Panna Cotta with Fresh Passion Fruit

Passion Fruit_ Panna Cotta_Dessert_Vietnamese Cuisine_Indiechine-7 Passion fruit_ Panna Cotta_Dessert_Vietnamese Cuisine_Indiechine-9 This past week the heat was so brutal that both of us got a cold from switching back and forth too often between a cool air-conditioned room to the burning heat. But we're ok now, and I'm back to the sauna/kitchen creating and documenting recipes with great enthusiasm! 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 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

Braised Baby Ribs & a Summer Meal

Braised baby ribs_Sườn kho_Indiechine_Vietnamese food recipe-2 Before starting this blog, I had never used cooking measurements. I measured with my eyes and intuition, or as my friend put it, "all ingredients are to taste". The "everything to taste" rule worked well for me, except for when I had parties or guests over. Cooking for extra people without a recipe rarely came out as well. My guests might not have noticed (thankfully), but I just knew that the food didn't taste the same as when I cooked just for my family. Read more

Vietnamese Mango Tapioca Pudding

*The Vietnamese word for mangoes is xoài, pronounced soai. Mango_coconut_tapioca_pudding_Vietnamese food_Indiechine-5 Mango_coconut_tapioca_pudding_Vietnamese food_Indiechine-2 If you happen to be in Vietnam in xoài season, you have to try them. Seriously! The mangos here are one-of-a-kind. I remember that sentiment being expressed in an endearing scene from the movie "Indochina" where the main character, a French colonist, handed her adopted daughter a plate of mangos that looked so juicy and delicious. I don't remember much else about the movie but that scene has stayed in my mind for years. 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

Vietnamese banana blossom salad

Banana blossom salad_Vietnamese cuisine_Indiechine-2 Everybody knows each other in the small local market near my house, and the sellers there know not only me but also my husband. It must be difficult for them not to remember us - I speak Vietnamese with a Northern accent and my husband is an American who's too tall to walk under the low bamboo roof in the market. Read more

Vietnamese Salad Rolls

Vietnamese food_Fresh rolls_Goi cuon_Indiechine_Vietnamese food blog-3 Two weeks ago, I had the honor to do the photography and web design for my favorite restaurant and cooking class in town. It was two weeks of shooting, tasting good food and wine (which was the best part), editing, and panicking at times. Now it's all done and I'm quite happy and proud with what I was able to finish within two weeks' time. I presented the two websites to my client today and he loved them and I got paid! Now I'm beyond ecstatic because it was my first professional commissioned photography work. By the way, here's the link to the restaurant and the cooking class if you'd like to take a look at my work. Note: If you spot a handsome model in some photos and you think he looks familiar, you're right. That's Craig! (wink wink) Read more

Vietnamese Chicken Wings

*There's a video tutorial at the end of this post. Vietnamese chicken wings_Indiechine_canh ga chien nuoc mam A few weeks ago my husband got a job offer in Germany but it got delayed at the last minute when we were just about to ship everything overseas. At first I got a little bit upset because we had spent so much time and effort preparing for the move, but right now I'm so grateful we got to stay in Hoi An longer. The town is at its best right now with wonderful spring weather, rice paddies spouting green and gorgeous flower fields blooming for our big traditional New Year celebration, Tet. Read more

Butternut Squash Soup with a Vietnamese touch for a Nostagic Rainy Morning

*There's a video tutorial at the end of this post. Pumpkin Soup_Indiechine Blog Little did I know that I would so quickly miss New York City. I've been so happy with the tropical sunshine and blue beaches here after a couple of hard winters in the northeast US. Then one  mid-October morning it started raining heavily and I found myself nostalgic for the fall in New York. Read more