Archive for the 'Vietnamese' Category

Page 2 of 69

Ngày Đầy Tháng: June’s One Month Celebration

Ngày Đầy Tháng: June's One Month Celebration

While pregnant with Baby June, I spent many afternoons listening to my grandmother recall various myths and traditions regarding motherhood and babies within Vietnamese culture. Ba Ngoai has personally experienced nine pregnancies in her lifetime, so she knows a thing or two about the subject. While some Vietnamese postpartum rituals are rarely practiced in the U.S., others remain quite common.

For me, the custom of staying indoors and “roasting” by a fire (nam lua) for an entire month after giving birth seemed impractical (and a bit nuts), but baby’s one month anniversary (ngay day thang) seemed an important milestone to recognize.

June's Ngày Đầy Tháng | First Month Celebration

From what I gather from my family (and from scouring the Internet), the purpose of ngay day thang is to prepare a feast for the mười hai bà mụ (twelve midwives). According to Vietnamese mythology and folk religion, these twelve “fairies” teach babies various prosperous traits and skills such as sucking and smiling.

June's Ngày Đầy Tháng | First Month Celebration

My grandparents, along with my mother and great aunt, traveled from San Diego to assist with day thang preparations.

Continue reading ‘Ngày Đầy Tháng: June’s One Month Celebration’

Kim Hoa Hue Restaurant – El Monte

Kim Hoa Hue Restaurant - El Monte - Los Angeles

Even with an endless parade of new restaurant openings in Los Angeles, my current obsession is an unassuming eight-year-old Vietnamese spot in El Monte. My friend Thien introduced me to Kim Hoa Hue Restaurant a few weeks ago, and I’ve already been back three times since. This place is really something dac biet.

Kim Hoa Hue Restaurant - El Monte - Los Angeles

Whereas most Vietnamese restaurants in town serve a menu of the country’s greatest hits, like pho, bun, and the like, Kim Hoa Hue specializes in Central Vietnamese fare, specifically the cuisine from Hue. As Vietnam’s former imperial capital, Hue is renowned for its sophisticated cuisine, developed by the cooks of the royal court.

Kim Hoa Hue Restaurant - El Monte - Los Angeles

On each of my visits here, my dining companions and I feasted like kings. Never missing from our spread was the Hue Combo ($6.25), a sample platter of delicate delights: banh beo (steamed rice cakes topped with shrimp and cracklins), banh nam (rice cakes embedded with shrimp and steamed in banana leaves), banh bot loc (shrimp and pork dumplings), cha (steamed pork forcemeat), and banh uot tom chay (rice sheets stuffed with minced shrimp).

While my mother and grandmother were particularly fond of the banh beo during our lunch, it’s impossible for me to choose a favorite—winners all around, I say.

Continue reading ‘Kim Hoa Hue Restaurant – El Monte’

{swoon} Vietnamese Chè at Bambu

Chè sương sáo hạt lựu - Bambu - San Gabriel

I admit that chè, a genre of Vietnamese desserts that brings together an unlikely collection of ingredients including legumes, jellies, tapioca, and coconut milk, isn’t for everyone, but if you believe in the power of seaweed in your sweets, you’re really gonna dig Bambu.

After getting a tip from my food-savvy NorCal cousins (Thanks, M&M!) about this San Jose-based chain, I had to check it out for myself. Chè for the people? Sign me up!

Continue reading ‘{swoon} Vietnamese Chè at Bambu’

{swoon} Chả Giò Tôm Cua at Bến Lạ Restaurant

Ben La - Westminster | Best Cha Gio

While researching Little Saigon’s choicest quan nhau (watering holes) this past weekend, I tasted the very best cha gio I’ve had since living in and traveling throughout Vietnam at Bến Lạ Restaurant.

Stuffed plump with crab, shrimp, and pork, then deep-fried twice for maximum blistering, these rolls induced swoons from everyone at the table. Even when tightly wrapped in lettuce and herbs and dunked with abandon in chili-spiked nuoc cham, the cha gio remained unbeatably crisp, the translucent rice paper wrappers shattering with each bite.

Continue reading ‘{swoon} Chả Giò Tôm Cua at Bến Lạ Restaurant’

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...