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Updates on Nem Chua and San Francisco Street Food Fest

Oof, it’s been a crazy hectic couple of weeks leading up to the San Francisco Street Food Fest. Thanks again to everyone for voting Rau Om and our Nem Chua into the craziest crowdedliest food fest we’ve ever seen. Thanks also to everyone who stopped by during the Food Fest. We’ve heard from many Vietnamese that nem chua was too much of a delicacy for non-Southeast Asian taste, so we were glad to get such positive response from people who tasted nem chua for the first time at the food fest. We can’t tell you how many times we were asked where our restaurant was, and had to reply that for now Nem Chua and other items were available by mail-order only, but that we’ll be coming soon to Sunnyvale Farmers’ market. After a day to recover from our crazy adventure, time to get back to work to prepare for this next phase, with hopefully more of this:

Heeheehee, money...

Oh yeah, we’ve got more pictures from the Street Food Fest – thanks to Lainey for being our official photographer. She’s also in the middle in the picture above – I don’t know how that worked. Also thanks to Viet and Huong for stopping by and helping to direct people to our frequently obscured booth.

Our standard, mascot, and logo were all awesome designs by Hue.

But before we get to more pictures from yesterday, we’d like to give a shout-out to Real-Time Farms, a foodie social network / “crowd-sourced online food guide” founded by our friend Karl. It’s a great platform for farmers, food artisans, and foodies to track ingredients from farms to markets or restaurants – so join up if you’d like to know where your food came from. (We’ll be on there soon, too!) We had reached out to Karl during the Street Food Fest voting and he was kind enough to pass the word on to the rest of his team. We were then asked if we would like to do a guest post on Rediscovering the Art of Making Vietnamese Cured Meat, which of course we did. Thanks to Lindsay-Jean for giving us the opportunity. We love talking about food!

Oanh talking about nem chua - wait what is she wearing?

Oanh with a boat of nem chua and modeling Rau Om's new t-shirt

A look of mild panic perhaps, trying to get the orders out?

Nah, it's all good. Keep directing them this way, Oanh!



  1. Glad to hear the Street Food Fest went well!!

  2. So COOL, Rau Om!! Did you get to enjoy some leftover nem? @ Oanh, `i like your T-shirt over ao-dai style.

    • Thanks, Ngan!!! Yep yep…and we ate plenty of nem the night before, too, when a group of us got together to do all the prep work.

      Heheheh….the t-shirt was so nice, I wanted to wear it 😀

      Oh, and do you like my shoe pairing, too? 😛

  3. Oh yeah, the shoes go nicely with the outfit 😉 Did people eat nem chua with sriracha sauce?

    • Hehehe…I was going for max practicality. Yeah, we served nem in a bamboo boat with lettuce, bánh hỏi, rau răm, fish sauce and sriracha sauce.

  4. A vietnamese friend of mine asked me to make him a recipe he remembers from his childhood and you posting on The Real Time Farms Blog was the first recipe I was able to locate that didn’t call for the ubiquitos seasoning packet. But alas, no recipe! Are you able to share your recipe and method, I’d love to make this for my friend for Tet.


    • Whoops, sorry Jered. We were too busy with Tet and didn’t see your message. Unfortunately, we do not have a robust enough recipe for nem chua to be made at home. Those powder packets really went a long way in making the process foolproof. The traditional method on the other hand is very finicky especially given what’s likely available at a home kitchen. That said if you’d like to give it a go, look up our sources – we eventually derived our nem chua method by adapting the recipe for Laotian som moo, for which some traditional recipes are available. Although be forewarned that it took some trial and error before we could get the som moo recipe working either to start adapting.
      Best of luck!