Sườn Nướng Vietnamese Spare Ribs – 68 of 365

BBQ Done Right

Arguing who knows barbecue best almost seems a sport in America…Texas, North Carolina, Memphis, Uncle Bob and so on.  Once we narrow down a region, who can even decide which is better…dry rub, vinegar, tomato based, and more.   The debate rages on with no end in sight.   Even Bobby Flay has four shows on the Food Network dedicated to this slice of Americana.   I guarantee you though his BBQ With Bobby Flay or Boy Meets Grill won’t take us deep into Saigon.

Yes.  Saigon…the city where we can’t walk down a sidewalk without dodging a red hot grill.   Imagine the class action lawsuit in America when Grandma Mavis’s walker flips a hibachi into the middle of Main Street.  But back to who has the best barbecue out there.   Let’s just stop all this foolishness now.  The finest grilled meats really are here (outside of my mom’s babyback ribs with homemade sauce).   I don’t think Saigonians even realize their simple street food has elevated charred pig to new heights in comparison to meats lathered up in bottled sauce back home.

Let’s examine this.   Does any society foisting the McRib Sandwich upon the world really know barbecue??!!   Come to think it, years ago a friend’s dog vacuumed up half my McRib that had fallen on the floor.   She later repaid the present in spades by blowing it out her back end all night long.   If a yellow lab can’t hack factory formed rib product, what’s it doing to us?  Oh wait.  Morgan Spurlock’s expanding waistline answered that in Supersize Me so never mind.  But I digress.

Grill On The Sidewalk

Some countries just know how to grill, and the very simplicity of my thịt nướng lunch at District 1’s Quan Loan is what makes a pink pig shine.  Small ribs marinated in soy, red chilis, lemongrass, sugar and probably fish sauce tasted so fresh and light.  How many chemicals and ingredients fill a plastic bottle of sauce back home?   I am afraid to count, but in the name of convenience we marginalize that pig whose untimely demise should offer us up a tasty meat treat.  How hard is throwing together a few fresh ingredients ingredients like our Vietnamese friends over here?

The same grill heating the table to new heights caramelizes the spare ribs into crispy charred shells holding in some soft juicy pig.  Each bite sends taste buds into a sweet, sour, salt and spice frenzy.   The combination of sour minced lemongrass and heat laden chili peppers adds depth to the seared meat no amount of Hickory Smoke BBQ sauce ever could.  Were a celebrity chef to duplicate this street recipe, he could plate up 6 of these things, charge $20, and call it a day.  Luckily for us Loan on Ly Tu Trong Street in District 1 charges just under $4…quite a bit for a local Vietnamese restaurant but worth every penny.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

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