Vietnamese Ingredients Guide

1. Fish sauce (nuoc mam) A thin brown sauce of fermented anchovies.Christopher Hirsheimer
2. Kaffir lime leaves Available fresh, frozen, and dried, they add a lemony flavor to broths.Christopher Hirsheimer
3. Thai chiles Tiny hot red and green peppers used for spice.Christopher Hirsheimer
4. Dried rice paper (banh trang) Available in various sizes, round or triangular; used for spring and summer rolls.Christopher Hirsheimer
5. Bean threads (bun tau) Also called cellophane noodles; add texture to soups and fillings.Christopher Hirsheimer
6. Rice stick noodles (banh pho) Flat, thin noodles made from rice flour and water, available in three widths; the medium is most popular for pho.Christopher Hirsheimer
7. Rice vermicelli (bun) Thin, brittle, white rice noodles, used in soups and salads, and as an essential side dish.Christopher Hirsheimer
8. Coconut milk (nuoc dua) Used in sweets and curries, and available canned or frozen.Christopher Hirsheimer
9. Rice flour (bot gao) Made from long-grain rice; used for making sizzling pancakes.Christopher Hirsheimer
10. Tamarind (me chua) The pulp of this sour-tasting fruit, sold in soft blocks, must be soaked and strained.Christopher Hirsheimer
11. Wood ear mushrooms (nam meo) To add texture; when soaked in water, they expand to four times their size.Christopher Hirsheimer
12. Lemongrass (xa) An aromatic tropical grass. Tough outer leaves are removed, the inner stalk crushed and chopped.Christopher Hirsheimer
13. Dried lemongrass Shredded and dried, to be reconstituted.Christopher Hirsheimer
14. Holy basil (rau que) Purple and green, with an intense anise flavor.Christopher Hirsheimer