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Going to Vietnam With a Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy

Los Angeles...
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Going to Vietnam With a Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy

Next year I plan on going to Vietnam for two weeks with around 20 other people. I have a severe allergy to peanuts and tree nuts (though I only have a reaction when I eat them,). How common is the use of peanuts and tree nuts in Vietnam? I normally don't carry an Epi Pen with me because I am just always careful about where and what I eat and know all the restaurants that use peanut oil. I know I will have to bring some Epi Pens with me on the trip, but is it easy to avoid foods that include nuts or are cooked in peanut oil? My main concern is that I am going to be spending the entire trip worrying about everything I eat instead of actually enjoying my time in Vietnam. Also are there any common or widely accessible dishes served in the country that don't use peanuts or tree nuts that could be my "go to" dishes when eating out?

Llanbrynmair...
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1. Re: Going to Vietnam With a Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy

There is a lot of information on your problem on this forum as many people have had similar concerns.

If you type 'nut allergy' in the little search box just above your post you will find many useful links to past discussions on the subject.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Going to Vietnam With a Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy

I just returned home from a two week trip and I would not like to be in your shoes. My nephew also suffers from this allergy and constantly I was thinking he could not eat here. You will have to be very careful so many meals had nuts in them. Even salads were scattered with nuts. Take you own medication with you, one of our group went to pharmacy with tour guide looking for a pain killer stronger than panadol, she fainted from the effects. It was stronger than what she could buy from the chemist at home. Vietnam produces cashews and is the worlds largest exportor of cashews.

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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3. Re: Going to Vietnam With a Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy

we have had many guests with peanut allergy here over the years

it is quite difficult because so many food items contain peanuts,

you must have a not saying "I am allergic to peanuts, it I eat eat peanuts i may die

the reason for this is that the locals here do not know about allergies, so the bit about dying is needed to get the point across

SOY sauce, cooking oil, most of these have peanut in them , but it is possible to get some without peanut

shrimp crackers also have peanut in them

also you must read the labels, so ask to see the bottles

peanut is DAU PHONG

ask to see the kitchen if you can / this might be scary

but it is not so scary as reading this may seem, you'll get on , no worries

if you eat a second or more time at the same place, best be to remind them every time

we have had many folks with allergies, they all got tru vietnam no worries

except for the lady with shrimp allergy who insisted on eating the shrimp crackers, she obviously ended up in the hospital

too early now, kitchen is still locked up, I'll try and get back on here and tell you the brand names of the peanut free stuff we use

KIKKOMAN soy sauce is available in vietnam, that is the best bet for soy sauce, you might want to get a bottle when you arrive in country and take it along ...

Nelson-Tasman...
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4. Re: Going to Vietnam With a Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy

My our cooking classes it appears peanuut oil and nuts are used widely in Vietnamese cuisine. So even if it doesnt have peanuts there is a chance that it was cooked with peanut oil, or using peanut oil dressings. The other issue is that o f contamination with peanuts at any stage of the food process. But others have done it before you, so check the forum.

Penrith, Australia
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5. Re: Going to Vietnam With a Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy

My husband has a peanut allergy and survived 9 weeks travelling through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos last year. We took translations of his allergy with us, which we showed at every restaurant. We avoided street food as we were not sure how literate the sellers might be (not wanting to insult any of the cooks but literacy skills are not important to be a good cook). If we found a restaurant that understood our needs we often went back a number of times. We took an XO food tour, and warned them before we went and he had no trouble. The leader checked all stops and found that peanut oil is not used as much now, as it is more expensive. Soy bean oil was more widely used. Often the waiters would bring out the bottle of oil for us to check, again palm oil was often used. Get a translation show it EVERYTIME, the one time my husband didn't he got caught out. Steamed and BBQ food was usually safe. Be prepared to also eat a lot of boiled/steamed rice and veg but you will also find much you can eat. I would also suggest taking a picture of the peanut and others nuts you can't eat as many thought the translation meant chick peas as well, the words seemed to get lost in translation.

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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6. Re: Going to Vietnam With a Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy

but many of the soybean oil has peanut in it

Penrith, Australia
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7. Re: Going to Vietnam With a Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy

We had no problem with the soybean oil, and believe me, my husband would have noticed it if peanut oil was mixed with soybean oil. As I said we had 9 weeks and with translations had not real problems. We met a family with a young lad who had a nut and seafood allergy and they had been travelling and also had no problem. Can't stress the importance of having the translation to show the staff.

8. Re: Going to Vietnam With a Peanut/Tree Nut Allergy

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