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Cừu ướp nước lựu / Lamb chops with pomegranate reduction

Oanh dreamt up this dish while we were brainstorming what to cook for her parents over Thanksgiving. We love lamb but it is a rarity in Vietnamese cooking and therefore always a novelty that we want to introduce to our parents. We’ve previously tried to pair lamb with tamarind, which were intriguing but could be improved. Pairing lamb with pomegranate produced a better blending of flavors while accentuating the flavor of the meat. We know the pairing worked because the chops were served to lamb skeptics and the plates were eaten clean even of the pomegranate reduction that was rich in lamb flavor.

Cừu ướp nước lựu / Lamb chops with pomegranate reduction (foreground)

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Bánh Đập Pháp Việt (French-Vietnamese grilled Époisses rice crackling)

We’re excited to present this recipe which combines infamous delicacies from Vietnamese and French cuisine. We’re huge fans of a Burgundy cheese called Époisses, a cheese so potent it’s supposedly (apocryphally?) banned from public transportation. The first time we had it, we immediately thought “Oh, this smells like mắm (salty fermented fish/seafood)!” In our take on the north-central dish bánh đập, we finally had a chance to combine Époisses with mắm to astonishingly harmonious effects. In the process, we had crystallized for us a concept we’ve always been aware of regarding food, but never seen so vivid a demonstration thereof.

Bánh đập with melted Époisses


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Winterizing our herbs garden : An experiment with hydroponics

We’ve only had one night of frost so far but that was enough to kill all our outdoor tía tô (perilla) plants. Luckily, we’ve already started winterizing our herbs garden. This year, we’re experimenting with hydroponically growing our herbs indoor with the hope that more godlike control over our plants’ world will keep us well supplied with fresh herbs until next spring. Growing hydroponically is a technique for growing plants without soil, with well defined nutrients solutions delivered directly to plant roots. Another advantage for us is the ability to heat up the nutrient solution coursing through the system and keep the plants warm in spite of the cold air temperature in the apartment. Lay the nutrient tubing underneath the other pots and even the non-hydroponic plants will have warm happy feet!

Winter garden : (front) tía tô / perilla, rau răm / Vietnamese coriander, lá chua / sorrel, kinh giới / Vietnamese balm. More of the same in the back & various húng varieties / basil and mints.

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Check out our posters for the upcoming Sunnyvale Farmers’ Market

We are so excited to get these cute posters from our talented designer Hue Nguyen. Look for these when you visit the Sunnyvale Farmers’ Market this weekend (and enjoy them here if you can’t stop by)

Tofu misozuke poster

And we are particularly in love with this cutie!

Dairy-free mice poster

A reminder: stop by our booth at the Sunnyvale Farmers’ Market in downtown Sunnyvale (Murphy Ave @ Washington) between 9am and 1pm on Saturdays starting from this Saturday November 5th for yummy and rare delicacies.