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A Guide To Eating Gluten Free In Vietnam &Amp; Vietnamese Gluten Free Card

The majority of Vietnamese people have no idea about Celiac, gluten free. Not many hotels, restaurants and street food stall accommodate Celiac. However, it is not difficult to find gluten free food in Vietnam thanks to the rice-eating culture. Many Vietnamese people eat rice three times a day. A large number of Vietnamese traditional foods are gluten free. I hope that this guide to eating gluten free in Vietnam helps you to enjoy Vietnamese foods at their best and not get sick on your trip to Vietnam. The guide includes popular sources of gluten, gluten free food, places to shop for gluten free food in Vietnam. I also design a Vietnamese gluten free card for you so that you can print it and show it to Vietnamese people who arrange, order and serve your foods.

Popular sources of gluten in Vietnam

In Vietnam, the most popular sources of gluten include wheat (lúa mì), spelled (lúa mì spenta), black wheat (lúa mì đen), barley (lúa mạch), bread (bánh mì), many baked cakes (bánh nướng), pasta (mì ý), noodles (mì sợi), beer (bia). Other foods containing gluten include alcoholic beverages (thức uống có cồn), prepared meat products such as smoked meat, sausages (thực phẩm từ thịt như thịt xông khói, xúc xích), some sauces and thickeners (nước chấm và chất làm sệt), soups (súp), soy sauce (nước tương), maltose (mạch nha).

It is not easy to recognize gluten in foods containing soy sauce, foods thickened with wheat flour, foods marinated with mixed spices such as Knorr, Maggie, Vietnamese sausages, Vietnamese candies containing maltoses, Vietnamese pancakes containing wheat flour.

List of the most popular naturally gluten free foods in Vietnam

The most popular naturally gluten free foods in Vietnam include:

Rice, sticky rice, corn, cassava, rice flour, sticky rice flour, tapioca starch, mung bean flour, Pho noodles, rice noodles, soup cake noodles, hu tieu clear rice noodles, thick rice noodle, vermicelli, cellophane noodles, banh da cua, rice paper, potatoes (khoai tây).

Fruits, vegetables, legumes.

Meats, poultry, fish, seafood.

Dairy foods.

Herbs and spices.

List of Vietnamese foods to avoid with a gluten intolerance

Vietnamese pancakes (Bánh xèo, bánh khọt) sometimes contain wheat flour.

Some meat substitutes in Vietnam may contain gluten.

Vietnamese chefs love to marinate meats, poultry with mixed spices, mixed sauces including soy sauce, Knorr, Maggie.

Many of the Vietnamese vegetarian foods are seasoned with soy sauce and served with soy sauce dip.

Steamed shrimp/squid with beer (Tôm hấp bia).

Clear rice noodle soup with wonton (Hủ tiếu hoành thánh), steamed wheat buns (baozi).

Bò pía roll which is wrapped in Pia rice paper made from wheat flour, Pia cakes (Bánh pía).

The famous Vietnamese sandwich is made from bread.

Vietnamese traditional sausages: Vietnamese pork roll (Chả lụa), Vietnamese beef roll (chả bò), Fish cake (chả cá), Crab cake (Chả cua). They usually top some noodle soups and cakes made from rice flour with these sausages so that tell waiters or vendors to not top your foods with these “chả”.

Hue mixed cake can be topped with toasted bread cubes.

Paté may contain gluten. Savory mixed steamed sticky rice is usually topped with paté.

Many traditional Vietnamese candies such as coconut candies, peanut candies contain maltoses.

Coffee is free gluten but it may contain gluten after processing. Drinking the famous coffee brewed with Phin filter in Vietnam is not worth a risk.

Warmest Greetings To All from Tracy Do! If you have any questions about Vietnam, including Vietnam tours, do not hesitate to contact me.

Tracy’s team is proud to provide excellent Vietnam tours and Vietnam travel services to thousands of guests for 10 years. Let us have a chance to show you Vietnam to the fullest.

