a quick vegan recipe: sautéed eggplant with garlic, chili and herbs

I’d never really liked eggplant until I moved to Hoi An. I used to think of eggplant as bland and a little soggy but Hoi An local eggplant dishes convert me to a die-hard fan of this vegetable. Read more

Northern Vietnamese Rib Noodle Soup Bowl

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

rib-noodle-soup-bowl_vietnamese-cuisine_vietnamese-food-blog_indiechine_bunbung-3

I was silent last week on the blog because we went to Bangkok for a mini vacation. We had a lot of fun there just strolling around the city, shopping for cute, inexpensive hand-made T shirts, and eating mango sticky rice, a popular Thai dessert, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and after dinner snack.
Read more

Vietnamese Corn Pudding

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

Corn pudding_Vietnamese cuisine_Vietnamese food blog_Vietnamese food recipe-3

Corn pudding_Vietnamese cuisine_Vietnamese food blog_Vietnamese food recipe-4

Finally we decided to get an oven last week. Ovens aren’t typically something found in Vietnamese homes because electricity can be expensive for the average Vietnamese family and the addition of a heat source in the house during hot months is a pretty foreign idea! However things are changing and Vietnamese are falling in love with baking. After baking our first loaf of bread (and eating it all down it soon after that), we wondered why we hadn’t bought it earlier. I’ve tried so many delicious recipes with it and my husband has been baking bread (and cookies!) nonstop. I’m wondering if I should photograph and write a blog post of him baking banana bread. Well, why not. He’s a super cute baker and the bread is super delicious!

The one thing that I haven’t tried with an oven is baking cakes. It’s because, being a Vietnamese I didn’t grow up with cakes and so I haven’t fallen in love with them yet. Usually in Vietnam we just eat fruit for dessert or the traditional dessert chè.
Read more

A simple Vietnamese butternut squash soup

Vietnamese homecooked meal_Indiechine-2

Vietnamese homecooked meal_Indiechine-8
A typical Vietnamese meal with a soup bowl, a plate of protein and a plate of vegetable. Here I have butternut squash soup with minced pork, sautéed beans and carrots, and crispy caramelized river shrimp.

For some reason I’ve always enjoyed doing repetitive, mundane tasks. They provide a sense of peacefulness and contentment in seeing the results of my efforts. My mind quiets down and I get to enjoy a sense of oneness with my task.

When I was in tenth grade, my summer job was to put bra sliders into bra straps. My mother worked for a garment factory, and every day she would bring home huge bags of bra straps and bra sliders. Like a machine, I spent every single day of that summer putting sliders into straps. I didn’t get bored at all. In fact, I even found great joy in doing that. I didn’t have to think much, and I was content with the accomplishment, which was piles and piles of nice and neat straps in front of my eyes.
Read more

Beautiful Hội An | Early morning coffee

This morning I got up really early and took a walk in the old town of Hoi An. My new friend, Trang, a Hoi An local, took me to a street coffee place that was crowded at 6:30 am. 6:30! Yes, you heard it right!

Below are some snapshots I took during my leisure walk!

Vietnam_HoiAn_Travel_Local_Authentic_Linh_Indiechine_Summer2016
Avocado and strings of steam rice cakes wrapped in banana leaves. The latter became my breakfast soon after that.
Vietnam_HoiAn_Travel_Local_Authentic_Linh_Indiechine_Summer2016-10
Trang showed me how to get to some nice local tailor shops and a beautiful hidden beach this morning. Can’t wait to check them out. It’s never too late to have the real local hook-up.

Read more

Pineapple Fried Rice

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

Pineapple Fried Rice_Vietnamese food_Indiechine-8

In the winter time our favorite part of going to the hotel gym where we work out is to use a very nice sauna there after swimming. About two weeks ago, as we walked out of the swimming pool, I asked my husband if he was going to the sauna. “I did. All day”, he said. “I was soaking wet just being in our living room.”

The heat and humidity in May here is in fact quite brutal, at least it is for us. Locals don’t seem to mind though. Yesterday I met up with a Hoi-An native friend and when my arm was about to fall off from fanning myself so hard with a paper fan, she told me that she was longing for summer to come. I almost cried.

I hope you’re not yet tired of me talking about the weather here. I’m not complaining – just trying to give some context. It’s the weather and seasonal food that determines what I cook and eat.

Pineapple fried rice_Vietnamese food_Indiechine
Pineapple Fried Rice_Vietnamese food_Indiechine-2
Read more

Vietnamese Banana Pudding

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

Banana pudding_Tapioca_Coconut milk_Indiechine_Vietnamese food blog_ recipe_Che chuoi_-3

Banana pudding_Tapioca_Coconut milk_Indiechine_Vietnamese food blog_ recipe_Che chuoi_-6

Weather update: I haven’t seen blue sky here for the past few weeks. It’s the burning season, when people burn newly harvested rice stalks to prepare for the next crop.  So the rice paddies behind my house have been all smoky and fiery. It looks like part of a battlefield, or my grandmother’s countryside kitchen back in the 1980s when she cooked with leaves, straw and rice husks in humid and rainy weather…
Read more

Vietnamese Silk Tofu “Tempura”

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

Crispy fried silk tofu_Vegetarian_Vietnamese cuisine_Indiechine-4

My husband and I just signed a new house lease for the next quarter and began our 10th month living in Hoi An. Both our landlady and we couldn’t believe that it had been that long. We all remembered the first day we met at this house as vividly as it had been some time last month. My husband and I fell in love with the house the moment we saw it. For my husband, it was the beautiful furniture and airy rooms. For me, it was the light-filled kitchen and a garden full of blooming bird-of-paradise flowers. For one, it meant free flowers for me, which was awesome! But more importantly, I somehow believed that if the owner had cared to grow beautiful blooms in the back yard, she must be somebody who would take good care of the house too.
Read more

Beautiful Hội An | My Favorite Arts & Crafts Houses

I adore the houses in the old town of Hoi An! They’re uniform in their antiquity but individually unique. They look ill-tended with their old paint and rustic wood shutters but charming because of that look. They’re zen but lively, simple but sophisticated. And because of that, I decided to have a series on this blog named Beautiful Hội An to share this town’s beautiful places that have inspired me.
Read more

A Vietnamese vegan meal

Goodbye European castles and cobblestoned streets!

Goodbye budding tulips and daffodils in chilly wind!

Goodbye giant plates of steak and potatoes, beer and sausages!

We’re back home to sunshine and beach, to mangoes and watermelons, and to vegetables and herbs!

Read more