8. Bun cha – one of the healthiest Vietnamese food options

Bun cha, a dish made from Vietnamese vermicelli noodles, is celebrated among health-conscious eaters for its fantastic flavor and nutritious ingredients. Succulent grilled pork, skillfully marinated, pairs perfectly with delicate rice noodles, offering a harmonious blend of flavors. 

To enjoy this dish to the fullest, diners typically dip the pork and noodles in a bowl of fish sauce infused with water, sugar, and possibly lime juice or vinegar and chillies for extra flavors. 

healthiest Vietnamese dishes

>>> Go on a Vietnamese bun tour and enjoy some of the most unique dishes of this country’s cuisine!

9. Pho rolls (pho cuon)

Pho rolls combine the essence of the healthiest Vietnamese dishes, merging pho and fresh spring rolls. These rolls include rice noodles, herbs, and beef or chicken wrapped in delicate rice paper. Served with a flavorful fish sauce-based dipping sauce, they make an absolutely refreshing and tasty dish. 

Perfect for hot days, pho rolls are a must-try in Hanoi, offering a twist on the classic pho flavor. Enjoy them by dipping them in the sauce for a simple yet delightful experience of the city’s culinary culture.

10. Sweet soup (che) – must-have dish on the list of healthiest Vietnamese foods

Vietnamese sweet soup, known as “che”, is a versatile treat enjoyed in various forms, from fruity puddings to refreshing beverages. It features an array of ingredients like fruits, beans, seeds, and tapioca, often enriched with creamy coconut milk. Traditional recipes have evolved into modern variations, providing diverse flavors. 

In the summer’s heat, cold sweet soups served with ice are a popular choice, while hot versions offer comfort on chilly days. Whether enjoyed warm or cold, Vietnamese sweet soup is cherished by locals and a delightful discovery for tourists seeking the healthiest Vietnamese dishes.

11. Vietnamese fruits

Vietnamese fruits, especially in the lush landscapes of the Mekong Delta, offer a delightful experience for the taste buds and a health boost. The region hosts numerous fruit orchards that can be explored during a Vietnam cuisine tour, allowing visitors to pluck fruits straight from the trees and enjoy them on the spot. 

You will discover a variety of fruits like oranges, mangosteen, dragon fruit, milk fruit, papaya, and mangoes, often available at street stalls with a spicy fruit dip. These fruits not only tantalize your taste buds but also support your immune system and health, helping to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

healthiest Vietnamese dishes

>>> Find out the top 10 must-try Vietnamese desserts to complete your gastronomic journey!

In addition to the healthiest Vietnamese dishes, Vietnam boasts a myriad of other distinctive and alluring culinary delights, found in various cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long. Each of these cities offers a unique gastronomic journey, presenting a diverse cuisine that enthralls numerous visitors.

Following your day of discovery at these destinations, you can relax and revitalize at Vinpearl‘s upscale hotels and resorts, boasting lavish, contemporary lodging and a range of top-tier amenities. Furthermore, be sure to explore the remarkable VinWonders entertainment complex for a day brimming with exciting games, immersive activities, and distinctive encounters.

healthiest Vietnamese dishes

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One of the best ways to explore Vietnam’s culinary treasures is to go with the healthiest Vietnamese dishes. Bursting with fresh herbs, lean proteins, and delightful flavors, these dishes offer a delightful culinary journey through Vietnamese cuisine. From aromatic broths to nourishing salads and flavorful spring rolls, Vietnam serves up an array of options for those seeking a balance between taste and nutrition.

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