• 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.

  • Food
  • A weird yet yummy bite of cơm hến

    She does it differently. She puts the mixed veggies in a bowl, then adds some spies and then pours a little bit clam broth in. She then mixes the mixture before adding the steamed rice. Finally, she tops it with stir-fried clam, spices (again) and fried pork skin.

    Her bún hến is so-so but her cơm hến is especially tasty and different. It’s the flavor of cơm hến that I feel familiar and new at the same time. I’m enjoying the cơm hến and observing her. She is like a well-known culinary performer, and her gánh hàng is the stage while the diners are a crowded audience. Sometimes I see one or two smiles on her gloomy face, which adds more passion to my experience with her food and herself.

  • Food
  • Bạc xỉu đá

    I used to think it was unfair that I was born with a love for coffee but my body refused to receive caffeine. I always had to sneak the fragrant steam of coffee from my friends’ cup to satisfy my thirst for it. I inhaled a long breath to gather as much coffee aroma into my lung as possible. Sometimes I was brave enough to sip some black coffee or milk coffee but then I ended up having butterfly in my stomach and feeling nervous for the rest of the day.

  • Food
  • Bún Bò Huế

    Huế beef noodles

    Madam Cẩm picks up some thin slices of juicy and fresh beef with the chopsticks, and put the beef in the ladle she is holding in her left hand. After that, she scoops some boiling broth with the ladle with the beef inside, and then lets the ladle half sinking in the broth for a while (maybe one minute or so) to “cook” the beef. Then, she pours the whole thing in the vermicelli.

  • Food
  • Bún mắm nêm – stinky but addictive

    Bún mắm nêm noodles

    I believe that among many Vietnamese fish sauces, mắm nêm is the smelliest one. Some people even compare its odor with that of a stinky shoe. However, for some foodies like myself, we are addicted to this distinctive scent. I often fight hard to keep my saliva from running whenever I smell its aroma. Like renowned durian, mắm nêm also “smells like hell, tastes like heaven”.