Macaroni, Beef, and Egg Stir Fry – 266 of 365

Macaroni, Beef, and Egg

One of the best perks of living in Saigon is the never ending circus out in the streets.  Walking around here never gets old and a very early morning walk took me deep into a part of Binh Thanh District I had yet to explore.  Turning left onto a side street I had always assumed led to a dead end actually opened up an entirely new world chock full of gritty street cred.

New shops, new restaurants, new everything greeted me as I rounded a corner.  One thing was the same though.  It exuded noise, dirt, chaos, and every other similar quality I love about Vietnam.  Yes, I thrive on the craziness here and anything less is just plain boring to me now.

A sidewalk street food stand set up at 79 Pham Viet Chanh Street in the shadows of some rundown highrise blocks was doing a brisk business, all the while redefining the concept of takeaway.  Motorbikes would drive up onto the sidewalk, shout out an order to a person standing only three feet away and within minutes be on their way again with a plastic bag of food.

Macaroni Stand

A few miniscule tables and stools littered the sidewalk as well.  And I have to wonder how Vietnamese people think squatting on an ankle high piece of plastic is even remotely comfortable.  I mean this stuff is sold as a very low foot stool in the US and I can’t even imagine an amply proportioned American perched atop one.  And never mind that fact that these things truly are not reinforced to bear the load of an enormous American ass that would for sure hang off it and tickle the ground before collapsing this thing into  a pancake of shrapnel.

I was pleased to see a giant basket of some familiar yellow pasta, and these regular rigatoni like noodles were such a welcome change from the normal rice variants.  This one has it all.  Sodium from the soy sauce, cholesterol and grease from the fried egg, fat from the meat and a huge dose of carbs from the noodles.  I supposed the stir fried bok choy might have some redeeming vitamin qualities but then again the wok probably sucked out any remaining nutrients.

I like this one, especially with the hot sauce poured from a recycled water bottle.   It’s actually like something I might create back home in a pinch were I to assemble leftovers for dinner.   The only problem is no one seems to know what it is called.   The three friends I asked noticed the egg and that addition throws them for a loop.  Two even told me the “good for health” omelet means it was cooked in Saigon.  Well, yes.  I did eat it in Saigon so nothing out of the ordinary there.   So for now I am unable to come up with a proper Vietnamese name.  Even the food joint lacked the ubiquitous hand written sign usually attached to a tree or lamp post.

Why don’t we just create our own description then.   A generous portion of golden hued rigatoni gently sautéed with strips of beef and sliced bok choy.   Or reality…a heap of overcooked noodles stir fried in oil along with super tough cow parts and bok choy.  Whatever we call it, I enjoyed this nice change from the same ole same ole.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

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