Last month on my mama’s birthday, I posted my first Food From Home mini film, which featured my mama’s cha gio. Today, I’m sharing another Food Talkies “Food From Home” film; this time, it’s about bun rieu—a Vietnamese crab and rice vermicelli soup. In case you missed it, “Food From Home” is a new mini-docu film collection that captures personal food stories. As I mention in the film, bun rieu was not my favorite noodle soup growing up, but I developed a fondness for it as I got older and

My first memories of biscuits were the kind you find in the frozen aisle at the grocery store, hugging a sad piece of shriveled sausage and suffocating inside cellophane. My mama bought boxes of these and would instruct me to microwave one every morning for breakfast. It was so dry and boring—oh, how I wished there was a little egg or slice of American cheese tucked in there to give it a little lube. Then I moved on to better biscuits—the ones that come as part of a fried chicken

When in Tennessee, you just gotta eat some southern cookin’. It’s good for the soul. We ventured here the evening we got in to Knoxville because I’d heard Market Square was a pretty cool town center worth checking out. Indeed, there were a lot of people milling around, drinking and chatting at patio bars and sidewalk cafes, street artists, even a Shakespeare play being performed. We walked in to Tupelo Honey Cafe, where the host said it would be almost a two-hour wait. “What about the bar?” the hubs asks.

On August 23rd, the #HowEyeSeeIt campaign launched, challenging those with vision to attempt a task or activity they enjoy while blindfolded. “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nc1aC4cGz8” target=”_blank”I shot a video with Chef Tim Love doing the blindfold challenge at his restaurant, “http://www.lonesomedoveknoxville.com” target=”_blank”Lonesome Dove, in Knoxville. I must say he was actually pretty good at cooking blind. The #HowEyeSeeIt is a campaign raising money to fight retinal diseases causing blindness on behalf of Foundation Fighting Blindness. The campaign runs until October 13th. Visit the #HowEyeSeeIt page to see how you can get involved, or

If you’ve been following the trend my blog’s been taking, you may have noticed I’ll post my travel vlogs with the hubs, followed by casual reviews of places at which we ate or visited, followed by a recipe or two inspired by the trip. I’m always asked in interviews, “What’s your favorite dish to cook?” My answer, which I assume is disappointing to audiences but is the truth, is that I don’t have one particular dish I love cooking. I love variety, and I love learning, so it only makes

When I’m feeling fancy, I like to call this “fish sauce vinaigrette” or even “anchovy vinaigrette.” Essentially, it’s the vital finishing touch on scores of Vietnamese dishes. It can be used as a dipping sauce, a condiment, or a dressing. If you know how to make this one recipe, you’ll have the key to unlock an arsenal of Vietnamese dishes. The Vietnamese name for this sauce is nuoc mam cham—“nuoc mam” referring to the fish sauce and “cham” meaning “to dip.” I’m showing you this recipe as a prelude to

I’ve waxed poetic about the banh mi thit—Vietnamese for meat sandwich (in this case, cold cuts)—from Banh Mi Huynh Hoa before, and now it’s time to talk about it again. I believe the quality of the bread is a huge factor in the overall quality of the sandwich. Huynh Hoa’s bread is pillowy on the inside, crusty on the outside, and just tastes, well, like good bread. The pâté is generous, and the cold cuts have more depth of flavor than the many I’ve had in the U.S. When I

This is my pops’s favorite place for bun thit nuong cha gio in Saigon. For those of you who are not familiar: bun = rice vermicelli thit = meat, usually refers to pork when used without a modifier nuong = grilled cha gio = fried spring rolls You may not know it by its Vietnamese name, but you may have had the dried noodle bowl before, as it’s a pretty popular Vietnamese dish and one new converts to the cuisine tend to taste first with their virgin tongues (the other

Second day in Saigon: food, signing my newly translated cookbook, and more food. Family lunch today had us venturing outside the house into the crazy crowded streets of Saigon. We dine at a well-known rice vermicelli restaurant, and I pick up some bad-ass banh mi for afternoon snacking at home. Besides pho, I’d say bun thit nuong and banh mi thit are the most well-known dishes in Vietnamese cuisine–they’re what people try when first being introduced to Vietnamese food. Growing up, grilled pork was more often eaten with broken rice

Our first meal in Saigon was a home-cooked bowl of mi Quang, a specialty noodle dish from the Quang Nam province of central Vietnam. Mi Quang can consist of many different ingredients, but the common factors are noodles and turmeric. You can have shrimp, pork, chicken, or all of the above and then some, in your bowl of mi Quang. Dessert in Vietnam (and throughout Asia) often consists of fruit. I tried a fruit I’d never had before: vu sua, which translates into English as “breast milk” [pause for inappropriate,

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