The surprising star of Chinese dessert.
If you were looking for an advertisement for the benefits of immigration in Australia, look no further than the wonderful rise of the Vietnamese community and Vietnamese food in our country.
Up until 1970, there were only small pockets of Vietnamese people in Australia, but successful post-war immigration saw many families relocate their lives to this country. The key cities were Sydney and Melbourne, and many people found work cooking and serving Vietnamese food.
In just a few decades, this amazing cuisine has become ingrained in our culture and thankfully so, with Vietnamese food such as Pho Bo, Lemongrass Chilli Chicken, Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls and Banh Mi becoming part of our everyday eating.
Celebrity chef and author Luke Nguyen’s story is familiar to many of the Vietnamese refugees who found a new life in Australia in the 1970s.
“When we first came to Australia, we didn’t have anything,” he told Selector magazine for a recipe feature. “My parents worked really hard in restaurants before we opened our own in Cabramatta. As soon as we could walk, we were working—before school, after school, weekends, school holidays.”
These days, Luke is one of the most successful chefs and restaurateurs in Australia, and he says he owes it all to his vivid Vietnamese heritage.
“I think what drives me is culture,” he says. “Every dish has a story, every dish has a region—it comes from somewhere and I love going back and learning where it came from, I love learning about street food, hawker food.
“You see ladies that have been sitting on the same spot on the street selling that one dish for the last 40 years—these are dishes that inspire me.”
Discover the taste of Vietnam by trying these brilliant Vietnamese recipes at home this week.