Vietnamese Cuisine

Fish Sauce, Nuoc Mam and Sea Ghost  Fingers
The National Dish Is a Soup — Even at Breakfast

“Only the French imposed their own cuisine upon their Asiatic possessions.” — David Dodge [1]

“He was not yet Ho Chi Minh. It was 1917 and he was Nguyen Ai Quoc and he was a pastry cook under the great Escoffier.” — Robert Olen Butler [2]

Cooking with Vietnamese Nuoc Mam Fish Sauce

Three Crabs Brand Fish Sauce

Vietnamese cooking is light and delicate, healthy, and remarkably varied. Its famous dishes can be very unusual and even have poetic names, like one for Crab Claws called Sea Ghost Fingers. Continue reading

Ambarella Fruit

Hog Apple or Golden Plum?
Shades of Melville

Ambarella or Otaheite Apple

Ambarella — Otaheite Apple

Recently you could find them in some Asian markets in North America retailing for about three dollars a pound.  It’s a small fruit that looks like a plum.

What could you do with this fruit? Ambarella is relatively little known in North America or outside its tropical habitat. The fruit has many names in local languages and grows in a wide range of tropical Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean. [1] Continue reading