Vietnamese gluten free foods list

The following foods must not contain soy sauce, wheat flour, mixed spices such as Knorr, Maggie.

Rice (gạo), steamed rice (cơm trắng), fried rice (cơm chiên) such as Young chow fried rice (Cơm chiên Dương Châu), Fried rice with garlic/hải sản/egg (Cơm chiên tỏi/hải sản/trứng), Hell rice (Cơm âm phủ). Young chow fried rice must not contain Vietnamese pork roll. Broken rice (Cơm tấm) is a famous Vietnamese food, it is usually served with grilled pork, steamed egg meatloaf (chả trứng), pork skin strips (bì).

Rice congee with duck/chicken/mixed seafood/oyster/fish (Cháo gà/vịt/hải sản/hàu/cá).

Rice flour (bột gạo):

Foods consisting of rice noodles, rice macaroni (nui gạo):

Soup-like dishes: Pho noodle soup (Phở), Hue beef noodle soup (Bún bò Huế), Rice noodle soup with fish in Nha Trang, Danang, Quy Nhon (Bún cá), Crab rice noodle soup (Bún riêu cua), Clear rice noodle soup/mixed (Hủ tiếu nước/khô), Crab/seafood/duck/pork soup cake (Bánh canh cua/hải sản/vịt/ lợn); The noodle soups must not contain Vietnamese pork roll or any kind of “chả” mentioned above. They usually serve Pho with soy bean sauce (tương đen), I would like to recommend not to add the sauce to your Pho or dip the beef in it.

Mixed (dry) noodles: Quang noodle soup (Mì Quảng), Cao lau Hoi An (Cao lầu Hội An), Grilled pork and rice noodle salad (Bún thịt nướng).

Rice macaroni soup with meats/poultry (Súp nui gạo với thịt/gia cầm).

Rice paper (bánh tráng), Spring roll (Gỏi cuốn), Fried roll (Chả giò), amazing snacks including Rice paper salad (Bánh tráng trộn), Rice paper roll (Bánh tráng cuốn), Vietnamese pizza (Bánh tráng nướng).

Traditional cakes made from rice flour, sometimes a small amount of tapioca starch: Plain rice flan (Bánh đúc), Woven rice vermicelli (Bánh hỏi), Bánh bèo (Bloating fern cake) (without toasted bread cubes), Pyramid dumplings (Bánh giò), Wet cake (Bánh ướt), Steamed rice roll (Bánh cuốn), Can cake (Bánh căn), Honeycomb cake (Bánh bò). Vietnamese people love to eat these cakes with “chả” so that make sure they do not top your cakes with chả lụa, chả bò, etc.

Sticky rice (nếp):

Steamed sticky rice with beans/peanut (Xôi đậu), Steamed sticky with Gac/magenta (Xôi gấc/lá cẩm), Savory steamed sticky with mixed toppings (Xôi mặn thập cẩm) without paté.

Young green glutinous rice (Cốm).

Sweet soups from sticky rice (Chè nếp).

Cakes made from sticky rice such as Square sticky rice cake (Bánh chưng), Cylindric sticky rice cake (Bánh tét), Pyramidal sticky rice cake (Bánh ú).

Foods from sticky rice flour (bột nếp):

Sticky rice dumplings in ginger syrup (Chè trôi nước).

Pyramidal sticky rice cake (Bánh ít).

Corn (bắp), Corn sweet soup (Chè bắp), bắp luộc (boiled corn), Steamed corn seeds (Xôi bắp).

Steamed cassava (Củ mì/sắn hấp), Cassava cake (Bánh củ mì/sắn).

Cellophane noodles (miến) made from mung bean flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot, Rice vermicelli soup with chicken/duck (Miến gà/vịt), Stir-fried rice vermicelli with crab/seafood (Miến xào cua/hải sản).

Mung bean cake (Bánh đậu xanh).

Desserts: Agar agar (Rau câu), White and black grass jelly (Sương sáo), Flan cake (Bánh flan), Vietnamese sweet soup (Chè), Mixed fruits (Trái cây dĩa) without syrup.

