Archive | January, 2012

Gummichicken – 21 of 365

My hope…Succulent medallions of braised free range chicken pan seared with a savory blend of herbs and spices carefully paired with the freshest locally sourced Dalat vegetables.   Accompanied by a bed of the freshest steamed Mekong Delta rice. My Reality…Never before seen cuts of the bird wrapped in fatty, spongy, gelatinous skin swimming in a sticky brown sauce.   Plopped atop […]

Cà Nhồi Thịt Pork Meat Balls – 20 of 365

These aren’t your Italian Nonna’s meatballs by any stretch of the imagination.  Sorry Nonna, I just might prefer Grandma Phuong’s Vietnamese version a little more.  And speaking of Grandma Phuong, does Vietnam have the stereotype of a wizened old woman cooking away like our own visions of granny back home?   But I digress…Another day and another dollar spent at […]

Gà Xào Xả ớt Lemongrass Chili Chicken – 19 of 365

Anything and everything can be delivered right to my door high above Saigon, and I must admit the availability of cheap, tasty food is addictive.   Sometimes a long day of flying the crazy skies just drains me, and arriving home knowing it starts all over again the next day with a 4am alarm sucks out whatever is left.  A guy’s […]

Cà phê sữa đá Vietnamese Coffee – 18 of 365

Just because an order of Vietnamese coffee doesn’t have a creepy looking green goddess on the cup and cost over five bucks doesn’t mean it’s any less a beverage.  In fact, it’s so much more.   A 45 cent local variety called cà phê sữa đá seems to fuel an entire nation along with my friends whom I’ve watched enthusiastically drink it for over a year […]

Bắp Nướng Grilled Corn – 17 of 365

While the alley to the left of my apartment tower is Egg Lady’s domain from sun up to late afternoon, sunset brings Corn Girl and her mobile cart into the alley at our right.   Two of my friends and a neighbor had assured me her corn and sweet potatoes grilled up streetside are both good and safe.  Corn Girl […]

Bánh ít Lá Gai – 16 of 365

Sometimes the most mundane of journeys can unexpectedly veer off the trail into a world previously unknown to us.   All this time I have been flying back and forth between Saigon and seaside Quy Nhon on the same route following the same script and never knew a whole underworld of leaf wrapped snacks awaited below.  I have made the most random (well, […]

Chernobyl Cakes – 15 of 365

My Spanish friend Eloy has nicknamed the little snacks on our shorter flights “Chernobyl Cakes” due to their frightfully artificial green glow.   The catering slip in the galley tells us we have Pandan Coconut Cakes on board, and armed with this bit of information, I commenced some research into the intricacies of  Vietnamese snack cakes with my coworkers.  […]

Szechuan Pork on a Plane – 14 of 365

Remember in the not too distant past when Delta Air Lines somehow dared serve hot meals to 302 Orlando bound passengers on a one hour flight from Atlanta?  Fast forward 15 years to present day Vietnam where we can board a plane and jet back in time.  Does anyone really remember how that Delta lasagna tasted […]

Thịt Heo Nướng Grilled Pork – 13 of 365

The mostly lowrise sprawl behind my apartment tower is without question a world apart from all the modern trappings we enjoy inside our easy living bubble.   Some post workday  wanderlust drove me out of the compound, and an hour wandering aimlessly around these back alleys proved to be ultimately fruitful.  Smoke from a grill set […]

Fried Rice With Ocean Pieces – 12 of 365

The dish is actually crab fried rice but some of my Vietnamese friends have in the past referred to it as “fried rice with ocean pieces.”  I rather like their name better as it conjures up a little more local color.   Our cabin crew call ahead to Phu Quoc Island prior to our departure from Saigon and about 45 minutes later […]