Going vegetarian is a huge adjustment, but these delicious Vietnamese vegetarian recipes will make your transition a lot easier.
Who says vegetarianism means eating salad every day? It’s not as restrictive as you’d imagine.
These Vietnamese vegetarian recipes are proof that it’s possible to practice your belief and enjoy delicious and satisfying meals at the same time.
If you think Vietnamese dishes mostly consist of meat and seafood, think again!
There’s actually a wide array of vegetarian options to choose from. In fact, there’s even a term for it – chay.
These chay recipes are also surprisingly easy to make. They’re affordable, too!
I know you’re hungry, so let’s get cooking!
1. Tofu Banh Mi
The banh mi sandwich is a popular Vietnamese street food that originated in Saigon.
French baguette is filled with pickled vegetables, mayo, herbs, and a type of protein, such as chicken, pate, or pork.
To make it vegetarian, you’ll use tofu instead of meat.
Marinated in olive oil, tamari, lime, garlic, and ginger, it’s just as flavorful as any protein.
Curry is usually associated with Indian recipes, but Vietnamese cuisine also often makes use of this aromatic spice.
This dish is further enhanced with lemongrass, lime, garlic, and ginger, giving you an abundance of flavors!
It’s super-rich and creamy, with just the right amount of spice. It’s undeniably fragrant, to boot!
Pho is among the most popular dishes Vietnam has to offer, and for good reason.
The many colors and flavors that go into this make it truly spectacular.
Authentic pho contains beef broth, so this recipe tweaks it a little to make it vegetarian-friendly.
Don’t worry, you won’t sacrifice any flavor.
This pho is packed with earthy mushrooms, fresh veggies, and rice noodles.
Charred onions, ginger, and warming spices give the broth the most amazing flavor.
This dish of vermicelli noodles, cucumber, lettuce, carrots, and tofu is brimming with color and flavor.
The added lemongrass tofu makes it extra delicious. Trust me, these bowls will be emptied in no time.
Fresh vegetables are flavored with herbs and wrapped in soft and delicate rice paper. This is healthy living at its best!
While the colorful vegetables are enough to give these rolls diverse flavors, it’s the crispy and perfectly seasoned tofu that takes it over the top.
It’s nothing fancy, really; just a glass of brewed tea made even better with honey and lime juice.
And of course, let’s not forget the ice! A sip of this thirst-quencher will make you feel refreshed, for sure!
Peanuts and rice – an unusual combination, but it definitely works.
Xoi dau phong is a Vietnamese delicacy that combines glutinous rice and crunchy peanuts.
This sweet and salty, crunchy, starchy, and sticky delight can be eaten for breakfast or dessert.
Shreds of green papaya, fried onions, and roasted peanuts are dressed in lime dressing to make a crunchy and refreshing side dish.
From the color to the flavor to the texture, this salad gets an A+.
You can serve it as is, or add cilantro and mint for an extra layer of flavor.
Carrot and radish pickles are sweet, salty, tangy, and wonderfully crunchy!
I hate how some pickles are too intense to eat on their own. Fortunately, this recipe yields well-balanced flavors.
Because it’s so refreshing, it’s an excellent side dish for rich and savory entrees.
These crispy savory crepes are made of tapioca starch, coconut milk, and rice flour.
It’s not just about the crepes, though. Filled with tofu, mushrooms, mung beans, sprouts, and carrots, they’re definitely overflowing with flavor!
To cap things off, a sweet and salty sauce is poured all over the crepes for a truly drool-worthy experience.
Vietnamese cooking relies heavily on sauces for flavor, and this is one of them.
It’s a simple combination of mashed garlic, chili, sugar, and soy sauce, but it’s amazing how it makes a lot of a difference in Vietnamese dishes!
Nam xao xa is a vegetarian side dish made of various mushrooms.
The key is to use as many varieties of mushrooms as you can to get maximum flavor and texture.
They’re flavored with citrusy lemongrass paste, which goes really well with the woodsy and earthy flavor of the mushrooms.
