Friday, January 17, 2014

Vietnam: The Food!

The food in Vietnam? In a word - delicious! Like many tropical climates, most of the food is very fresh, lots of vegetables and spicy if you want it that way. What I love most is the interesting flavor combinations. The concept is to pair opposites in all dishes: tangy with sweet, soft with crunchy, hot with cold ... and it works. 
This is a plate of steamed tapioca - it's a root vegetable also called manioc or cassava.  It tastes a bit like potato but has more flavor. The dish on the side is a combination of sugar and ground peanuts. You dip the tapioca in the mixture and it's heavenly.
Look closely - do you see the scorpion in the bottle? This is cobra/scorpion wine. They also had snake wine, spider wine ... no, we weren't brave enough to try any!
This is an order of spring rolls. You get all the ingredients and then make it yourself at the table. Noodles, veggies, this one was a type of fish, lettuces, citrus and spicy pepper and sauces. The sauces alone could be a separate post - really tangy or sweet or salty. There was absolutely no need to ever use salt and pepper on your food.

The two photos above were taken at our favorite restaurant. Not the fanciest one we visited, but definitely the best food. It was at the top of 5 flights of stairs and I only got the first photo because we took the wrong flight and ended up overlooking our destination but not able to get there. Yes, those are chickens in the rooftop restaurant!
This last one is one of the bar/restaurants not too far from our apartment in Saigon.  It was a much fancier place than most we visited and really pretty. A huge contrast to our first night on the street having chicken soup. (see my first Vietnam post).

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