• Food
  • Bánh Khoái Cá Kình

    Right at a corner of chaotic Chuồn Market, there is a woman, surrounded with people, struggling with a dozen of pans. It’s O Lành (Auntie Lành), a great “bánh khoái cá kình” maker. She used a short stalk of a banana leaf coating the pan’s bottom with a thin layer of cooking oil. She then […]

  • Food
  • Huế Food

    Bánh nậm

    While I was studying in Bandung, a city famous for its unique cuisine on Java Island (Indonesia), I had thought that my gastronomical urges would be satisfied by the abundance of local delicacies. Besides, there was a Vietnamese restaurant called Hanoi House to satisfy my craving for Vietnamese food. However, I still felt like something […]

  • Food
  • When chef Mama is not at home.

    She is a big fan of homemade meals but ironically cooking is not her favorite. One Saturday night, she flew home very late after a business trip so she had to miss her dinner. A few things that she misses when she is away from home are Huế specialties and homemade meals. She went to bed with the hope that her mother whom she nicknamed chef Mama would cook her a big lunch on Sunday instead. She woke up the next morning to find out that chef Mama would be away from home for the whole day. She sighed. Thinking about eating alone at a quán cơm bụi (a kind of local food stall serving cheap rice meals) or a restaurant made her stomach rumbled.

  • Food
  • Nậm and Lọc

    Bánh lọc gói and bánh nậm

    Nậm loves her outfit made of green banana leaf or dong (a kind of leaf whose scientific name is Phrynium placentarium) and wears it all the time. Lọc is a naughty guy. Sometimes he puts on the same banana leaf outfit as Nậm does, but sometimes he just enjoys being uncovered. Huế people call him Lọc Gói (wrapped Lọc) when he has clothes on and Lọc Trần (topless Lọc) when he goes naked.

  • Food
  • Huyết

    congealed blood

    I once talked to a bún bò Huế seller and learnt that many people love huyết because they believe that it helps them to be more persuasive, more fluent and smoother in speaking. Well, of course, it’s not true. It’s just a way to explain why many Huế people are so addicted to the chocolate-colored cubes of boiled huyết.