Tag Archives: vietnam

my pre-summer vacation

Back in mid-May, I went on a 3-week vacation with O to Vietnam and Japan. It was his first time in Vietnam, my first time meeting his dad AND our first long international trip alone together. No pressure, right? :) Nah, we had such a blast (despite a few mishaps here and there). It was definitely a food trip for us. We (well, mainly me) made a list of all the food and/or places we wanted to eat in each location we stayed at. And needless to say, we almost hit 10 out of 10 spots. The weather was great most of the time (we caught the beginning of the raining season), and we got to enjoy some beautiful beaches in both countries. It’s been over a month since we came back and I’m STILL craving/missing the food we ate, especially in Japan.

Below are some photos I took (I decided not to bring my DLSR this time and took everything on my iPhone 4s). For the rest of the photos from the trip, click here. You will see that 90% of my photos were of the food we ate. Can’t you tell that I want to become a foodie? :-)

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vietnam 2012

My two weeks trip to Vietnam was relaxing, satisfying and a whole lot better this time around. I was filled with great food, the beach, cheap massages, hot weather and good company. But, boy do I hate flying!

See more photos.

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vietnam

During my trip to Vietnam several weeks ago, I had a chance to see a couple of my good friends who had moved there {from Seattle} for work. Can’t say that I’m not envious! I would love to live and work {at least for a year} in Vietnam someday.

These photos were taken at Ho Tram Beach Resort & Spa in Vung Tau. We only wanted to use their beach to relax and nap for a few hours. :-) I really enjoyed this quiet and free-of-tourists beach, but not so much the long bumpy ride to get there {~3 hours, one-way}.

These adorable and {naturally} tiny kitties below belong to my eldest aunt. There are four of them: three brown and one orange tabby. Sadly, they were taken in only to catch the rats in the house.

Pets in Vietnam aren’t as loved and appreciated as the ones here, so they’re not used to the affection I was trying to give them. I wish I could bring one back with me!

Have a good weekend, everyone! Meowr.

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rice noodle rolls w/ pork & mushrooms

If you like exploring new {noodles} recipes, try making this Vietnamese homemade rice noodle rolls. I’ve never made them because my aunt just makes them for us instead. =) And they’re so good! You can also substitute the pork filling with (minced) shrimp or other types of meat/mushrooms. My aunt usually makes the rolls with fried shallots topped with Vietnamese ham called cha lua, along with fresh herbs. Very simple, but very tasty.

This recipe comes from Luke Nguyen, an acclaimed Vietnamese-Australian chef and owner of Red Lantern in Sydney. I enjoy watching his cooking show, Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam, where he travels across the country to explore and cook local Vietnamese cuisine. He is also the co-founder of Little Lantern Foundation, a non-proft organization that helps disadvantaged and under-educated youths in central Vietnam improve their lives through vocational training programs in the restaurant, hospitality and tourism industry.

Rice Noodle Rolls Filled w/ Pork & Wood Ear Mushrooms

4 dried wood ear mushrooms
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 lb rice flour
1/4 tapioca flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 red asian shallots, diced
1/2 lb minced pork
1/2 tsp sugar
1 lb pork terrine, finely sliced
2 lebanese (short) cucumbers, sliced into batons
1 bunch fresh vietnamese mint, leaves plucked
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves plucked
1/2 lb mung bean sprouts
2 tbsp fried red asian shallots
1 cup fish sauce
2 bird’s eye chili, sliced

Put the mushrooms in a bowl, cover with water and soak for 20 minutes, then drain and slice thinly.

To make the batter, combine rice flour, tapioca flour and salt with 2 1/2 cup of cold water. Whisk until the flour dissolves and forms a smooth batter.

Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat, then add 2 tbsp oil. Fry the garlic and shallots until fragrant, then add the pork, mushrooms, fish sauce, sugar, and pinch of salt and pepper. Stir-fry for 4 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Brush a round tray with oil and place beside the stove. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, and add enough oil to coat the base of the pan. Pour a small ladle-size (2 to 3 tbsp) batter into the pan, turning the pan in a circular motion to cover the base with a thin layer of batter. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 30 seconds.

Remove the lid and slide the thin noodle sheet onto your oiled tray. Scoop 1 tbsp pork mixture onto the noodle sheet, fold 2 sides in, then fold over to form a roll. Transfer to a plate. Repeat this process using the remaining batter and pork mixture, adding oil to the pan as necessary.

Top the rolls with pork terrine, fresh herbs, bean sprouts, fried shallots, and cucumber. Dress with fish sauce and serve with sliced chili.

{Image and recipe from Cooking Channel: Luke Nguyen}

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