Sunday, May 02, 2010
This pretty breakfast is called banh cuon; the white noodles below the fried bread, cucumbers, basil, crunchy onions and red pepper are made from steamed rice flour sheets. I had a double breakfast today, heading straight for this after a rice cake starter.
In the picture below, you can see the round pot that is topped with linen... the sheets are steamed and then lifted off the linen with a little bamboo stick. Some banh cuon - like this one - is then filled with a mixture of ground pork and wood ear mushrooms, rolled up and cut into chunks. Of course, the whole thing is covered with nuoc cham, the fish sauce, lime and red pepper sauce that makes everything even better.
In the past two years I have traveled in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and - of course - extensively through Vietnam. All of this Southeast Asia traveling has confirmed one thing for me: I chose the right place to live for this adventure. Vietnam wins in so many categories.
I love Vietnam. I love the way it moves, the way it smells, and - of course - I love the way it tastes. I love its people, its coziness and its craziness. Mostly, though - love for a place equals a whole lot of intagible qualities all tangled up together.
The food here isn't as diverse as in Malaysia, but I love the sweet aspect that is absent in so many cuisines, and I also appreciate the freshness. Everything is made right in front of you, even though oftentimes you wish they had done some of it ahead of time because of the wait required.
Anyway, it's good to be back~I think it will always feel good to be back.
Posted by Marjie at 8:54 AM