Bà Sáu, my grandma’s younger sister, rocks my world. I hope to be just as cool as her when I get old.
Like the majority of people in Vietnam, Bà Sáu rises early. A couple Friday’s ago, she woke me up at the ungodly hour of 8:30 to invite me to lunch at her house. Even though I was groggy as heck, I was fortunately conscious enough to accept because Bà Sáu is a culinary genius. Seriously.
On this afternoon, The Astronomer, Luscious and I feasted on fresh cha gio (egg rolls), bo bia (spring rolls with jicama, carrots and Chinese sausage), leftover banh chung from the New Year, watermelon, and preserved pineapple candies.
This is the second time The Astronomer and I have been treated to Bà Sáu’s famous cha gio, which contain pork, shallots, taro root and are about the size of one’s pinky finger. The Astronomer pops these cha gio into his mouth like bonbons. Learning how to make these babies is on top of my to-do list, so look out for a recipe in the future.
Her bo bia was killer as well. I was certain that bo bia was the one Vietnamese dish that was superiorly prepared in America. However, I changed my mind with one bite of Bà Sáu’s rendition. Whereas the carrot and jicama slaw is usually sauteed until softened, Bà Sáu leaves a bit of crunch in the vegetables which elevates the dish to new heights.
While we were eating up a storm, Bà Sáu was downing a Tiger Beer. She says that beer aids in the digestion of meat. I told you she was cool.
The best thing about Bà Sáu is that she’s sort of a bully when it comes to feeding her guests. She insists that we gorge until our bellies can handle no more. At one point during lunch, we ran out of bun (rice vermicelli noodles), so she sent her daughter out to buy more even though we were full and begged her not to.
Another awesome thing about Bà Sáu is that after she’s stuffed us to the max, she packs up extra food and fruits for us to bring home and enjoy later.
She’s the best.