Korean Vs. Vietnamese Food: What Makes Korean And Vietnamese Cuisines Different?

Vietnamese and Korean food are both delicious, but they have their own unique flavors.

However, to know which cuisine will satisfy your taste buds more, you need to delve into each culinary tradition and figure out what makes them special, and how they differ from each other.

Don’t worry, all these wonders about Korean food and Vietnamese food will be unraveled in this article.

Let’s check it out!

What is special about Korean food?

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Korean food is rich in flavor and has a balanced, healthy approach.

Their dishes are flavorful with an emphasis on vegetables and grains.

One popular dish is bibimbap which consists of rice, sauteed vegetables, egg, and chili pepper paste wrapped in a lettuce leaf for dipping.

Korean people enjoy pickling vegetables, such as cabbage to make their traditional “kimchi” which is favored all around the world.

Kimchi can be served in any meal to provide a spicy kick and sour taste to balance out the greasy and meaty taste of their BBQ.

They also have rice as a staple, it can be steamed to eat with other savory dishes, or wrapped with other ingredients to make Korean sushi rolls.

Korean cuisine is relatively similar to Japanese cuisine, in which they serve their food in small portions so the table is always full of plates and bowls of dishes for each family member.

What is special about Vietnamese food?

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Vietnamese food is a unique cuisine that has been influenced by many cultures and cuisines, mainly from Asia and France.

Vietnamese people are very proud of their heritage, so they promote the traditional way of cooking.

There are many dishes that have Chinese influences such as spring rolls or braised pork belly, but there are also some dishes that have Thai or Indian influences like pho soup or curry.

The ingredients for these foods can be found in most local markets or grocery stores in different parts of the world.

Vietnamese cuisine also varies between different regions, which are divided into three main regions: the North, the Middle, and the South.

Northern Vietnamese food is usually saltier, while food in the Middle and the South is sweeter because they use more sugar in their recipes.

Some of the main ingredients in Vietnamese food are rice, noodles, vegetables, basil, fish sauce, ginger root, garlic, chili pepper, and many others.

They also have shrimp paste which can be served as a dipping sauce or a condiment to season their dishes.

This smelly paste seems to be very weird for people outside this country.

What are the differences between Korean vs Vietnamese food?

Two Southeast Asian countries have two different cuisines.

The differences between Korean food and Vietnamese food will be broken into pieces in this section:

Korean food is usually spicier than Vietnamese food, which is more balanced (sweet and sour)

Korean food usually has a vibrant red color and a spicier taste because of its use of chili pepper, mostly in paste form.

Meanwhile, in Vietnam, they only add some slices of fresh chilies to their dishes for a slight kick of spiciness and use more other condiments and seasoning spices to create a more balanced flavor.

Korean cuisine uses more soy sauce while Vietnamese cuisine uses more fish sauce

Another difference between Korean and Vietnamese food is the cooking sauce.

The Koreans mainly use soy sauce to marinate, season, or make a dipping sauce.

On the other hand, fish sauce is a staple in Vietnamese cooking.

Fish sauce provides Vietnamese dishes with a special aroma and saltiness.

Vietnamese rolls usually call for rice wrapper while the Koreans use seaweed

Vietnamese and Korean people both enjoy roll dishes.

However, these dishes are different in each country.

For example, spring rolls in Vietnam are made by using rice paper to wrap other ingredients.

It is usually damped with a bit of water to soften before using to wrap.

Meanwhile, seaweed wrappers are more popular in the Korean cuisine, such as in their sushi rolls.

Korean food is usually served in small portions, whereas Vietnamese food is served in large portions

The last difference between Vietnamese cuisine and Korean cuisine is how indigenous people serve their food.

A typical meal of Vietnamese people is considered the reunion moment so that each member can tell about their days.

Therefore, all their food, from rice, vegetables, meat, seafood, and even dipping sauce are served in family-serving size.

On the other hand, in Korea, their food is served in small portions and each family member has their own plates or bowls of dishes.

What are the similarities between Korean vs Vietnamese food?

Despite some key differences between Korean and Vietnamese food, these two popular Asian cuisines have several things in common.

Here are some similarities between Korean food and Vietnamese food:

Rice is a staple in both cuisines

Rice is typically served in every meal in both Vietnamese or Korean cuisine.

It is simply steamed to enjoy with other savory dishes.

They also have other rice products, especially rice cakes with different recipes in each country.

They focus on using fresh ingredients rather than canned food

Unlike Western cuisine which calls for a lot of canned food, Korean and Vietnamese cuisines mainly use fresh ingredients that can be easily found at their grocery stores or local markets.

They usually shop for these ingredients in early mornings to ensure their freshness.

They use chopsticks and spoons to eat their food

The last one is their utensils.

Vietnamese and Koreans both use chopsticks to pick up their food and a spoon to eat soups.

Which one is better?

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The answer to the question “which cuisine is better?” will depend on what you are looking for.

If you want authentic dishes from Korea that have been passed down through generations with a rich tradition and culture behind them, then Korean food would be your best bet.

However if you are more interested in something different, or even just want to try out some new flavors without having to travel too far away from home, Vietnamese food might suit your palate much better!

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