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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...

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The bamboo boats have arrived!

All 2000 of them! Can’t wait to serve nem chua on them at the upcoming 2011 SF Street Food Fest. See you in a week!!!

bamboo boats


Rau Om’s Nem Chua will be at this year’s SF Street Food Fest

Thank you all for your overwhelming support in the SF Street Food Fest Vote for Your Vendor Contest. We still can’t believe we received 510 votes to be placed in the top 4 and therefore eligible to show off our nem chua at the Fest. We are humbled and touched that so many of you invested your own time, effort, and enthusiasm to spread the word about us far and wide. We got votes from all over the US, from Vietnam, France, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and many more places. Another happy side effect was the chance to catch up and renew so many friendships and make new ones besides.

As promised we are going to send a pack of nem chua to a randomly selected commenter on our previous post – Kristine, there’s a true random number generator out there that likes you.

And now the work begins. Our prototype for the one dish we will share at the Festival includes nem chua as the featured ingredient, supported by fresh herbs and veggies (always with the fresh greens, of course, we’re Vietnamese!), bánh hỏi (fine vermicelli mesh), all served on eco-friendly serving boats made from bamboo leaves.

Prototype of Rau Om's dish at the SF Street Food Fest

The scale of this festival is like nothing we’ve ever seen. The organizers suggested we be prepared to turn out a plate every 15 seconds for 8 hours straight. So, eeep! Still, we’re more excited than overwhelmed. Bird gets to put her operations optimizing skills to work, and this time she is finally accountable for her own recommendations. Unfortunately, this means the blog will be lurching along with less frequent and irregular postings. Please bear with us. We look forward to cooking and posting our ideas and experiments again soon after the SF Street Food Fest is over.

Hope to see many of you on August 20th!


SF Street Food Festival voting & a give-away

We are so excited. Just as we finalized our nem chua packaging, we found out about the SF Street Food Festival. The timing cannot get any better: Nem Chua is the quintessential Vietnamese street food.

3 different packs of nem

We’re especially proud of our all natural Nem Chua. Do you know anyone who makes Nem Chua without the powder? We don’t, instead we know plenty of people who have given up delicious, addictive Nem because of the opaque chemical curing process. It took a lot of research and experimentation to retrieve the traditional way of making Nem, with only ground beef, pork skin, sugar, salt, and spices. We’d really love to be able to share Nem Chua with Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese alike at this festival.

But we need your help! We can only participate in the festival if we are in the top 4 among interested small businesses. Please go to and vote for Rau Om (4th entry from the top). To vote: you need to log in with your Facebook account by clicking on the link at the top of the page before the vote button becomes clickable.

Please help us by getting your friends to vote as well (you don’t have to be in SF to vote). Please vote early! We only have about 7 days to get into the top 4. Decision will be announced on July 29th.

Please vote and then leave a comment in this post. We’ll select a winner through a random drawing for a complimentary pack of nem if we get selected to join the street food festival 🙂

Rau Om_Nem Chua

Thank you so much and hope we will be able to post about our experience at the Street Food Festival.