The Vietnamese herb called rao ram is the absolute hands-down favorite of geekyfoodie. Too delicate to cook with, rao ram is best used as a topping, hand-torn and added to soups like pho ga (Vietnamese chicken soup with rice noodles) at the table. Other than soups, many Vietnamese dishes are served with plates of herbs; like rao ram, they are wrapped around a bit of food, then dipped in fish sauce and eaten. Rao ram’s flavor is sharp and tart, but it can’t really be compared to any other herb. You must experience it for yourself.

Unfortunately, unusual Vietnamese herbs like rao ram don’t show up at ordinary supermarkets very often. Check Asian markets like 99 Ranch. These herbs are pretty cheap, says geekyfoodie, so it’s not a huge investment to buy a few bunches and experiment. Add them to spring rolls, or use them to top noodle soup—the result will be like nothing you’ve ever tasted.

Board Link: Vietnamese Herb Guide

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