Blog and Vietnam travel tips...

“Mon Viet” the flavor of memory

Noodles Bun Bo Hue

This is the first noodle soup that was developed by the mother of “monViet” in the 70’s. By respecting the 14 hours broth boiling process and using the same spices and herbs that the mother has been using from the last 40 years.

Vietnam Rice Plate

Found on every Vietnamese dining table is a bowl of fragrant pandan steamed rice of finely broken grains, accompanied with grilled meat, chef’s special chicken pate, pickles, fried spring onion garnish and served with a delightful sweet fish sauce.

Appetizers

Complicated yet simple, Vietnamese love using all kinds of rice papers, fresh herbs that they could find in their gardens to wrap their favourite filling with lots of vegetables into a finger bite sized rolls, complimented with a particular dipping sauce to taste. The herbs use for our rolls are grown in our secured garden.

Nuoccham ,Vietnamese dipping sauces

Vietnamese people are very particular about their ‘dipping sauces’. They consider a dipping sauce the ‘soul’ of the dish. In a typical family dinner, the mother’s homemade ‘dipping sauce’ is placed in the middle of the table so all can share the dipping sauce together.

Family recipes for dipping sauces are often passed down from one generation to the next. Each Vietnamese dish is accompanied by a different sauce. If the sauce doesn’t compliment the dish well, the whole dish will be spoiled.

The secret of a good dipping sauce is centered around the combination of fish sauce with different amounts of garlic, onion, sugar, chili, lime, vinegar, and pepper.  Even with just a few ingredients, Vietnamese people never stop experimenting with how to make a better dipping sauce and share tips with each other to attain the perfect sauce.

Making a dipping sauce can be as complicated as preparing it a few days in advance or as simple as, making it instantly on the table.  When going out for a bowl of noodle soup, family and friends will invent their dipping sauce at the table by mixing the various ingredients together. People often share the dipping sauce with each other as a way of sharing food, fun, and love.

Chefs Favourites

Some people who visit Vietnam are fascinated with the way Vietnamese eat fresh vegetables and herbs.  Vietnamese people like to eat lots of fresh vegetables and use many different types of fresh herbs in their meals..Fresh herbs are included in almost all Vietnamese dishes, as it’s these herbs that complement the dish with a unique and aromatic taste.

Different herbs will compliment different dishes.  For instance, Pho goes with bean sprouts and Vietnamese basil leaves; Bun Bo Hue goes with prickly coriander (ngo gai), persicaria (rau ram), cabbage or split kang kung (rau muong); Bun Bo Xao will go with many more combinations of delicious herbs, spices and vegetables….

Some people say when they order a Vietnamese dish, they are offered a side plate of fresh vegetables and herbs, and do not know what to do with it. The plate normally consists of bean sprouts, lettuce, basil leaves and some fresh herbs depending on the dish. Vietnamese people use fresh herbs in three ways: used by the cook to adjust the taste with more or less herbs  before serving; mixed to your liking at the table; or used to wrap the food you order, and then dipped into an accompanying sauce.

In fact, you will soon discover that it is the herbs that remind you the taste of the dish when someone mentions it to you. Therefore Vietnamese use fresh herbs to enhance the taste further, though with too many herbs, the food will not have its original taste any longer. In our family, we maintain the authentic Vietnamese taste that has been passed down from generation to generation by bringing our own spices from Vietnam. These we plant and grow fresh herbs in our own garden.

Drinks & Desserts

Vietnamese coffee drinking culture We select and mix the beans the way we would brew them to drink at home. When traveling to Vietnam, visitors are always fascinated by seeing so many Vietnamese people sitting along the street drinking coffee. Vietnam’s coffee culture ranges from street corner coffee stalls to trendy coffee shops in high end shopping malls.  A key part of the coffee culture that fascinates people,is the Vietnamese’s patience in waiting for the coffee to drip through the little ‘phin-ca-phe’, or coffee pot. The coffee pot is made with very small holes to prevent the coffee from dripping too fast. Some people ask why Vietnamese don’t use a coffee machine? The answer is probably that the Vietnamese treasure the rare few relaxed moments in a day to smell the aroma of the coffee, to talk to a friend while waiting for the coffee to be ready, and to stir the coffee with a little spoon while pondering a few meaningful questions in life.

Vietnamese people drink quite thick coffee, usually with sugar or condensed milk. They drink it slowly, the same way the coffee drips. They say the bitterness of the coffee, with a zest of sweetness of sugar or milk is similar tothe way one lives life. It is a wonderful moment at the coffee table sharing time with a friend, enjoying the dripping of coffee and later sipping away the bitter and yet sweet taste of life.

 

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