Cà Ri Mực Curry Squid – 123 of 365

Curry Squid

Finally, we once again sample Vietnamese food as it should be in its natural habitat.  Proper glorious Vietnamese food…   Amazing amounts of Vietnamese food everywhere…  I think you get the picture.  Being back home in Saigon searching out meals off the tourist trail has certainly put me back in my element after our detour through the US.   Noisy, colorful, chaotic Saigon once again draws me in and envelops me in an indescribible atmosphere found nowhere else on Earth.  The overloads of flavor are bringing my tastebuds out of hibernation, and the spiciness of my first lunch back is still making them sing.

Wandering down Nguyen Huu Canh Street in search of somewhere new snagged a street food joint full of locals off a side street near my apartment tower.  As to the name of this open front shophouse I have no clue since a name posted on the normally customary awning is strangely absent.  The address is a bit murky, too.  It’s 135/8 Nguyen Huu Canh but it’s actually on a side street off actual Nguyen Huu Canh.  I can’t say anything other than it’s a blue striped awning in tatters across from a pharmacy and next to a coffee shop.  All I know is the food is amazing and the whole experience exuded that street food grit and authenticity so lacking the past week in America.  Yes, I am home.  My food journey is back on track.

Normally I would only eat one lunch entrée, but today I chose two to make up for lost time.  What’s an extra fifty cents anyway?  Well, for many Vietnamese a lot, and that fact is never lost on me as I nip around the fringes of their daily lives.  For some reason I have been craving squid, and a curry version along with a squid salad allowed me to properly pig out.   The little rings of white meat were not too soft and not too rubbery in the curry dish,  and the perfectly steamed rice was like a million grains of canvas waiting to drink in that sharp reddish sauce.  A nice fish sauce based dressing coated cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and pinkish squid bits in the salad I hope to recreate in my own kitchen.

Squid Salad

Being back in Saigon is wonderful. I could have laid atop that metal table in the fan cooled restaurant and let the food girl administer an intravenous drip of nuoc cham to cleanse away all that crappy Vietnamese food in America.  Each bite of squid was like an antibiotic killing any remnants of past meals in Atlanta.  Hopefully a week of this regimen will erase any memories of what I have eaten, especially that microwave pho.  I still shudder.

With a proper meal now coursing through my entire body, my senses are  reinvigorated.  I am ready to once again chow my way deep into Saigon.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

One Comment on “Cà Ri Mực Curry Squid – 123 of 365”

  1. April 17, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    “Being back in Saigon is wonderful. I could have laid atop that metal table in the fan cooled restaurant and let the food girl administer an intravenous drip of nuoc cham to cleanse away all that crappy Vietnamese food in America.”
    LOL! Welcome back to Viet Nam.
    I am in America myself at this point, and I am really missing Viet Nam and the healthy food. I can hardly wait to return.
    I understand fully your enthusiasm for being back in Saigon.

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