Sunday, June 06, 2010

I Call it "Crispy Vietnamese Ravioli"


...but it's actually called "Chao Luoi Phan Thiet." The "Phan Thiet" part means it's from a place near the beach town Mui Ne. The other part means something like "Rice paper packets filled with minced shrimp and pork, grilled over coals and wrapped up in more rice paper and filled with mango, cucumber, basil and lettuce and then dipped in the best peanut/fish sauce ever."

Thanh took me here a few weeks ago - one of her customers just opened this stand on the sidewalk of the "new road" right behind our house. She had never tried this dish before, and had promised her customer she would come by. Fortunately, she brought me along. Now I am hooked, and I got Katherine hooked as well as a few friends from school. For a while, I was calling it "Packets of Deliciousness," but was told that "packets" did not sound very appetizing, so it was therefore renamed "Crispy Vietnamese Ravioli."

The "ravioli" are grilled on skewers over coals that are lit in a wide metal bowl, and when the packets are brought to your table, you wrap everything up just like you would with the many variations of salad rolls here and dip it all into the sauce. The sweet strips of mango contrast with the crispy packets...talk about crunchy, spicy, sweet, sour, salty and amazing.

And - according to Thanh, the sign reads "5,000 VND per chopstick." That amounts to about thirty cents per stick, and since each person uses two chopsticks, we pay about sixty cents per person for this meal.

After two years, we are still finding the best food in the city right outside our door.

Directions for Alice and Liem (and whoever else reads this in Saigon): You can see the Van Do buildng directly across the street as you eat these on the "new sidewalk." Just go across the bridge from District 4, turn right on Tran Hung Dao and take another right on Nguyen Canh Chan. At the end of NCC, you turn left onto the "new road." Walk down a few blocks and you will run into the stand on the sidewalk. She is open from 2-8 every day.

4 comments:

Amy T. said...

I should feel happy you found a new food.
I feel sad.
You are soon returning (!) to the world of Ivar's and Dick's.
How will you survive?
Can trips to Saigon be filed under mental health expenses?

Angie said...

How I wish crispy Vietnamese Ravioli would have been around when I was there!

marjie said...

Amy T - Seattle has one key element that Saigon does not have: THE TACO BUS!

Angie, I wish I could re-create it for you but I fear that may be almost impossible~

Mungomillare said...

Is that "sweet strips of mango" or "sweet strips of MUNGO?" I was a bit alarmed!