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Vietnamese

Before coming to Vietnam, I ran a contest for a food guide in Ho Chi Minh City, and the winner was Kyle Le, a Vietnamese-American YouTuber now living in HCMC. As expected, we did a lot of food-hopping, from chao via (duck congee) to banh con (steamed rice rolls, which I should add is John’s favorite Vietnamese dish) to (cuc chien bo (butter-fried quail). For the record, the duck congee with offal was excellent, the rice rolls were pretty fantastic, and the quail was decent, except for the fact that

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

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

Today, my mama would’ve turned 68 if she was still alive. In honor of her birthday, I’m sharing this video. The backstory: I was contacted by this talented filmmaker, Andrew Gooi, earlier this year. Formerly a civil engineer, Andrew recently decided to pursue his passion for film and food full-time. Food Talkies is his current project, and “Food From Home” is a new mini-docu film collection that captures personal food stories. Andrew flew to my hometown of Houston in July and shot two short films with me: it was a

Let me be the first to tell you, Chuc mung nam moi! You should know by now that means “Happy new year in Vietnamese. Today is lunar new year, and this time, it’s the year of the monkey. Monkeys are known to be intelligent and sly, both very true of my monkey cousin who is a litigation lawyer in New York. Hehe! Ever since college, once I had my own space, I’ve loved entertaining. From summer barbecues at the college apartment pool to the luau at my first house after

As promised, this week, I’m delving into foods my hometown of Houston is known for. Of course, being Asian-American and having grown up near an abundance of local Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants (also known as Bellaire Blvd.), I have to talk about the wide variety and quality of east Asian cuisine we’re lucky to call our own. First, a short history of the Vietnamese diaspora: in the 1980s, the first Vietnamese to settle in this city made the area near Hobby airport in south Houston their home. That’s where you’ll

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

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