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Really enjoying the series on Saigon. I wish I could get down there a bit more often!

Chad Edward

Is polygonum common in Vietnamese dishes? Only in a particular area or all over Vietnam?

Jennifer Jeffrey

Those smiles are so genuine and warm... sounds like a wonderful place to spend some time.

Gorgeous shot of the city through the electric wires!


First of all, those summer rolls look absolutely perfect. Second, the grilled pork on the bun thit nuong is just the way I like it.

I just had a banh canh tom cua at a local restaurant...the noodles are the same but the broth was way more orange. Could it have been due to the addition of shrimp? Whatever it was, it was good! The noodles were similar in texture to assam laksa nodles, and with the addition of thinly sliced red onions, it tasted faintly like a relative of assam laksa.


Sticky - and I wish I could get up there a bit more often!

Chad - yes, polygonum (Polygonum odoratum, a.k.a. rau ram) is a very common Vietnamese ingredient, all over the country.

Jennifer - helter skelter electrical wires ... a common sight in Asia. ;-)

Nate - yes, I've had more orange versions in Vietnam that didn't incorporate pork (all crab, or crab and shrimp). Also - Vietnamese cooks use annatto seeds to tint some foods red!
Interesting your comparison to assam laksa -bec I had the same thought whilst eating a couple of dishes in Saigon (similarities to Malaysian food). For me the polygonum/Vietnamese coriander really reminds me of Malaysia.


I love the photograph of the street scene. It's taken from such an unusual angle, but perfectly captures life on the pavement of Ho Chi Minh. -X


I've enjoyed looking through your posts on my homeland. The photographs really take me there and I can't help but a feel a little homesick.

I was wondering - did you ever try Bánh Căng?


Thanks Xander. I agree - the wires, the motorbikes, the meal-on-wheels ... very Vietnam.

Hi Christine - banh cang ... do you mean rice flour cakes?


Yes, Bánh Căng are these small, round rice flour cakes that are pan-fried in these special that have scalloped (don't know if that's the right word) indents in them. Here's a link to a photo:

They're like crispy, slightly denser versions of Bánh Bèo. If you haven't tried them, I hope you'll get a chance to next time your in Viet Nam.


Christine - thanks, we'll keep an eye out for them. That contraption in the photo that you've linked to looks almost exactly like a rice cake cooker we came across in Bali.


The photos and the food looks amazing. I have been reading your blog for some time and I must say, it is one of my favourites.


We just had dinner at our favorite Vietnamese place and I tried bun thit nuong for the very first time! I had no idea what it was, just that it looked great, so I tried it and loved it...now I come here and see your lovely post :) Visiting your site never fails to make me smile...and sigh in gratitude for living in Asia :)


jess - thanks for your kind words!

joey - that's fantastic! If we've led you to try bun thit nuong (one of our favorites) then the post has done it's job! (We're thankful we live in Asia too.)


I'm in Saigon for a bit and hit this place up for dinner last night and lunch today and really enjoyed it -- thanks for the lead! Will hopefully do a post on in the next couple days.


This entry made me cry. You know, when you are touched by all that is good about people.

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