Tag Archives: Vietnamese food

The Creped Crusader

When I married my husband (almost 10 years ago), I married into a culture with some of the most amazing food I have ever tasted. One of my favorite shows – No Reservations – has featured Vietnamese food on more than three episodes. Anthony Bourdain has travelled all over the world and where does he want to live? Vietnam.

One of my favorite dishes we have learned to cook is Banh Xeo. It is a crepe that is flavored with coconut milk and turmeric. Add to it shrimp, pork belly (or bacon), onion, bean sprouts and mushrooms. It took us a while to perfect the recipe but here is one recipe to watch – Banh Xeo tutorial.

To thoroughly enjoy we wrapped part of the crepe in a baby mustard green leaf with fresh herbs (basil, mint and a spade-shaped leaf) and dipped in nuoc mum sauce (fish sauce mixed with water, sugar, lime juice, garlic and of course hot peppers).

So while this has absolutely nothing to do with hands I just could not resist sharing the feast we had last night. I love my husband for many reasons and yes – food is one of them.

The kids (ages 6 & 3) have not embraced banh xeo yet. They do however LOVE nuoc mum and the youngest has been known to through a mini tantrum if there is not enough on her rice. In fact she will not touch rice unless it has fish sauce on it. I’m ok with the fact that they eye the crispy crepes with suspicion. That just means more for us!

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Chuc Mung Nam Moi! AKA – Happy New Year

If we lived in Vietnam we would still be celebrating Tet, the lunar new year. We would be traveling to the homes of friends and family, eating amazing food, and watching our children collect the little red envelopes with money in them. But we are in the US and my in-laws live on the south side of the States.

I miss Ba and Me on holidays like this. I miss the stronger connection they have with Vietnamese traditions and memories. But we still celebrate. We took my very American parents to a Vietnamese restaurant owned by a friend. We watched my parents clean their plates and praise the food. We watched my friend’s young son chase our daughter around the tables and listened to the laughter and squeals.  We might as well have been in a friend’s home.

We called Ba and Me and my 6 year old son proudly stated the phrase he had practicing all day, the phrase it took me 7 years to pronounce right “Chuc Mung Nam Moi!”

We handed our kids a little red envelope and we took pictures of them in their new clothes. I know that I cannot make the same traditions and memories my husband grew up with but I am blessed by the new. I watch my husband as he watches the kids carefully open their envelopes and I know that he is blessed too.

So to all the people who stumble across this blog I wish you a new year full of joy and peace, prosperity and health.

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