Vietnamese Beef Stew in Red Wine

*There’s a video tutorial at the end of this post.

Bo sot vang Vietnamese Cuising Beef Stew Indiechine Blog_-5

The new tourist season in this town has just begun. It started this morning, I think, when I heard giggles and laughs from groups of tourists biking through the late summer heat on the dirt road in front of our house. The sky was bright and blue and clear, a big change from our recent visit by Tropical Storm Vamco. While we had mild temperatures and overcast skies over the last few days, we realize now that the true rainy season may still be a month away.
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Da Lat – A Vietnamese Colonial-Era Time Machine

Dalat, Da Lat, adventure, travel, vietnam, coffee, wine, colonial, french, romantic

I remember many years ago watching the old Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver film “The Year of Living Dangerously” one rainy afternoon on television. The otherworldly mix of Southeast Asian climate and emerging communist revolution against the backdrop of decaying colonial elegance made for an almost unbelievably beautiful setting. I remember most clearly a scene in which the main character, played by Mel Gibson, was on the run and hiding in the highlands in an old colonial hotel, sitting by the pool while his caretaker’s wife swam amongst the leaves and lillies covering the water. It was the perfect all-in-one picture of the beauty of decaying colonial decadence, enjoyed by the very people it once cruelly oppressed.
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Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Soup

*There’s a video tutorial at the end of this post.

Vietnamese Cuisine Canh Chua Tom by Indiechine Blog

Say hi to the fall. It’s officially here!

“Darken your nail colors”, said fashion magazines.

“Stuff your kitchen with the fall’s delicious beauties – persimmons, pears, pumpkins, and the like”, said cooking magazines.

“How about a graceful goodbye to summer?”, I thought.

“Let’s cook up a bowl of sweet and sour tomato and pineapple based soup, when the fruits are still juicy and sweet. Add some fragrant herbs, some seafood for protein, and some chili to spice up the autumn breezes”, answered my stomach.
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An Hour in the Old Town of Hội An

Craig in Hoian-9

Last April I started reading Happier at Home, in which the author shared that she felt more grateful for her neighborhood by looking at it with tourists’ eyes. That way she could stay excited, curious, and appreciate the familiar beauty that she from time to time took for granted.

I often remind myself how lucky I am to live in a World’s Heritage Old Town, where people come from all over the world to see its unique calmness. Occasionally, however, I would forget. I would let busy plans occupy my thoughts and assure myself that I would still have plenty of time to enjoy this town.
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(Northern) Vietnamese Crispy Spring Rolls

*There’s a video tutorial at the end of this post.

em rán chả giò Indiechine blo

When I got involved with a Vietnamese woman I had no idea how good food could be. The Vietnamese idea of food is something incredibly fresh, usually hot out of the pan and if it’s meat or fish, something that was moving under it’s own power just a few moments ago. I’ve been introduced to salads that push my idea of what a salad can be, to meats that I would have previously felt a bit scared of eating, and to desserts that give up overwhelming sweetness for subtle flavor and texture.
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