Vietnamese Ingredients Guide

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