Month: August 2021

Vietnamese lensmen win UK contest prizes with appetizing entries

Two photographs taken in Hoi An and Ha Giang have won first prizes in different categories at the U.K.’s Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Awards. Tran Viet Van won first prize in the contest’s Street Food category with a shot of four young girls enjoying che (sweet soup) on a street in Hoi An, a UNESCO heritage site and top tourist destination in Vietnam.
Girls enjoy che (sweet soup) in Hoi An, Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam. Photo by Viet Van Tran.
Street vendors selling sweet soup is a common sight in the ancient, well preserved town, especially in the streets of Hoang Dieu, Bach Dang, Phan Cu Trinh, and Nguyen Chi Thanh.
Photographer Nguyen Huu Thong bagged first prize in the “Food on the Table” category with a shot titled “Flea Market Breakfast” taken at a rural market in the northern highlands province of Ha Giang.
Nguyen Huu Thong's photo captures a breakfast scene at a rural market in Ha Giang Province, northern Vietnam.
“2021 marks a very special year for P..

Salad from herring, Phu Quoc’s tasty offering

Soft and fresh herring fillets mixed with onion and grated coconut make for the unique herring fish salad, a Phu Quoc Island specialty. In the seventh and eighth lunar months, when the southwest monsoon blows, fishermen on Phu Quoc Island in southern Kien Giang Province go out into sea for the year’s biggest herring season.
To catch the fish, they have to set sail early in the morning. Around 10 kilometers from shore, they change into a small circular boat called ‘thuyen thung’ to cast their nets. By 8-9 a.m. boats filled with fresh fish arrive back on shore.
The herring can be grilled, braised or fried, made into a sour soup, filleted with tomato, but the stand-out dish is the salad. According to locals, salad with herring from Khem Beach is the best.
A plate of fresh herring salad to serve three people costs from VND120,000 ($5). It is served with herbs, cucumber slices, rice paper, and dipping sauce. Photo by VnExpress/Huynh Nhi.
It might be a simple enough dish but it involves so..

Eat like a local: a tour to explore Saigon’s street food scene

Saigon has been dubbed a paradise for street food-obsessed travelers, with these five famed areas not to be missed. Come nightfall, the purveyors of delicacies from all over Vietnam pop up by the thousand all over the city. Every night you can see locals huddle around low tables indulging their taste buds late into the night.
Co Giang Street in District 1
Just a five-minute drive from iconic Ben Thanh Market, Co Giang Street is home to many street food stalls established decades ago. For foodies, the street should be included on their travel bucket list.
Don't forget to drop by Ms. Tuyen's shop that specializes in rice noodles with grilled pork. White rice noodles are topped with crispy, sweet-tasty grilled pork, fried spring rolls, crush peanuts, oily green onion oil, pickled carrots and daikon radish. Bean sprouts, cucumber slices, and herbs make up the bottom of the noodle bowl.
Ms. Tuyen's shop is a popular address in Saigon for rice noodles with grilled pork. Photo..

H’mong sausage pizza served hot out of oven in Sa Pa

In Sa Pa, visitors can see how a H’mong-style pizza is made as chefs knead dough, bake it in a blazing oven and add local sausages. It is the signature dish at a restaurant at Pi's Boutique, a hotel located on Fansipan Road in the center of Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province. It uses western elements and local ingredients from Vietnam’s northwestern region. H'mong is an ethnic minority group.
The traditional Italian way of making pizza crust with fermented flour, tomato sauce and cheese is retained. After the baked crust comes out of the oven, the chef chops Sa Pa sausages and puts them on the middle of the pizza instead of spreading evenly as is usual, and adds herb, cilantro and mint.
The smoky smell is delicious, the crust is crispy and the topping is soft and juicy and redolent of the traditional hanging sausage eaten by the Sa Pa people.
A close look at a pizza being baked in an oven in Sa Pa. Photo by VnExpress/Trung Nghia.
With the open kitchen, customers can see every det..

