25 Vietnamese Recipes That Are Perfect For Summer

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Here is my collection of the best Vietnamese recipes to make during hot summer months. Each recipe incorporates fresh ingredients like vegetables, herbs and lean proteins to help you stay healthy, hydrated and energized.

a collage of easy Vietnamese recipes to make for dinner in summer.

Summer can be unbearably hot in Vietnam, so people often prefer lightly cooked or lightly seasoned dishes. Nothing too salty, fatty or oily to keep things light, fresh and easy to digest during this time of the year. Foods or methods that minimize heat in cooking are also prioritized.

This collection aims to help you put together a Vietnamese family dinner quickly and effortlessly whether you are looking for a simple summer meal or a more elaborate one. Spend more time enjoying the food and less time in the kitchen.

Noodle Bowls

a bowl of Vietnamese Beef Noodle Salad (Bun Bo Nam Bo).
Beef Noodle Salad

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Salad (Bún Bò Nam Bộ/Bún Bò Xào) – Rice vermicelli noodles are topped with stir-fried beef, fresh herbs, lettuce, cucumbers and roasted peanuts, then drizzled with a tangy fish sauce dressing. This beloved street food of Hanoi is a perfect combination of savory and refreshing flavors.

a bowl of Vietnamese lemongrass pork stir-fry with noodles.
Lemongrass Pork Noodle Salad

Lemongrass Pork Noodle Salad (Bún Thịt Xào) – Quite similar to the beef version, this dish features lemongrass pork and bean sprouts stir-fry served over vermicelli noodles with fresh herbs and vegetables. This dish can be found in the Southern part of Vietnam.

a bowl of bun cha - Vietnamese grilled pork meatballs with rice vermicelli noodles and herbs.
Bún Chả

Bún Chả (Hanoi Grilled Meatballs with Vermicelli Noodles) – The combination of smoky, savory meat with fresh herbs and noodles makes bún chả a perfect, refreshing meal for hot summer days. This dish is a favorite of many people in Hanoi.

a plate of lemongrass grilled fish
Lemongrass Grilled Fish with Noodles

Lemongrass Grilled Fish with Noodles – Fish chunks are marinated with lemongrass and other aromatics, then grilled until fragrant. Enjoy it with rice vermicelli noodles, lettuce and a lot of refreshing herbs.

Light Sides and Salads

a plate of Vietnamese rice paper rolls
Gỏi Cuốn

Gỏi Cuốn (Vietnamese Summer Rolls) – These classic summer rolls are filled with shrimp, pork, vermicelli noodles, and herbs, all wrapped in rice paper, and served with a peanut dipping sauce. They are light, refreshing, and perfect for a hot day.

a bowl of Asian carrot salad.
Carrot Salad

Super Easy Carrot Salad – This carrot salad is crunchy, sweet, and tangy, making it an excellent side dish for summer. The salad uses a simple Vietnamese rice vinegar based dressing to brighten it up.

a plate of Vietnamese grilled corn with scallion oil
Grilled Corn with Scallion Oil

Grilled Corn with Scallion Oil (Bắp Nướng Mỡ Hành) – Enjoy sweet corn in Vietnamese style with this recipe. Corn on the cob is grilled and then brushed with fragrant scallion oil.

a plate of tender grilled eggplant topped with scallion oil and roasted peanuts.
Grilled Eggplant with Scallion Oil

Grilled Eggplant with Scallion Oil (Cà Tím Nướng Mỡ Hành) – Simply leave whole eggplants on the grill until very tender, then scoop out the creamy flesh and top with plenty of scallion oil and roasted peanuts.

a piece of fried tofu dipped in scallion fish sauce.
Fried Tofu with Scallions

Fried Tofu with Scallions (Đậu Rán Tẩm Hành) – This is a staple in the daily rotation of many Northern Vietnamese families due to its simplicity and deliciousness. Tofu cubes are fried until golden and crispy, then dipped into a flavorful mixture of scallions and fish sauce.

a plate of Bo Tai Chanh (Vietnamese Cured Beef in Lime Juice Salad).
Bò Tái Chanh

Bò Tái Chanh (Vietnamese Cured Beef in Lime Juice Salad) – Enjoy this unique and refreshing beef dish of Vietnamese cuisine with a cold beverage. Seared beef is sliced, then marinated in lime juice and served with fresh herbs, carrots, onions and roasted peanuts.

a bowl of green mango salad with seafood
Green Mango Salad with Seafood

Green Mango Salad with Seafood (Gỏi Xoài Xanh) – Julienned green mango is mixed with shrimp and squid, fresh herbs, roasted peanuts, and a zesty dressing. This salad is very popular in the Central and Southern regions of Vietnam where it is hot all year round.

a plate of fried tofu salad with cucumber
Tofu and Cucumber Salad

Tofu and Cucumber Salad – This light salad features sliced cucumbers and fried tofu dressed in a simple dressing. Add some cherry tomatoes and refreshing herbs for more colors, juiciness and freshness.

a skillet of steamed clams with lemongrass and Thai basil.
Steamed Clams with Lemongrass and Thai Basil

Steamed Clams with Lemongrass and Thai Basil – The briny flavor of clams is complemented so well by the fragrance of lemongrass and Thai basil. This dish takes just 10 minutes to make.

