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Feb02

Rau Om learns to wrap bánh tét : A video

That’s right, folks, Rau Om enters the cutting edge world of moving pictures with a short kinematographic post to Youtube.

The days before Tết are a frenzy of food preparations, including wrapping and cooking bánh tét if one’s from Southern Vietnam. This past Tết season, we went home and learned from Mom a more efficient way to wrap than what was previously described in our previous bánh tét post.

The music included in the video is “Improvisations in the Spring Mode” by our music teacher, the amazing master musician Nguyễn Vĩnh Bảo.

Jun13

Delicious Vietnam #14

We are excited to host the June 2011 edition of Delicious Vietnam. It was fun to read through the amazing array of posts on different aspects of Vietnamese cuisine. Without further ado, let’s start the multi-course feast.

Breakfast fares: Bánh mì & Xôi (sticky rice)

From San Francisco, CA, USA, Mary at tiny banh mi presented a new flavor combination for bánh mì with a clever name: a Duck Confit Bánh Mì, which she calls Damn Bien (“damn good”)

Damn Bien: Duck Confit Bánh Mì

“To me, nostalgia is the language of inspiration for the different types of bánh mì I’m making and writing about here. The Damn Bien (aspiring to be ‘damn good’) bánh mì contains the specially dressed fresh carrots, jicama, cucumber and cilantro surrounding the French comfort food of sumptuous and crispy duck confit hash I fried.”

[Read more…]

May21

Spring fragrance

“You flaunted the fragrance of your blossoms” (Lilacs by Amy Lowell)

The lilac tree by the side of our house is in bloom and definitely has been flaunting the sweet fragrance at us every time we walked by. We really couldn’t help ourselves and had to find ways to capture this fragrance of spring in our cooking.

Lilacs

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May01

Weekend food fun

Elaborations on our tweets:

We got together this weekend and worked on a number of dishes, some of which we tweeted about. Select pictures related to those tweets are below:

Weekend discovery #1:

Tea smoked chicken was great paired with oolong flavored xôi/sticky rice

Weekend discovery #2:

Yuzu-mắm tôm (fermented shrimp paste) stir-fry on crispy fried spaghetti squash

Weekend discovery #3:

When nem chua gather in groups, the proper collective noun is covey.

Weekend discovery #4:

Xôi lá dứa w dulce de leche From a street vendor in the Paris of South Amerasia

Apr27

Xôi trà (tea-flavored sticky rice)

Xôi (steamed sticky rice) is most commonly served as plain rice embellished with other ingredients but there are a small number of recipes where the rice itself is flavored by being soaked in plant extracts.

xôi gấc

I was curious to see if that technique was generally applicable to any flavored liquid. As proof of concept, I wanted to see if soaking sticky rice in fragrant tea overnight would yield tea-flavored xôi. If successful, it would add innumerable possibilities to the long list of different types of xôi that already exists in Vietnamese cuisine. Continue reading to find out if the experiment worked