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Feeling Under the Weather? Grab a Bowl of Cháo!

Local blog, Eating Saigon, recently posted a piece about their love for cháo, one of Vietnam’s favorite comfort foods. The rice porridge, which plays the same role as chicken soup in the West, is the dish locals tell you to eat if you’re getting a cold. In reality, it’s delicious whether you’re sick or not.

The guys over at Eating Saigon have a deeper appreciation for the dish than most, frequenting the stall of the affectionately named, CháoLady. Here is their vivid description of the dish:

"The cháo’s porridge stock base is deeply flavored with bbq’d dried squid. The mildly “toasted-squidy” flavor permeates the dish. Yet, it doesn’t overpower the delicious flavor burst that come with each spoonful of other ingredients – shredded fresh ginger, large chunks of tender and flavorful pork meat (in thecháo sườn), occasional crispy bits of fried pork skin, crunchy bean sprouts, andhuyết cubes (congealed & steamed pork blood). The chopped scallions and twist of lime juice add the final flavor bursts. Actually, dip the pork meat in a small condiment bowl of fish sauce and chili and you’ve gone to heaven!"

Hungry yet? No? Eating Saigon recommends a bowl of súp cua, or crap soup before your bowl of cháo. Another Vietnamese specialty, this soup features generous quantities of crab meat, quail eggs, bits of deep-fried pork skin, mushrooms, whipped eggs and parsley.

You can find the Cháo Lady from 2pm – midnight at 285/137 CMT8, District 1, HCMC.

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