The lush greenness of Vietnam produces a wide range of
vegetables and herbs that impart a fresh taste and fragrance to its
cooking. Bunches of coriander and mint are scattered over steaming bowls
of pho, a soupy noodle and meat dish which can be bought on every street
corner. The basic flavor of many Vietnamese dishes comes from nuocmam, a
fish sauce that is added to soups and stir-fried, or used in marinades
with lemon grass, lemon juice and chilies to give a tangy, pungent flavor
to meat and fish.