A salad or vegetable platter is almost always present at any Vietnamese meal. The colorful array of bright green leafy herbs, soft lettuce, orange carrots, and other crunchy fresh vegetables is a customary for almost all meals served. The vegetables are arranged on a platter so the diner chooses what they want to add to each bite and dish. The lettuce leaves are used as wraps for foods and a small bowl of Nuoc Cham is typically on provided like salt and pepper is in the west.
Dia Rau Song – Basic Vegetable Platter
- Oval serving platter
- 2 whole Soft leaf lettuce like Boston bibb, leaves separated
- 6 stalk Scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 cup Fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup Asian basil or regular basil leaves
- 1 cup Fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 large Cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced crosswise into thin semi-circles
- 4 oz Fresh bean sprouts
- 1 medium Carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch long matchsticks
- 1 medium Lime, sliced thin (optional)
- On a serving platter, arrange a mound of lettuce leaves in the middle. Surround the edge of the platter with overlapping cucumber slices and then fill in around the platter with individual piles of the other vegetables.
- Depending on the other dishes served, vegetables like sliced red onions and radishes may be added.