BackHome Eat & Drink

Hẻm Gems: The Green Delight of Phu Yen's Bánh Canh Hẹ

In the age of the internet, we go back and forth about everything, including whether or not the most important meal of the day is, in fact, important. While members of the medical profession continue to debate the merits of breakfast, however, Saigon is full of early-morning delights, from mouthwatering cơm tấm to bowls of phở and quick-and-easy bánh mì. For a departure from your average morning meal, however, look to a more elusive regional dish: Phu Yen’s bánh canh hẹ.

Read more...

Viet Nam Mien Ngon: A Journey in Watercolor Through Vietnam's Diverse Cuisine

Vietnam has long been an enthralling destination for foodies near and far – just ask Anthony Bourdain, the globetrotting New York chef who has repeatedly professed his love for the Southeast Asian country's eclectic food culture, or Linh Nguyen, the Fulbright scholar whose Vietnamese cookbook recently became an Amazon bestseller.

Read more...

Watch out for These 5 Vietnamese Food-Related Superstitions

Every culture has its own customs, superstitions and traditions, some of which are so time-honored that even their strictest followers aren’t really clear on where the etiquette comes from. Vietnam certainly has its fair share of food-related rules, borne out of good manners and, occasionally, superstition. While you could probably write a book on the full list of Vietnamese food superstitions, here are just a few taboos and the reasons behind them.

Read more...

Taiwan Struggles to Combat Locals' Addiction to Cancer-Causing Betel Nuts

The Taiwanese government continues to wage a war against betel nut addiction, but considering the cultural ties to the native plant, it is proving incredibly difficult.

Read more...

Hẻm Gems: The Sumptuous Street Snacks of Ha Cao Ban Co

Whether we’re talking about the packaged foods aisle at Circle K or the lady whipping up bánh tráng trộn on the street corner, snack foods often meet two distinct criteria: they are both delicious and unhealthy. The nature of snacking alone – hastily prepared mini-meals eaten on the go – lends itself well to quick, cheap ingredients and foods that can withstand both time and a lack of refrigeration.

Read more...

Bánh Cuốn, Chee Cheong Fun and Pork Intestine Rice Rolls: A Sprawling Family Tree

One of Vietnam’s most common breakfast foods, bánh cuốn, might not save a life – not in the way that a bowl of hearty phở can – but the silky rice rolls sure do make living easier.

Read more...

[Video] A Day in the Life of Vietnam's Bánh Tráng Artisans

Rice paper has been a mainstay of Vietnam cuisine, with consumers often preferring homemade versions over industrial made ones, which has created a thriving cottage industry in the Mekong Delta.

Read more...

Hẻm Gems: An Evening of Bánh Xèo Phan Rang and People-Watching by the Canal

There are certain foods in life that take time to love. Mắm tôm, for instance, or mắm chưng. Any of the mắms, really. Durian, I’m told, is a wonderful fruit on the fourth or fifth try. And while some of us are raised on cháo lòng and phá lấu and chicken feet, for others the journey toward appreciation can span weeks, months, even years.

Read more...

A Food Folk Tale: Vietnam’s Unexpected Watermelon Tycoon

If you’ve been around a traditional Vietnamese household during Tet, you have probably noticed the presence of gargantuan, child-sized, dark green watermelons on the altar. These behemoths are both intimidating and delicious; that is, if one remembers to cut them up during the holiday and not leave them out for months like my mom did one year. However, not many know that the origin story behind this juicy berry – yes, watermelons are, indeed, berries – is rooted in a fascinating folk tale that takes place in ancient Vietnam during the days of the Hung Kings.

Read more...

Hẻm Gems: A Quick, Delicious, No-Nonsense Lunch at Quan Com Ga Hai Nam

Now that I'm on my fourth chicken-centric Hẻm Gem, I guess I might as well start carrying out these assignments dressed as a chicken.

Read more...

Bò Bía: A Piece of Saigon's Hokkien Heritage in a Simple Street Food Roll

Historically Saigon has been a busy trading hub that attracts merchants from all over the region, and the city's culinary repertoire is a smorgasbord of eclectic cultural influences. In the latest installment of our Food History series, Saigoneer takes a closer look at the history of a refreshing street treat that’s both delicious and healthy: bò bía.

Read more...