Posts in Tag

travel

On the heels of one of my trips to Vietnam, here’s another fun video from my YouTube where I do a true blind taste test. Last time, I tried snacks from various parts of Asia. This time, the hubs found a Korean market in Ho Chi Minh City and picked up a bunch of Korean snacks. I tasted each food item, tried to guess what it was, and gave my honest review. The Vietnamese are obsessed with Korean culture (likely due to the popularity of Korean dramas in Vietnam), and

Missed connections are inconvenient, but you just gotta learn to make lemonade. When our Japan Airlines flight out of Ho Chi Minh City was delayed several hours, we inevitably missed our connection in Narita. This turned our layover into an overnighter. Initially, we contemplated buying a Narita Express ticket into Tokyo but soon learned Tokyo was not as 24/7 as New York City. We decided to stay put in Narita, opting for a short cab ride to downtown for a quick bite at McDonald’s. (I always like to see how

To heck if I know. I had banana wine for the first time on this trip to Vietnam when Kyle Le took John and me to eat goat. My guess is it’s fermented banana juice. It was very mild with only a hint of banana. I personally prefer my alcohol more robust. Always happy to try new things, though. Our Vietnam trip was winding down, and the hubs and I tried to get in as much last-minute trying of new things as we could. From high-end sushi to goat breast

Perhaps my busiest day in Saigon was the day I had three back-to-back events to attend. In the morning, I had the launch and signing of the Vietnamese translation of my cookbook, Nau Bang Ca Trai Tim, which translates as “cook with all your heart.” (Yes, the Vietnamese publisher changed my title entirely to make it more suitable for the Vietnamese audience.) Then in the afternoon, I stopped by a university to promote my popcorn line, Uncle Jax and do a photo op with the students. Lastly, a meeting with

I’ve written about Cua Ba Chi before, but since it’s one of my favorite places to eat in Saigon, I’m dedicating today’s entire post to this very special crab stall. I first learned about this spot from my parents, who took us there for the hubs’s 30th birthday back in 2013. We’ve all since fallen in love with the cua rang me, or tamarind crab. Since it can be too sweet for my palate, I now request less sugar in the sauce, just like I do with my boba. (You

During my trip to Vietnam, I did a fan meet-up at iKem, the only shop in Vietnam making ice cream using liquid nitrogen. My cousins started the business and invited me to create some of the in-store flavors. I designed two: honey lavender (the recipe can be found in my cookbook) and matcha green tea. iKem appeals to children and teenagers because of the novel liquid nitrogen process. The fact that ice cream is frozen amidst a cloud of billowing smoke makes it Instagram-Worthy, and nowadays, that seems to be

This travel vlog is a perfect demonstration of how Vietnam today is at the intersection of the old and the new. We’ve got a man pan-frying crabs in a wok on the sidewalk, cigarette dangling from his lips, sandals on his feet. Then across town, we’ve got teenagers making ice cream using liquid nitrogen. Vietnam is an emerging market, and this is apparent when you visit. Why I love Vietnam: iKem. My family has a liquid nitrogen ice cream shop, and I get to exercise my culinary creativity by creating

Because I was born and raised in America, when I meet Vietnamese elders, they are often surprised that: (1) I can speak Vietnamese, and (2) I not only can eat, but love to eat, Vietnamese food. Then when I say I even love mam tom and mam nem, they are shocked. This is because mam tom and mam nem are the stinkiest of stinky sauces. If you thought nuoc mam, or fish sauce, was bad, wait till you get a whiff of this purple stuff! Truthfully, I love these pungent

Bun bo Hue is one of my favorite Vietnamese noodle soups of all time. The broth consists of beef, pork, lemongrass, chiles, and shrimp paste, making it a balance of sweet, sour, savory, and spicy. It’s amazing! We hung out with Summer of Danang Cuisine, and the first of two meals we had together was this noodle soup at Bun Bo Hue Ba Dieu. The shop tends to close on a whim if the pot’s run dry, so I was relieved when we arrived shortly after sunset, and they said

There are two, maybe three, dishes you definitely need to try in Hoi An: cao lau Madame Khanh’s banh mi mi Quang (optional) Cao lau Cao lau literally translates as “high floor.” Legend has it that back in the day when Hoi An was colonized by the French, those with money ate on the higher floors, and this dried noodle dish, full of fresh herbs and greens, was popular for its light, refreshing flavors. Today, tradition continues, and to eat this dish, you have to climb up to the restaurant’s

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