There is a word in Vietnamese, nhau, that describes the act of getting together, drinking beer or spirits, and eating. To nhau is to partake in an age-old Vietnamese tradition where men gather to primarily socialize and drink, and secondarily eat foods that are mostly small bar bites, often exotic (think goat, snails, duck tongues, chicken tails (aka butts). Now in modern times, women also nhau, although not as frequently—go to any nhau establishment, and you’ll mostly find groups of men. I’m always one to break tradition, so I personally
I recently wrote about Rodney’s Oyster House and Pearl Diver—both seafood restaurants in Toronto—so to close out my Canada series, I’ve got a crab roll recipe for you today. But it’s not your traditional crab roll. It’s crab rolls with a Japanese twist. I have an affinity for wasabi mayo because it’s creamy, clears your sinuses, and goes so well with seafood. I made these crab rolls for a corporate event I did in New York, and they were a hit. I chose crab over lobster because, frankly, I tend
Even after Rodney’s Oyster House, I couldn’t get enough seafood in Toronto. On another evening, I met up Jenna, friend and co-blogger at NMO Diaries, for some ocean eats at Pearl Diver. Pearl Diver was sort of a newcomer on the restaurant scene at the time, and I’d heard good things about their seafood circus tower, which is a multi-level platter available for half off during happy hour. We ordered the seafood circus tower as soon as we arrived since it’s a popular item, and we didn’t want to risk
When I tell Canadians some of my favorite raw oysters to consume are the Kumamoto oyster—hailing from the West coast but originally from Japan, mildly briny, moderately sweet, medium in size—they gasp and say, “Oh no…Prince Edward Island oysters are the best!” I believe in equal opportunity. I love all oysters, even those fat, briny Gulf Coast oysters poo-pooed by so many. (Hey, don’t knock my third coast!) Anywhere I go, if the region is known for oysters, I’ll most likely be slurping down a few. (Okay, maybe more than
My papa-in-law loves crab, so for an early Father’s Day, the hubs and I made white pepper crab for my in-laws. It was perfect timing because I needed to create a Singaporean-style recipe anyway for the blog, following my recent posts on Singapore. While white pepper crab falls behind chile crab and black pepper crab in terms of popularity, I found its flavor to be quite nice—not too overbearing in the heat department, a little sweet and salty, a bit of umami. And living near the Gulf of Mexico, I
While filming MasterChef Vietnam season 3, I met some folks from the Singapore Tourism Board; their job was to help the producers obtain permits for on-site shoots and make sure things ran smoothly during filming. As we were wrapping our first day’s shoot, Glenn and Junnie invited me to dinner to try some traditional Singaporean dishes. Of course, I said yes. How could I resist? On my travels, I love discovering new foods through the tastebuds of locals. Everyone talks about chile crab or chicken with rice when they talk
It seems every city we visited in the UK and Ireland had a rendition of the good ol’, popular fish ’n chips. It’s no wonder, because the stuff is quick, easy, cheap, filling, and delicious. Fish ’n chips may be a British-born dish, but I grew up eating at Long John Silver’s, which has a similar offering of fried seafood and fried potatoes (called “fries” in the U.S. And “chips” in the UK and Ireland—and in case you are wondering, what Americans call “chips” are known as “crisps” over there).
I’m back after my two-week hiatus! I was on holiday in the UK and Ireland—it was the first international vacation I’d taken in three years and long overdue. As expected, I consumed voraciously, but that will all come in another entry. Today, I’m continuing my suggestions for Houston eats. My first entry on this series logged where I took my pops when he was visiting, and the most recent entry focused on Vietnamese and Chinese food on Bellaire. In this third part of the Houston series, we’re eating more dishes
One of my favorite foods to eat in Vietnam, cua rang me—crabs sautéed in tamarind—is a humble yet glorious dish prized for its freshness and balance of flavor. It’s best eaten with the hands and a chilled lager (or three), followed by a hearty serving of French bread, which is broken off the community loaf and use to mop the vibrant, sweet sauce. A fond memory of childhood summers is weekend trips to the Gulf Coast, where in addition to playing in the murky brown water, I’d help my parents
Following my early July 2014 trip to Vietnam where I attended the KOTO fundraising gala, I returned to Saigon just a few weeks later to do another guest appearance on MasterChef Vietnam season 2 and work with the show’s sponsor, Knorr Vietnam. You know I can’t go to Vietnam without eating Saigon, so here’s what I had this time around.