Taking some time during my Vietnamese trip to share a little something I’ve read on Roads & Kingdoms, about visiting Saigon and experiencing a spicy beef stew (known as bò kho).
Like a lot of Vietnamese soups, the magic is in the broth. Star anise, curry paste, pepper, cumin, chopped onion, chive, and the national condiment, fish sauce, are just a part of what makes up a criminally under-celebrated dish.
Lighten the brawn with chili, hoisin, lemongrass, hefty squeezes of lime, and a bunch of cilantro, basil, and ngo om (rice paddy herb) and you’ve got yourself a most complex flavor. Order a baguette on the side to dunk and mop up, and you’re onto a winner.
It really hits home, as I’m walking around in the saigonese heat every day, having Phó and all types of different soups even on days when the sun is blazing hot. And the bread-dipping action towards the end is literally my life!
Also, yeah it is not only a popular breakfast, but also a bigger afternoon snack: Vietnamese people tend to have about 5-7 meals a day, albeit smaller than the full meals we have in the West, but all day long, often hearty soups to keep you going through the day!
So here’s to my Vietnamese heritage and its incredible food(s) of all kinds!