Are you a food lover curious about Vietnamese food? Don't miss the unique experience of Vietnamese blood soup during your Vietnam travels. This dish offers a one-of-a-kind taste of Vietnamese food, featuring a distinctive blend of flavors and ingredients. And if you're keen to recreate this delicious dish at home, follow the guide below.
1. What is Vietnamese blood soup? What makes it so appealing to food lovers?
Another exceptional Vietnamese specialty is "tiết canh," commonly known as Vietnamese blood soup (Vietnamese blood pudding or Vietnamese blood jelly). Its flavor is truly unique, and this dish has been a longstanding part of Vietnamese cuisine.
This is because of its versatility and the source of various nutrients vital to health. Its versatility as a main dish or side dish makes it an all-time favorite and most popular among northern locals. Many claims of its positive impacts on health are heard; it aids in blood circulation and develops body immunity.
Those willing to explore unique culinary experiences can savor Vietnamese blood soup directly from a bowl, a practice deeply rooted in the country's rich heritage and traditions. This famous Vietnamese soup remains an essential component of the nation's dynamic culinary landscape.
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2. Things to know about Vietnamese blood soup ingredients
The blood soup in Vietnam involves a hot mix of fresh animal blood, usually from ducks or pigs. This makes it thick, creamy, and rich in texture, packed with tastes, including herbs, garlic, and chopped meat, mixed up with fish sauce.
Fish sauce is essential in Vietnamese blood soup, giving it a salty and savory taste. Fresh herbs such as mint, coriander, and Thai basil often accompany it, adding to the recipe's flavor and aroma.
It is interesting to note that herbs in Vietnamese blood soup are not only used for their taste but also for their medical qualities. Mint helps with digestion and soothes the stomach, while cilantro is an anti-inflammatory agent and detoxifier.
Toasted peanuts are another crucial element because they help reduce the harshness of the blood. Besides, they give the dish a nutty taste and offer a lovely crunch with every bite.
Finally, some people also use pork or duck organs and minced cartilage if it is meat. It adds more flavors and nutrients to improve the soft and meaty character of the dish.
However, there are some doubts about whether Vietnamese blood soup is safe for health, considering that it contains raw blood. During the biggest Vietnamese national celebration of Tet in 2018, the country's Ministry of Health cautioned its citizens against consuming raw blood soup because this poses a high risk of acquiring diseases, including hepatitis and cholera.
Bear in mind that although this blood soup makes a delightful dish, not everybody will enjoy it. Those people should avoid raw blood if they have compromised immune systems and are expectant.
3. How to make Vietnamese blood soup? – Recipes to know
The most popular variant of this dish is divided into two types: Vietnamese pork blood soup or Vietnamese duck blood soup and Vietnamese seafood blood soup. Here are the two Vietnamese blood soup recipes for you to know and try:
3.1. Vietnamese blood soup from cattle and poultry
- Fresh animal blood (from ducks or pigs)
- Pork/duck broth
- Fish sauce
- Herbs (mint, cilantro, basil, laksa)
- Grilled onions
- Pork/duck organ slices
- Minced cartilage or meat
- Roasted peanuts
- Beef tendon is also sometimes used
- Some variations may include additional herbs like lemongrass and ginger.
- First, make an anticoagulant mixture. Bring water or broth to a boil in a large pot and add fish sauce in a 3:2 ratio. If you are not used to the taste of fish sauce, substitute with water and salt mixed in a 2:1 ratio.
- Add grilled onions, pork/duck organ slices, and minced cartilage or meat to small bowls
- Slowly pour the fresh animal blood into the anticoagulant mixture while stirring constantly to prevent clumping.
- Pour the blood into the prepared bowls and let them sit until the blood thickens and freezes.
- Sprinkle some crushed roasted peanuts, herbs, and minced meat or organ on top before serving.
3.2. Vietnamese blood soup from seafood
- Fresh lobster blood (can also use scallop or shrimp blood)
- Minced lobster meat
- Herbs (mint, cilantro, perilla leaves, coriander)
- Roasted peanuts and sesame seeds for garnish
- Bring water to a boil in a pot and add pepper and herbs.
- Slowly pour in the fresh lobster blood while stirring constantly.
- Add minced lobster meat and steam for 5 minutes.
- Take off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Squeeze lemon juice over the soup and mix well.
- Serve with garnishes of roasted peanuts and sesame seeds.
4. How to enjoy Vietnamese blood soup for the best flavor?
If you want to appreciate Vietnam blood soup's authentic taste, we suggest you order a hot bowl of soup along with fresh herbs and dipping sauce. Herbs can also be added to the soup with their wondrous aromas and flavors, while the dipping sauce will add more taste to each spoonful.
Another popular way to enhance the flavor is by enjoying the dish with a side of “rượu nóng” (hot alcohol), such as rice wine or beer. The heat from the alcohol helps to balance out the strong taste of the blood and adds a warming element to the dish.
Additionally, some people enjoy adding spicy chili peppers or a squeeze of lime for an extra kick of flavor.
Overall, there are many ways to enjoy Vietnamese blood soup, so feel free to experiment and find your favorite combination!
Vietnam has many other delicious dishes worth enjoying once, such as bun bo Hue, the savory and crispy banh xeo, or the delectable banh mi that fill the streets with their enticing aroma. So, take a trip to visit Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long, where you'll discover a culinary paradise with diverse flavors and regional specialties that will leave you craving for more.
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For those who want to explore the rich flavors of Vietnamese cuisine, Vietnamese blood soup is an exceptional choice. With its enticing aroma and bold flavors, this dish is suitable for appetizers when hosting guests, and this guide will help you prepare this unique culinary delight with ease. Let's begin your culinary adventure!