Yogurt, tea.

Fish sauce (nước mắm), fish sauce dip (nước chấm làm từ nước mắm) and foods seasoninged with this kind of sauce.

Tips on eating as a Celiac in Vietnam

Booking a package tour with a trusted company that is experienced with Celiac tourists is a good way to make sure you are safe on the trip to Vietnam. However, this is not a good choice for some travelers for many reasons. Some people would like to customize their trip, visit off-the-beaten-track places and maximize their small budgets in Vietnam.

If you join a tour including meals, you should let tour operators know about you and the restrictions right after booking. So they can arrange everything for you.

Vietnamese people speak limited English except for your tour guide, the staff at hotels, restaurants for foreign tourists. A Vietnamese gluten free card is a must in the country if you usually order your foods yourself without any help from your local friend or tour guide.

Asking before ordering and eating is one of the top things to do in order to eat as a Celiac in Vietnam. After showing the gluten free card to waiters or food vendors, you are served delicious foods, do not eat all right away. Smell the foods and check if it contains gluten. In fact, a large number of Vietnamese chefs do not have experience on gluten free foods. They may accidentally add soy sauces or broth mixes to your foods. You can confirm by asking:

Thức ăn này có chứa nước tương (xì dầu) không? (Does this food contain soy sauce?).

Thức ăn này có chứa Knorr/Maggie không? (Does this food contain Knorr/Maggie?).

Tôi thấy không khỏe, làm ơn đưa tôi đến bệnh viện. (I feel sick, please take me to a hospital).

Celiac friendly accommodations

AirBnb is a good choice if you would like to cook yourself. There is a large number of good AirBnb in Vietnam. The following hotels are good choices fo Celiac:

La Siesta Trendy

Location: 12 Nguyen Quang Bich St., Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi.

Tel: +84 24 3923 4026/4027/4029

Website: https://lasiestahotels.vn/trendy

Hyatt Regency Da Nang

Location: 5 Truong Sa Street, Hoa Hai Ward, Ngu Hanh Son District, Danang.

Tel: +84 236 3981 234

Website: Hyatt Regency Da Nang

Four Seasons Nam Hai

Location: Block Ha My Dong B, Dien Ban District-level Town, Quang Nam Province.

Tel: +84 235 3940 000

Website: https://www.fourseasons.com/hoian

La Siesta Hoi An

Location: 132 Hung Vuong Street, Thanh Ha Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province.

Tel: +84 235 3915912/3/4/5; Hotline: +84 975 335 090

Website: https://lasiestaresorts.com

Shopping for gluten free food in Vietnam

An Nam Gourmet Market stores are great places to buy gluten free food. You can find information about An Nam Gourmet at http://annam-gourmet.com.

Location: 51 Xuan Dieu St., Quang An Wrd., Tay Ho Dist., Hanoi

Xuan Dieu

Tel: +84 24 6673 9661/ +84 24 3718 4071

Email: xuandieu@annam-gourmet.com

Opening hours: Mon- Fri: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM; Sat- Sun: 8:30 AM – 9:30 PM

Location: 16-18 Hai Ba Trung St., Ben Nghe Wrd, Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Hai Ba Trung

Tel: +84 28 3822 9332/+84 28 3822 7131

Email: haibatrung@annam-gourmet.com

Opening hours: 7:00 AM – 9:30 PM daily

Location: 65 Le Loi St., Ben Thanh Wrd., Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Saigon Centre

Tel: +84 777 747 263/+84 28 3914 0515

Email: saigoncentre@annam-gourmet.com

Opening hours: Mon – Thu: 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM; Fri – Sun: 9:30 AM – 10:30 PM

Location: 41A Thao Dien St., Thao Dien Wrd., Dist. 2, Ho Chi Minh City

Thao Dien

Tel: +84 28 3636 6788

Email: anphu@annam-gourmet.com

Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 7:00 AM – 9:30 PM

Location: 88 Song Hanh St., An Phu Wrd., Dist. 2, Ho Chi Minh City

Estella

Tel: +84 28 3636 7484 / +84 28 3636 7832

Email: estella@annam-gourmet.com

Opening hours: Mon- Fri: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM; Sat- Sun: 8:30 AM – 10:00 PM