Main Dishes

a plate of steamed fish with ginger and soy sauce
Steamed Fish with Ginger, Scallion and Soy Sauce

Steamed Fish with Ginger, Scallion and Soy Sauce – Here is a great way to cook white-fleshed fish fillets or salmon fillets. The fish is gently steamed to retain its moist and tender texture. This simple yet elegant dish will make your summer dinner feel like a restaurant-quality meal.

a plate of Vietnamese pork ribs in sweet and sour sauce, served with rice on the side.
Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs

Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs (Sườn Xào Chua Ngọt) – This dish is our childhood favorite, featuring tender pork ribs in a mouthwatering sweet and savory sauce. The flavor combination stimulates the appetite, making it a great summer main dish.

drizzle sauce over fried fish and green mango salad.
Fried Fish with Green Mango Salad

Fried Fish with Green Mango Salad (Cá Chiên Mắm Xoài) – A humble dish of Southern Vietnamese cuisine, fried fish is served with a tangy green mango salad. The salad, made with julienned green mango, adds a refreshing and slightly sour contrast to the savory, crispy fish.

a plate of Vietnamese beef fried rice served with soy sauce and soup on the side
Hanoi Beef Fried Rice with Pickled Mustard Greens

Hanoi Beef Fried Rice with Pickled Mustard Greens (Cơm Rang Dưa Bò) – This fried rice is like comfort food of people in Hanoi. Fried rice is mixed with stir-fried beef and pickled mustard greens, creating a balance of savory, tangy and hearty flavors.

a plate of Vietnamese chicken rice - com ga Hoi An.
Vietnamese Chicken Rice

Vietnamese Chicken Rice (Cơm Gà Hội An) – This is a signature dish from the historic town of Hoi An. It features fragrant rice served alongside a shredded chicken salad, which is tossed with refreshing Vietnamese coriander and onions.

Soups

a bowl of Vietnamese sweet and sour shrimp soup, with rice and fish sauce on the side.
Vietnamese Sour Shrimp Soup

Sour Shrimp Soup (Canh Chua Tôm) – This refreshing and aromatic soup is perfect for hot summer days. Made with succulent shrimp, tamarind paste, pineapple, and a variety of fresh vegetables, it offers a balance of sweet, sour, and savory tastes.

a bowl of Canh Bo Rau Ram (Tomato Beef Soup with Vietnamese Coriander).
Tomato Beef Soup with Vietnamese Coriander

Tomato Beef Soup with Vietnamese Coriander (Canh Bò Rau Răm) – This refreshing soup of Hanoi features tender beef simmered with ripe tomatoes and fragrant Vietnamese coriander. The tomatoes add a refreshing acidity that balances the savory beef, while the Vietnamese coriander imparts a unique, fragrant flavor.

Desserts and Drinks

bowls of Vietnamese sweet corn pudding.
Vietnamese Sweet Corn Pudding

Vietnamese Sweet Corn Pudding (Chè Bắp) – This rich dessert highlights the natural sweetness of the corn. Enjoy it with a generous drizzle of coconut milk. I included two different variations of this dessert in the post.

a glass of Vietnamese lotus seed sweet soup with dried longan.
Lotus Seed Sweet Soup with Dried Longan

Lotus Seed Sweet Soup with Dried Longan – This is a traditional Vietnamese dessert known for its cooling and calming properties. The sweet soup combines tender lotus seeds with dried longan, creating a delicate and subtly sweet flavor profile.

a bowl of Vietnamese Yogurt Black Sticky Rice Pudding.
Vietnamese Yogurt Black Sticky Rice Pudding

Yogurt Black Sticky Rice Pudding (Sữa Chua Nếp Cẩm) – This classic Vietnamese dessert combines creamy yogurt with soft-chewy black sticky rice. It is so fun to eat with a delightful mix of textures and flavors in each bite.

a glass of Vietnamese iced coffee.
Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cafe Sữa Đá) – Discover the best method for a bright, refreshing, and aromatic glass of Vietnamese iced coffee at home. Yes, it’s strong, dark-roasted Vietnamese coffee with sweetened condensed milk served over ice – but there’s a way to bring out the flavors much more.

a glass of Vietnamese Strawberry Iced Tea.
Strawberry Iced Tea

Strawberry Iced Tea – This Vietnamese version of strawberry iced tea has a unique and interesting preparation method. The drink is made by combining cold brew tea with macerated strawberries, which have been mixed with sugar to release their natural juices. The result is a sweet, refreshing and fruity beverage perfect for hot days.

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