Travel Blog

Tet in Charlotte, North Carolina 2015

March 7, 2015
This year, I celebrated my tet in Charlotte, North Carolina! The weekend festival was located at St. Joseph Vietnamese Catholic Church and I was very impressed with its organization of the whole event. 

There were a total of 7 lions for the lion dance! It was the best lion dance show I have ever seen in the past 31 years of my life! Event was free and there were all sorts of games and food you can purchase. See some of the food that were available from the festival below. Everything was fantastic! 

(Shrimp and Sweet Potato Fritters)

(Banh Mi Xiu Mai) 

(Lion Dance)

(Roasted Duck)

(Pho Dac Biet) 

If you are quite a traveler, I dare you to travel to a different American city that hosts a tet festival and experience it yourself! Happy year of the Sheep!

Making Bun Rieu for the first time on Thanksgiving Eve

November 30, 2014
I had some ground pork that I didn't know what to do with it on the night of Thanksgiving Eve and realized I had some shrimp paste and minced shrimp in jars that my mom left for me when she came to visit last year. 

I have never made bun rieu before and I suddenly decided to take a stab at it! I didn't have green onions or cilantro so I used chives instead. But other than that, I used most of the ingredients that was needed: fresh tomatoes, minced shrimp, shrimp paste, ground pork, pork bones, eggs, nuoc mam (fish sauce) and salt. I used egg noodles instead of regular vermicelli as well, as I didn't have that at home. And, as mentioned, I substituted green onions with chives. Here's my picture below. It tasted better than I thought it would for a first-timer! I am pretty proud of myself! 

Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Spring Rolls)

May 27, 2014
For Memorial Day this year, I made Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon). I like to include pork in my spring rolls but this time I only used shrimp. My navy veteran (husband) had to work so we did our grilling the day before. I know he shouldn't be working on Memorial Day since we want to celebrate all those military men and women who lost their lives for our freedom but his civilian work place (because we're now civilians) is open all year round. At least he got overtime hours. Anyway, here's the picture of my spring rolls. Inside, I also have bean sprouts, mint, lettuce and vermicelli noodles. It's so easy to make. 

Vietnamese Dish - Sauteed snow crab legs with shrimp, cucumbers and tomatoes

May 20, 2014
I was spoiled by my mom's really good Vietnamese cooking. She was originally from Rach Gia, Vietnam and moved to the United States when she was 22 years old. Even though she's lived in America longer than she has lived in Vietnam, all she really cooks is Vietnamese food. 

Here is the latest feature that I try to mimic. It was time consuming for me because I actually hand cracked and removed all the crab meat from the snow crab legs that I bought frozen a couple of months ago. It took me an hour to remove the crab meat but it was so worth it. The way my mom would make it is she would leave the shells on there. It makes it a lot more  time consuming for the eaters, even though it probably would've been a lot easier. 

Here are the ingredients: snow crab legs meat, shrimp, tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions cooked in garlic and vegetable oil. Saute That's it! So easy. Serve it over a bed of rice. 

How I celebrated 3 days of Vietnamese New Year

February 3, 2014
For Tet 2014, I tried to make something special every day for 3 days for Vietnamese New Year. See pictures below to see what I made to celebrate.

For Day 1 of Vietnamese New Year - January 31, 2014, I made Vietnamese carmelized stuff squid and served it over rice.

For Day 2 of Vietnamese New Year- February 1, 2014, we had hot pot (lau) at home. We used the Mongolian Little Sheep brand. It tastes just like the restaurant!

For Day 3 of Vietnamese New Year (which was also Super Bowl 2014), I made boba for the husband and me at home. Yes, I boiled my own boba! We made almond snow bubble. See pictures below.

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