Location: Riverpark Premier, 64-70 Nguyen Duc Canh St., Tan Phong Wrd., Dist. 7, Ho Chi Minh City

Phu My Hung

Tel: +84 28 5411 7149 / +84 285412 3264

Email: phumyhung@annam-gourmet.com

Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 7:00 AM – 9:30 PM

In addition, you can also buy raw foods at supermarkets such as Co.opmart, Lottemart, MegaMarket, Vinmart, Bach Hoa Xanh or local markets near your hotels and cook yourself.

Vietnamese gluten free card by Scooter Saigon Tour

Tôi bị bệnh Celiac, ngộ độc và dị ứng với gluten – loại prồtêin có trong lúa mì, lúa mạch, Knorr, Maggi, nước chấm như xì dầu (nước tương), mayonnaise, tương ớt, tương cà, thức ăn làm sệt với bột mì. Gluten có thể có trong chả lụa, chả bò, chả cá, bánh xèo, hoành thánh, mì trứng. Một lượng nhỏ gluten cũng làm tôi có vấn đề về sức khỏe. Ăn đồ ăn nấu chung một nồi, chiên chung dầu với thực phẩm kể trên làm tôi dị ứng và ngộ độc dễ dàng.

Làm ơn cho tôi biết tôi có thể ăn gì trong thực đơn. Hoặc anh chị có thể làm riêng món cho tôi không có các nguyên liệu kể trên.

Thức ăn làm từ khoai tây, gạo, nếp, bắp (ngô), củ sắn, bột gạo, bột nếp, bột năng, bột đậu xanh: cơm, xôi, phở, bún, bánh canh, hủ tiếu, bún bò, miến, bánh đa cua, bánh đa nem.

Rau tươi, trái cây, hải sản, thịt gia súc (bò, lợn, dê), gia cầm (gà, vịt, cút), cá, trứng, sữa tươi (không nêm với nước tương, Knorr, Maggie và các gia vị tổng hợp, nước sốt đóng chai khác).

Sữa chua, trà.

Nước mắm.

Cảm ơn vì đã đọc và giúp đỡ. Thật xin lỗi vì làm phiền anh chị. Tôi phải thật cẩn trọng vì đồ ăn vì sức khỏe.

( I have Celiac disease which means I will get sick heavily if I eat gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley, Knorr, Maggi, dips such as soy sauce, mayonnaise, chili sauce, tomato sauce, foods thickened with wheat flour. Vietnamese pork roll, beef roll, fish cake, Vietnamese pancake, wonton, egg noodles. A small amount of the listed foods make me ill for days. Eating foods cooked with the above foods in the same pot, foods fried in oil used to fry the above foods can also make me sick.

Please let me know what I can eat in the menu or you can make a suitable food for me.

I can eat:

Foods made from potatoes, rice, sticky rice, corn, cassava, rice flour, sticky rice flour, tapioca starch, mung bean flour, Pho noodles, rice noodles, soup cake noodles, hu tieu clear rice noodles, thick rice noodle, vermicelli, banh da cua, rice paper.

Vegetables, fruits, seafood, meats (beef, pork, goat), poultry (duck, meat, quail), fish, eggs, milk (without soy sauce, Knorr, Maggie, mixed spices, bottled and canned sauces).

Yogurt, tea.

Fish sauce.

Thanks for reading and helping. I am sorry for any inconvenience. I must careful because of my health.)

Vietnamese Noodle Bowl Recipe (Gluten Free!)

This delicious Vietnamese Noodle Bowl, also known as a bún bowl, is full of fresh and vibrant flavors. A kick of spice, mixed with the freshness of crispy cold vegetables and flavorful herbs. Finished with grilled chicken, you’ll love this delicious lunch or dinner bowl. Naturally gluten free.

