Quit your whining Seattle. Pour yourself a lemonade and eat some cool food.
|Nick is checking out the market goods in Vietnam|
The Vietnamese Salad: Gỏi
|Gỏi in Hoi An|
- Gỏi ngó sen (Lotus): Lotus stems served with julienned veggies and shrimp or pork
- Goi tôm (Shrimp): Julienned carrots, cucumbers, daikon and crunchy things topped with shrimp
- Goi gà (Chicken): A cabbage and chicken salad
- Goi đu đủ (Papaya): A salad with green papaya served with slices of jerky and a vinegar-y nước mắm pha
|Small rolls as part of a multi-course meal in Hoi An|
- 8''-9'' inch rice paper round wrappers (bánh tráng)
- Bean thread noodles (clear or cellophane noodles)
- Rice noodles (referred to as bún, not to be confused with thicker and flatter phở noodles)
- Shrimp/prawns which you can slice in half lengthwise
- Fresh thai basil leaves
- Daikon sprouts
- Cucumbers sliced into matchstick-sized pieces (the hothouse seedless English variety works well)
- Julienned pickled carrots
- Green and red lettuce leaves
- Slices of fried firm tofu
- Slices of seared pork tenderloin
- Chopped peanuts
|Cooking class on the rooftop deck of our Ha Long Bay cruise.|
Barbecue - Vietnamese Style!
|Street meat in Hanoi. Fanning it is just advertising|
|Bun chả cá in Hanoi, cooking in oil|
I love skewers like skewered grilled pork (nem nướng) or Hue regional sugarcane prawns (chạo tôm) which uses a stick of sugarcane for the skewer and allows you to suck on a sweet piece of sugarcane as you bite into the shrimp. If you've been trout or halibut fishing, bun chả cá Thăng Long or La Vong is an herbacious, fragrant and refreshing favorite of mine; it's fish that's either grilled or pan friend with tumeric and served with heaps of fresh dill so it's a great farmers market-type of dish. Nick and I were fortunate enough to have gotten to eat this meal at one of the famous monikered place in Hanoi and it was amazingly tasty. However, it's also a super-expensive dish because of its popularity in Vietnam (six or seven bucks a person if I recall - and that was pricey) but you can make it at home just as easily.
Most of the kebabs are easy to make but you can make marinated beef, pork chops, pork ribs, pork meatballs or saute some tofu. A more difficult but supremely delicious barbecue option is grilled beef in la lot leaves or bò lá lót.
|Bun chả cá in my bowl|
- Barbecued pork ribs
- Sliced pork
- Grilled pork skewers
- Lemongrass beef
- Grilled prawns
- Sugarcane prawns
- Grilled beef in la lot leaves
- Tumeric fish with dill
|Iced coffee in an Aussie expat bar in Hanoi.|
Vietnamese coffee is well-known because it's absolutely fabulous and another French-influenced fusion product. If you need an afternoon pick-me-up or if you're already dying of heat exhaustion in the morning, this will hit the spot.
You can brew it with actual Vietnamese coffee with a French drip-filter but save some time and use some French roast espresso mixed with sweetened condensed milk and pour it over ice. I've been drinking Vietnamese coffee hot or over ice pretty much my entire life. (When I was younger, my mom only gave me a little bit of coffee and mixed it generously with normal milk so I don't think it's coffee that stunted my growth).
Happy eating! When the weather gets cold, I'll give you a rundown of my favorite Vietnamese noodle soups since there are regional varieties that will warm you up, keep your toasty for hours and make your belly very happy.