Two Vietnamese restaurants named among Asia’s 100 best

Anan Saigon Restaurant on Ton That Dam Street in HCMC's District 1. Photo courtesy of Anan Saigon. Two Vietnamese restaurants have made it to a ranking of Asia's 100 best, one each in HCMC and Hanoi. Anan Saigon on HCMC's Ton That Dam Street in District 1 was 39th and Tung Dining on Quang Trung Street in Hanoi's Hoan Kiem District was 98th in the ninth annual ranking published by William Reed Business Media, a British business magazine and digital media company.
Located inside an old market near Bitexco Financial Tower, Anan specializes in street food-inspired dishes created by Chef Peter Cuong Franklin.
The magazine said: “Peter Cuong is a Vietnamese-American chef who studied at Le Cordon Bleu and trained at world-famous restaurants including Caprice in Hong Kong, Alinea in Chicago and Nahm in Bangkok.
“A pioneer of modern Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, he is one of the most recognizable faces on the country's growing gastronomic scene.”
“Caviar banh nhung,” a..

Hue restaurant among Anthony Bourdain’s favorite food destinations

Bun bo Hue is served with fresh herbs and chili in Hue, central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Tran. A bun bo Hue (Hue-style beef noodle soup) restaurant in the central town of Hue counted among five favorite food addresses of late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. Kim Chau Restaurant in Dong Ba Market that serves bun bo hue was revealed by Laurie Woolever, a longtime collaborator of Bourdain and co-author of “World Travel: An Irreverent Guide,” as one of the five food destinations at the top of the late chef and food presenter's list.
During his many return visits to Vietnam, Bourdain made it to Hue, home to Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), Vietnam's last royal family.
While Hue's cuisine is characterized by the small, delicate steamed rice cakes and crepe stuffed with shrimp, pork and vegetables, the dish that stole Bourdain’s heart was “the lusty” bun bo Hue soup, specifically served at the Kim Chau restaurant in Dong Ba Market, Woolever wrote on The Guardian.
“In the hi..

Ice cream banh mi popular among Ca Mau youth

In the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau, a loaf of banh mi stuffed with ice cream, roasted peanuts, and condensed milk is a popular kid's snack on summer days. A boat that sells ice cream banh mi in Ca Mau approaches the shore to serve some customers.
Children queue up for their ice cream banh mi that costs VND5,000 ($0.21) apiece. Ngoai Ty, a freelance photographer in Ca Mau who shot the photos, said though road infrastructure has been upgraded, motorized boats are still favored by Mekong Delta families who use them to deliver different kinds of items to each family for sale.
This woman made her own coconut ice cream and put it in a stainless steel can. To keep the ice cream from melting in the hot weather, she put the can in the middle of a Styrofoam container filled with ice.
She sprinkles roasted peanuts on top of the ice cream.
She then adds a little condensed milk – an indispensable part that makes the dish both sweet and fatty. People who dislike sweets may shy away from..

No name for fame at this Chau Doc fish noodle stall

With no shiny billboard, a bun ca (fish noodle soup) stall near Chau Doc Market in Mekong Delta province An Giang, has been going strong for over 20 years. On a tour of Chau Doc, a Mekong Delta town bordering Cambodia and home to many spiritual sites in southern Vietnam, don't forget to visit Ms. Le's fish noodle soup stall near Chau Doc Market, well-known for its salted, dried seafood and fish sauce, all Mekong Delta specialties.
The local favorite stands on a street corner and is largely unknown among tourists.
Le used to sell the dish from her shoulder pole. Later, she found a location near Chau Doc Market and has been operating for more than 20 years.
Every day she opens her shop at 6 a.m. for a few hours only. With only a sketchy signboard hung in front of her shop and a few plastic tables and chairs, her shop is crowded with local customers each morning.
Bun ca Chau Doc, or Chau Doc fish noodle soup, originated in Cambodia before people in the Mekong Delta tweaked it ..

Saigonese of Chinese descent make a ‘cleansing’ sticky rice cake

Many households of Chinese descent in Saigon make a unique dish for the summer cleansing festival – the leaf-wrapped sticky rice dumplings 'zongzi'. Ha Cam Toan and his family in District 11 have been making zongzi, a savory glutinous rice dumpling, for the summer cleansing festival for the past 25 years. It is made especially for Tet Doan Ngo, a summer festival that cleanses the body and spirit. The Double Fifth Festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, which falls on June 14 this year. The Hoa people, the community of Chinese descent in Saigon, call the dish ba trang, with”ba” meaning meat and “trang” rice cake.
“Chinese people often have fruit, wine and ba trang hanging in their houses. There are many ways to make this cake. Every family gives their own twist to the recipe,” Toan said as he hung the cakes on two bamboo poles.
Inside Toan's house on Tue Tinh Street, relatives gather to help make the cake. Every year, the family makes about 6,00..