There’s a kick of spice, mixed with the freshness of crispy cold vegetables, flavorful herbs, finished with the rich savory flavor of grilled chicken. I’ll admit my recipe still doesn’t quite get to the level of my favorite Vietnamese place but it’s pretty close.

How to make a this Vietnamese Noodle Bowl Recipe – step by step

Marinade and grill chicken.

Boil water and cook brown rice noodles according to package.

Cut up ingredients.

Layer ingredients in a bowl, the proportions are up to you! I like half noodles, half green and extra pickled veggies.

Make dressing: combine water and sugar in a bowl.

Add fish sauce and lime in increments until the flavor is to your liking.

Finally add garlic and whisk.

Drizzle sauce over bowl and enjoy!

So a bun bowl is sort of comparable to a salad. It’s served cold but with a base of thin rice noodles and topped with warm grilled meat. The dressing is simple, salty, and flavorful, traditionally called a nước chấm sauce. To me this salad is almost like eating a deconstructed spring roll!

A meal prep noodle bowl recipe

I think this Vietnamese Noodle Bowl is the perfect introduction into spring. It’s cold and fresh but also savory and spicy. It’s really the best of both worlds warm but still fresh.

This is also a fantastic lunch because you can prep it at the beginning of the week and it’s super easy. Then just make a few bowls in airtight containers and just pour your dressing over before you eat it. Lunches can be so hard some times and a plain old salad certainly gets old. I love this as a healthy, flavorful alternative.

The ingredients that make this noodle bowl Vietnamese

There are certain ingredients that make this bowl undoubtedly Vietnamese:

I used this recipe to marinade the chicken.

Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes.

Make your own pickled vegetables using this recipe.

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Banh Mi Wraps Spicy Glass Noodle Salad Recipe Whole30 Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs Recipe If you have tried this recipe I’d love to hear from you! Be sure to leave a star rating and let me know what you thought!

Vietnamese Noodle Bowls (Bún)

Photography for Vietnamese Noodle Bowls by Chase Daniel

Nuoc Cham Vs. Nuoc Mam – Comparison Guide

If you enjoy eating at Vietnamese restaurants you may have noticed their love of dipping sauces. Dishes like spring rolls are always served with small bowls of spicy sauce. A common question asked by people outside of Vietnam is what’s the difference between nuoc cham and nuoc mam? Keep reading to get the complete answer.

How do nuoc cham and nuoc mam differ?

Nuoc cham is the generic term for sauce and could range from soy sauce to fish sauce, chili sauce, or anything in between. Nuoc mam is a popular type of fish sauce served in Vietnamese cuisine that can be pungent, sweet, sour, and spicy in flavor. It is often made by combining fish sauce with water, lime juice, minced garlic, and chili.

How to make nuoc mam

This is a recipe to make a flavorful Southeast Asian dipping sauce that takes minutes to prepare with no cooking required.

Preparation time: 5 mins Cook time: 0 mins

Ingredients

¾ cup water

4 Tbsp sugar

4 Tbsp fish sauce

3 Tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice

1 Thai chili, finely sliced

1 clove garlic minced

Method

Mix water and sugar in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved.

Add fish sauce and lime juice and stir until combined.

Sprinkle the sauce with chili and garlic before serving.

Notes:

To help dissolve the sugar, you can heat the water in a microwave for 30 seconds before mixing.

Slowly add the citrus juice and fish sauce and taste test as you go to ensure it doesn’t have overwhelming flavor.

When serving this sauce with seafood like eel, include lemongrass to brighten the dish.

Other ingredients like white radish, green papaya, or shredded pickled carrot can also be served with nuoc mam.

Did you know? Nước mắm pha means mixed fish sauce. It is the commonest type of dipping sauce that uses fish sauce as its base and includes lime juice or vinegar, water, and sugar. A vegetarian version of this sauce can be made by replacing fish sauce with Maggi seasoning sauce.