Oil, scallions, and salt: mở hành looks so basic, but this condiment is phenomenal!
Once you’ve tried it, it’s impossible not to live without it.
Use it to add flavor to your favorite vegetarian dish! You’re welcome.
14. Bubble Tea
Bubble tea, boba tea, milk tea – it comes in many names. However you want to call it, though, one thing’s for sure: it’s addictive!
This insanely delicious beverage has taken the world by storm.
While it originated in Taiwan, many Asian nations also have their own version of the popular drink.
But essentially, it’s a combination of sweetened tea and milk. The tea flavor is completely up to you.
You can use basic tea flavors such as jasmine or black tea, or make it fruity with honeydew or strawberry.
As delicious as the drink itself is, it’s not complete without the sinkers.
Sticky, chewy tapioca pearls are what make bubble tea so iconic.
15. Bún Bò Huế
Bún Bò Huế may not be as popular as pho, but it’s definitely just as delicious.
Thick, round noodles are topped with tofu, vegan beef, mushrooms, mung beans, banana blossoms, onions – the works!
The broth is also noteworthy. Flavored with sate, lemongrass, salt, and sugar, it has a wonderful balance of sweet, spicy, and savory.
16. Lemongrass Tofu
On its own, tofu is bland and boring. Fry it with olive oil, lemongrass, soy sauce, chili flakes, and garlic, and it becomes fantastic!
You can eat it over rice, noodles, or spring rolls. You can also add it to banh mi and pho! It’s delightful any which way.
With this flavorful dish, who needs meat?
17. “Fish” Sauce
Fish sauce is a staple in Vietnamese and other Asian cuisines.
It’s made by combining minced garlic, chili flakes, salt, lime juice, maple syrup, and water.
It’s primarily salty, but somehow, it’s a lot more flavorful than just salt.
Use this sauce to season any dish! It has the power to make even the blandest dishes taste superior.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner for a busy weeknight, this is the recipe for you.
This Vietnamese dish is so easy to make, yet it’s loaded with flavor.
Fried or baked tofu is drenched in an onion-tomato gravy.
It’s simple, but it delivers. Serve it with rice or noodles and it’s good to go.
Need a boost of energy? Go for Vietnamese coffee. This iced coffee beverage is both refreshing and energizing.
It’s a much stronger brew than most coffees, so it’ll definitely get you amped up.
It’s flavored with sweetened condensed milk, which perfectly balances the bitterness of the coffee.
It had me in three colors.
This vibrant dessert consists of three layers – sweet red beans at the bottom, mashed yellow mung beans in the middle, and green pandan jelly on top.
It’s also topped with crushed ice and drizzled with coconut sauce for good measure.
The combination of flavors and textures makes this dessert so delightful.
21. Banana Tapioca
Che Chuoi is a sweet soup made of bananas, coconut milk, and tapioca pearls in thick and creamy coconut milk.
It’s topped with a mix of ground peanuts and salt for that extra oomph. This tasty dessert can be served either hot or cold.
People often spread avocados on toast, or use it to make guac and salsa.
But have you tried to turn it into a creamy shake? You definitely should.
Blend ripe avocados, milk, and sweetened condensed milk to get a thick, creamy, and refreshing beverage!
Turn that potent Vietnamese coffee into ice cream. This dessert will make you feel refreshed and energized at the same time.
Don’t worry, you don’t need an ice cream machine to pull this off. An electric mixer will do.
24. Taro Pudding
This taro pudding is sweet, creamy, and hearty!
The glutinous pudding, starchy taro, and creamy coconut milk make this dessert insanely delicious.
Taro pudding is amazing whether hot or cold, which means you can enjoy it in any weather.
Corn kernels are cooked in coconut milk and mixed with tapioca pearls to make a hearty corn pudding.
Juicy corn kernels, chewy tapioca, and creamy coconut milk create a magical combination of flavors and textures.
Pro-tip: pandan leaf to give the pudding a sweet aroma. Try to look for it at your local Asian market!
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