So, I’m back in the States. I’ve decided to finish out my Asia posts because I like the travel diary aspect of things, but I’m also going to include recipes in these last posts to round things out. Thankfully, as I was flipping through my new book Authentic Cambodian Recipes, I came across a recipe for a terrine of ground pork and prahok (fermented fish paste). August’s Charcutepalooza challenge – the first of the two I’ve missed – involved terrines; so, I’m killing two birds with one stone.
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When I first arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, I was nervous about calling it Saigon; I was afraid that name, though shorter and simpler, carried negative colonial connotations. It turns out, however, that many Vietnamese still refer to the former capital of South Vietnam by that name; it technically describes to the inner urban districts of the larger HCMH, but is used in a manner similar to that in which “New York” can be used on place of Manhattan. Anyway, we started our visit to Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon at Ben Thanh Market, which was only 2 blocks from our hotel.
I just spent over a week in Vietnam, but I’m still unable to pronounce phở properly. That, however, did not stop me from starting my visit out with a nice, big steaming bowl of rice noodle soup with beef. We arrived just before lunch, so we had phở bò for a midday meal. As we soon discovered in traipsing through Hanoi, however, the Vietnamese do not limit their noodle soup intake; they sit on small plastic stools and consume it at street-corner stands morning, noon, and night.