What to serve with nuoc mam pha

Rice paper rolls (Bánh cuốn): ingredients like pork, prawn, carrot, cucumber, and lettuce are wrapped in sheets of rice noodles. Spring rolls (Chả giò): spring roll pastry is filled with ingredients like ground pork shoulder and then deep-fried until crispy. Noodles (Bún): cold rice vermicelli noodles topped with grilled pork. Rice pancakes (Bánh xèo): pan-fried savory crepes made from water, rice flour, and turmeric, then filled with ingredients like shrimp, bean sprouts, or pork.

What is in Vietnamese fish sauce?

Supermarket sold fish sauce generally contains water, anchovies, and sea salt. The version sold in restaurants is more elaborate and often includes water, lime juice, sugar, chili, and garlic.

How does hoisin sauce and fish sauce differ?

Fish sauce is a salty sauce made from sea salt, anchovies, and water which has a watery texture. Hoisin sauce is a thick consistency and is made from soybean paste, garlic, sugar, and many other ingredients. While both sauces are salty, hoisin has an additional sweet undertone to it.

How do I store nuoc mam?

Nuoc mam is best enjoyed fresh but if you have leftovers then it should last one to two weeks in the refrigerator. Store the sauce in an airtight jar or container at the back of the fridge. Nuoc mam that is made with vinegar rather than lime juice will last longer than. You can expect it to last one to two months before it losing quality.

Summing up

Although it may seem that nuoc cham and nuoc mam are the same thing, each has a different meaning and should not be used interchangeably. Nuoc cham is a broader term referring to all types of sauces while nuoc mam is a specific type of dipping sauce that incorporates fish sauce with a range of other ingredients.

Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.

Studded with spicy Thai chilies and fresh garlic, this Vietnamese dipping sauce, or Nuoc Cham, is a staple of Vietnamese cooking – plus it’s ready in 5 minutes!

Consisting of fish sauce, garlic, chilies, sugar and lime juice, this sauce is the epitome of Vietnamese flavors – it’s sweet, salty, sour and spicy.

The result is an incredibly flavorful “umami” dipping sauce that is almost drinkable…seriously…it’s that good. Make it ahead and store it in the fridge (in a covered container) as it will last a long time.

There are only a handful of ingredients used here – fish sauce, lime, coconut (or palm) sugar, garlic and chilies.

You can use either coconut sugar or palm sugar for this recipe. I love the flavor of palm sugar personally, but coconut sugar works as well. Buy palm sugar HERE on Amazon ( affiliate link).

Thai chilies can be left out, but I think they impart an incredible spicy flavor to the sauce love to include them. If you can’t find them, you can also thinly slice a serrano pepper and use that.

Fresh lime juice is a MUST. Do not use bottled lime juice or the flavor will be all wrong. I actually almost never recommend using bottled lime juice as the flavor is so different than fresh.

What is Fish Sauce?

Fish sauce is a sauce made from anchovies fermented in salt. While the smell can sometimes be strong, the flavor is out of this world delicious. When added to marinades and sauces, it does not have a fishy flavor as you would expect. It just adds a wonderful savory flavor.

My favorite fish sauce to use is Red Boat 40

Check out these 20+ ways to use fish sauce!

Step By Step Instructions

They key to this sauce is getting the flavor balance correct. Whisk together the lime juice, water and sugar until the sugar has dissolved.

**for a sweeter sauce like you find in many restaurant in America, reduce the amount of fish sauce to 5 tablespoons.

Add the chilies and garlic and let it stand for 20 minutes at room temperature before serving. The amount of chilies can be adjusted based on spice preference.

It’s also incredible served as a dipping sauce for these Vietnamese Egg Rolls or these Chicken Summer Rolls.

And if you have simple grilled meat, pork, chicken or even seafood, you can just dip it in this sauce for a boost of flavor.

Adjust the amount of chilies to your spice preference. Remember that Thai chilies can be extremely spicy.

Use warm water to help the sugar dissolve.

Add the fish sauce slowly, tasting along the way, until you get the perfect flavor. You may have to add more/less depending on your preference.

For a sweeter nuoc cham, reduce the amount of fish sauce to 5 tablespoons.

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