Vietnam’s ingredients reflect its geography and climate. Rice (grown in water paddies throughout the country) is the main starch used in everyday meals, and is also made into different kind of cakes and noodles. Besides a number of Buddhist vegetarian dishes, most Vietnamese dishes or meals are a combination of a variety of vegetables, herbs and meats.
Common herbs may include lemon grass, lime or kaffir. Popular meats are pork, beef, chicken, prawn and various fish. Lamb, duck, birds, and even dog or other wild animals are also used but not widely. Fish sauce and soy sauce are used as both flavorings and dipping sauces for nearly every dish.
Peanuts are also used widely in Vietnamese cuisine.
Vegetarians and those with allergies should be careful and ask beforehand while enjoying Vietnamese cuisine.
Water: Don't drink the tap water, even in the major hotels. Drink only boiled or bottled water, which is available on virtually every street.
Apart from top-end hotels and restaurants, ice cubes are generally not safe.
Note: Be careful when buying bottled water, check if the seal is still unbroken!