VietNamNet Bridge - We call it an qua or qua chieu - a snack between meals or afternoon snack. Every Vietnamese child has grown up with qua chieu in their kindergarten years. Many years ago, during times of economic hardship, a qua chieu could have been something as simple as half a banana. As times changed and got better, the qua chieu tradition has continued, but the snacks have changed. Now, for the kids, it can be a choux à là crème with a small tetrapack of milk, or a slice of watermelon, or half a banana. And for the adults, it is an afternoon tea session, trying out small goodies between sips of tea. The number of places we enjoy a really leisurely afternoon tea session has mushroomed over the years. One of them opened just last month in a beautiful French villa at the corner of Yet Kieu and Nguyen Du Street in downtown Ha Noi. As with the new wave of tea houses in town, Cocoon Café and Lounge seems to be a destination for the yuppies, young and professionally successful, who've … [Read more...] about ‘Cocooned’ for tea, staying for dinner
Rice dishes for dinner
VietNamNet Bridge – Travelling along the coast, tourists can taste famous rice dishes, from com lam of the northwestern region to com hen of the ancient capital city of Hue to com nieu and com tam of the southern region. Com lam (rice in bamboo tube) The bamboo chosen should be fresh and young so that the new membrane inside the tube can wrap the rice, adding a special flavor, fragrance and sweetness. To prepare the rice, first fill the tube with about 80% of rice and 10 % of water, in favor of water inherent in bamboo, then adding a little coconut water to make the rice more pleasant; wrap the tube with banana leaves and then burn it on fire until it smells pleasant. When it is done, the singed skin of the bamboo is removed, leaving a thin cover that is also peeled away when you eat. The fragrance of fresh bamboo, banana leaves and sticky rice as well as the sweet flavor of rice, bamboo, and coconut, and the saltiness of sesameor the great taste of grilled wild boar will … [Read more...] about Six rice dishes you should try in Vietnam
What makes bun cha, the Vietnamese dish which U.S. President Barack Obama had for dinner on his first night in the Vietnamese capital on Monday, a delicacy of Hanoi people? bun cha is a dish made from very simple ingredients. It is comprised of two main simple parts, bun (white rice noodles) and cha (grilled pork and meatballs), and always served with vegetables and dipping sauce made from fish sauce, carrot and green papaya. A combo of bun cha could also be complete with an optional dish of nem cua be (crab spring rolls). A classical meal Becoming a favorite of many northerners, the dish could be found everywhere in Hanoi from an outlet on the sidewalk, a storefront, or a stall at a market to a restaurant, and is easy to be made at home as well. Being favored by Vietnamese people, the noodle dish has also become a choice for many tourists coming to the country, and been recommended by travel and cuisine sites. Last year, a story about street food in Vietnam of The New … [Read more...] about What makes bun cha a Hanoi must-try that Obama ate for dinner?
It is easy to find a Da Nang footpath stall that sells bun cha ca. The fish cake soup means the same in the city as the rice paddie crab soup does in Ha Noi. It's breakfast for everyone and lunch for those who can't afford a rice meal. Nguyen My Ha reportsThe central coastline of Viet Nam is blessed with beautiful beaches. From Lang Co Bay near Hue down to Da Nang and further south to Phan Rang and Phan Thiet, the local cuisine stands out with lots of seafood and delicious varieties fish and shrimp dishes. If you land on a street in Da Nang, chances that you'll see a sidewalk stall selling bun cha ca are high. The fish cake soup in Da Nang is like the rice paddie crab soup for Ha Noi. It is the breakfast for all and the lunch for some who can't afford a proper lunch with rice. Of all the bun cha ca stalls in Da Nang, we tried several streetside stalls, yet the one named Ba Hon in an alley off Nguyen Chi Thanh Road really stood out. Food stalls in the big alleys always make you feel … [Read more...] about Fish cake soup ideal dish for a rainy day
Sometimes in the late afternoon I go to An Khue Quan restaurant on Le Lai Street, Ho Chi Minh City for some light traditional fare. An Khue Quan offers such a large variety - literally hundreds of dishes - of Vietnamese specialties from various regions that one could eat there for ages without having to repeat an order. It is a three-story restaurant with simple, black wooden tables. The first and second floors offer nice park views. The menu is in both Vietnamese and English. My friend usually orders bun cha Ha Noi (Hanoi-style grilled pork served with sweet and sour sauce and vermicelli) and kho quet (a popular southern country-style dish including boiled vegetables served with a special sauce). Sometimes she orders a small dish, a throwback to our childhood, like bi cuon (rolls of sliced pork skin served with roasted nut and special sauce). She says bun cha Ha Noi is one of the best dishes at An Khue Quan. Naturally, since she eats it all the time. But she may be right since … [Read more...] about A dish a day at An Khue Quan