Edible flowers in Vietnamese dishes (Part 2)


Flowers have strong culinary use in Vietnamese cuisine. There are a lot of delicious dishes made of flowers that you should not miss when traveling to Vietnam.

>> Edible flowers in Vietnamese dishes (Part 1)

Banana Blossoms Salad (“Nộm hoa chuối” or “Gỏi hoa chuối”) is one of the greatest salads to have in the summer. The flower’s soft and crunchy texture blends perfectly with other herbs on a sweet-and-sour base of lemon juice, which creates a cool, luscious and delightful taste. The crushed fried peanut topping adds a greasy note to the salad, as it harmonizes all of the ingredients, creating an absolutely delicious and fresh summer veggie dish.

Banana Blossoms And Fish Sour Soup (Canh chua cá nấu hoa chuối) is eaten by many Vietnamese people in the country’s Central Areas. The sourness of the soup combines with the bitterness of the banana flowers and the chewyness of the fish, creating a unique, exquisite flavor.

Banana Blossoms are also used in medicine, to relieve heart and stomach symptoms, to reduce anxiety or to help nourish mothers.

Sesbania Sesban flowers ( bong dien dien)

Due to the country’s interlacing river system, during the flooding season in Southern Vietnam there is almost nothing to eat, since crops and fields get submerged in water. But that’s when the brilliant golden color of sesbania sesban flowers blossoms along the winding channels, river banks and small islets. Naturally beautiful and safe to eat, sesbania sesban flowers are also called “hoa cứu đói” (flowers that help people against starving) by Vietnamese people, because they can be cooked into many delectable dishes during the season when food is rare.

Sesbania sesban flowers with meat (via thanhnien.vn)

Sesbania Sesban And Mud Carps Sour Soup (Canh Chua Cá Linh Bông Điên Điển) is one of the most typical dishes eaten during the flooding season downstream in the Mekong Delta. It’s a delicious combination of flavors; the sweet-and-sour broth is enhanced by the slight bitterness of the golden flowers. The soft texture of fresh fish is perfectly complemented by the chewyness of the sesbania sesban flowers. Many other garden herbs add a distinctive smell to the soup. This soup can also be served as a hot pot dish, which makes eating it even more enjoyable.

Another nice fresh dish made with this wonderful flower is Sesbania Sesban Flowers Salad With Shrimp And Pork (Gỏi Bông Điên Điển). The salad tastes a bit sour, a bit sweet and a bit bitter, and it has a pleasantly crisp texture.

Sesbania Grandiflora flowers ( bong so dua)

Sesbania Grandiflora blossoms are also some of the most amazing flooding season flowers. They come in two color variations, both of which are less bitter than sesbania sesban flowers, have a crisp texture when eaten raw in salty sweet salad and get a bit more chewy when cooked, when used as ingredients in sour soups with freshwater fish.

Other dishes

Chives flowers (bong he)

Chives flowers (via nemphung.net)

Only the younger, top parts of the chives flowers are used; their sweet and delicate, aromatic fragrance can add a note of elegance to any dish.

Daylily (bong kim cham)

The daylily blossom is one of the most beautiful amongst all of the edible summer flowers. It tastes like a cross between asparagus and green peas when sauteed in a little garlic and vegetable oil.

Mild and sweet, daylily shrimp soup helps cool down your body’s temperature during  hot summer days.

Artichoke flowers (hoa atiso)

Artichoke, which is essentially the bud of a giant flower,  is a versatile and delicious vegetable. It can be stewed with chicken or pork for a tasty soup, or stir-fried with clams for a different taste. Besides their delicious taste, artichokes can also help reduce cholesterol levels, as well as control diabetes and prevent cancer.

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