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

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

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

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

Butternut Squash & Salmon Cháo

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

Salmon porridge_Vietnamese food_Indiechine blog

The weather in Hoi An has been so beyond perfect lately. It’s the kind of sunshine and breezes that are so delightful that it brings me instant joy just by looking out the window. Craig says this weather reminds him of beautiful early summer days when he was in high school in Kentucky. He remembers the soft sunshine on his front porch, the irresistible smell of barbecue in warm breezes that his father was grilling on a lovely Sunday evening. It’s interesting how similarities in temperature and humidity can bring back vivid memories from years and years ago.
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

Tết – Vietnamese Lunar New Year

Vietnamese Tet takes place at the same time as Chinese New Year and Korean New Year because we use the same lunar calendar. However, we celebrate with food and customs which are unique to Vietnamese culture. 

Tet market_Vietnamese lunar new year_Vietnamese food_indiechine-5
I also carried bunches of flowers on a scooter like her, but nobody took pictures for me.
Tet market_Vietnamese lunar new year_Vietnamese food_indiechine-2
Buddha’s fist fruits. I’m not sure if they’re edible but many people place them on the altar because, well, I guess they do look like Buddha’s fists.
Tet market_Vietnamese lunar new year_Vietnamese food_indiechine-8
Lanterns, vases and ornaments for Tet in Hoi An. In the North we don’t use lanterns.
Tet market_Vietnamese lunar new year_Vietnamese food_indiechine-7
Cages of best cage-free chicken for Tet
Tet market_Vietnamese lunar new year_Vietnamese food_indiechine-9
6 am in the market
Tet market_Vietnamese lunar new year_Vietnamese food_indiechine
Dried fruits in the market

Tet has always been my favorite time of the year. When I was small, Tet meant a week off from school, which was the biggest fun followed by new clothes and lucky money. Read more

Vietnamese Tamarind Prawn

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

Vietnamese food_Tamarind_Prawn_Family meal_Indiechine
A typical three-course Vietnamese meal with tamarind prawns, sautéed winged beans, and clam soup in tomato and pineapple broth

Vietnamese food_Tamarind_Prawn_Indiechine-2

Happy New Year!!!

I know it’s late, but this is my very first recipe of 2016, and the Vietnamese Lunar New Year is coming in three weeks, so I’m still high up in the New Year mood!
Read more