This is How we Roll in Saigon

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


vietnamese_food_guide

Traveling for about 2 weeks now in this country, I have made my conclusion.

The Vietnamese love to play with their food. They roll, fold, mix, tear up leaves and add a few of this and a little bit of that (this being chili and that being ginger) until the food is to their liking.

You can't have more fun playing with Vietnamese food than with Pho and Spring Rolls.

Go Pho It: Saigon's Comfort Food

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This dish, pronounced like 'fur' without the r at the end, starts with a bowl of fresh leaves. Mung bean sprouts (toge), mint leaves (oh the Vietnamese love their mints), basil, lettuce, cucumber, carrots. You'll be left wondering why these uncooked ingredients are on your table. Shouldn't they have been mixed in boiling water along with all the ingredients to, you know, cook it? Isn't that the point of making soup?

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But no, the Vietnamese don't roll like that. After the leaves, they bring out the broth with your choice of meat: bo (beef) or ga (chicken). Once you have your steaming hot bowl in front of you, the fun begins.

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Pho is like one of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books you read back in elementary. If you add mint leaves, bean sprouts and lettuce, it would change the end of your story. If you choose to add chili, then you've got a thriller right there. But unlike those adventure books, the good thing about Pho is that there's absolutely no bad ending.

It would taste hella good, no matter what you do.


DIY Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls

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Who would've thought that a layer of wrapper (like those for lumpia only thinner) rolled with bean sprouts, mint leaves, glassy noodles and shrimp flakes cooked on a sugar cane could produce an orgasm of flavors in your mouth that you never knew existed?

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Sometimes, pictures don't really say a thousand words. So here's a video of our new friend, Scrambled Edge, showing us how to roll it, Vietnamee style.

Warning: Some words used in the following video may not be suitable for very young audience. Parental discretion is advised.


Don't be intimidated when you come to Vietnam and you see all these weird-looking stuff on your table. No, the Vietnamese haven't mistaken you for a rabbit. Or a cow. These are actually the secret ingredients to Vietnamese cuisine.

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I found another secret: You can do NO wrong with Vietnamese food.  Mix a little or a lot, add this or don't add that. It really doesn't matter. I guarantee that your DIY creation would be the most wonderful thing you've ever tasted.

Now sipping her 20th bowl of Pho,
Sole Sister Chichi

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8 sole trails

  1. Yum! Pho and spring rolls are actually my family's staple brunch meal. Please show some Vietnamese coffee and bhan mi next! =)

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  2. Yum! Pho and spring rolls are actually my family's staple brunch meal. Please show some Vietnamese coffee and bhan mi next! =)

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  3. oh man! sabi na nga I should have not click this entry. nagcrave na naman ako ng authentic pho and spring roll! =(

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  4. We couldn't get enough of them Graciel! Watch out for Sole Food, Vietnam edition. We're definitely featuring the two things that now run in my blood ;)

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  5. Sorry for making you drool Chyng! They are really awesome eh?

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  6. | a good way to appreciate Vietnamese food. Thanks Sole Sisters!

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  7. I'm drooling right now *gulp* . Food is vital !

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  8. We miss you Mr Rodrigo! Thanks for dropping by!

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