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Gỏi Đu Đủ Reflects the Mekong Region's Culinary and Cultural Wisdoms

As the cicadas begin to sing in the tamarind canopies along Pasteur Street after the first monsoon rain, vivid scenes from my formative years flash by in my mind. My cheeks became flushed and my eyes teary, but not from the harsh sun and wind, nor the frustration of losing multiple marble games; it was the sight, or rather, the scent of a papaya salad enveloped in Cô Ri pungent anchovy sauce.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: In D5, a Family Durian Xôi Xiêm Recipe Inspired by Cambodia

At first glance, xôi xiêm sầu riêng — or sticky rice with egg custard and durian — may appear plain-looking, but apart from being a tasty sweet treat, this simple dish also holds stories of life during Vietnam’s post-war period.

in Snack Attack

A Pilgrimage to Sơn La, Vietnam's National Mận Capital, as a Devoted Fan

There’s a kind of sweet, sour, and slightly tannic fruit that never fails to make our mouths water every summer.

Paul Christiansen

in Food Culture

Banana Is a Paragon of Neutrality. I Propose Using It as a Metric to Rank All Fruits.

Line up all the world’s fruits, best to worst, taking into account every rateable aspect imaginable including taste, appearance, price, reliability and seasonality — the banana rests at the exact middle. So I've personally used it as the ideal threshold to rank every fruit I've ever eaten.

in Snack Attack

An Ode to Dried Fruit, Vietnam's Parent-Approved Way for Children to Sugar Load

I first knew dried fruit as a category of munchy snacks that had my parents’ approval.

Paul Christiansen

in Dishcovery

We Should Offer Gỏi Măng Cụt a Full-Time Position in Saigon's Food Scene

The mangosteen salad trend hit TikTok in 2023, creating a demand that led locals to quit their jobs and take on more lucra...

Thi Nguyễn

in Snack Attack

A Tale of Two Fruits: The Colonial History of Durian and Mangosteen

Although both durian and mangosteen are native to Southeast Asia, their reputation — especially from a western point of view — leads two very contrasting fates: the latter is considered a luscious delicacy while the former usually finds itself at the center of many insult-throwing contests.

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in Food Culture

[Video] Everyone Is Ordering Suất Obama at Hanoi's Bun Cha Huong Lien

As you might have expected, business is booming at Hanoi's Bun Cha Huong Lien.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

[Video] Hẻm Gems: The Long but Worthwhile Wait for Xôi Chiên

They say the best things in life are worth waiting for. In the case of the elusive xôi chiên, they're right.

in Food Culture

An Abridged History of Phở

Phở is serious business.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Binh Thanh's Delectable Bánh Căn

Located on a busy street in Binh Thanh District, Hai Ton Quan is a small, family-run restaurant that serves up Phan Rang-style cuisine, that glorious mixture of tasty, golden-brown rice cakes and fres...

in Eat & Drink

Vietnamese Cocoa Receives Fine Flavor Recognition

Vietnam officially earned a fancy new title this week at the 2016 World Cocoa Conference.

in Food Culture

[Video] President Obama and Anthony Bourdain Bond Over Bún Chả in Hanoi

After just 24 hours in Vietnam, the internet is jam-packed with thousands of photos and videos documenting American president Barack Obama's trip so far. Though there are plenty of gems from whic...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

[Video] Hẻm Gems: D5’s Glorious Goat Curry

One of the benefits or writing this column is that it allows us to sample some of Saigon’s best local eateries. We may be well versed in the ways of street noshing, but once in a blue moon, we come ac...

in Eat & Drink

Why MSG Isn't Actually Bad for You

For decades, much of the western world has been skeptical of monosodium glutamate (MSG), better known as Ajinomoto to Vietnamese. However, as research has suggested time and again, there is actually n...

in Food Culture

KFC Releases Chicken-Flavored Edible Nailpolish

At long last, KFC has answered the call of your mid-afternoon snack cravings.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Saigon's Sủi Cảo Street

Saigon is, in essence, a giant food court. From District 1 to Binh Chanh, the city streets are pretty much a macro version of the cooked food section at your local market, spread out over miles of une...

in Food Culture

[Video] Korea's Foodporn Obsession Now Involves Cats

By now, you've probably heard tell of South Korea's considerable muk bang viewership. This unusual online craze, in which nationally famous foodporn stars can earn thousands of dollars a month by stuf...

in Food Culture

[Video] American Celebrities Try Durian on Live TV

Durian is a pretty polarizing topic. Either you have grown to love the thick, garbage-scented flesh of this Asian delight or you are nauseated by the thick, garbage-scented flesh of this Asian delight...

in Food Culture

Phở: The Next Great International Dish?

As Vietnam's culinary ambassador to the world, phở is a soup which needs no introduction. Some of us grew up with it, slurping the noodles for breakfast or breathing in its steamy aromas whe...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Saigon's Street Food Unicorn

Not only are unicorns real, they are edible. In fact, these beauties are an animal of such mythic deliciousness that you should count yourself lucky to even catch a glimpse of one, much less feast on ...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

[Video] Hẻm Gems: D5's Drop-Dead Delicious Xôi Mặn

Saigon street food tastes best when the whole experience feels like a secret. Head to some of the city's most successful street carts and there are no place names or proper business hours, no phone nu...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Eat Your Way Through Nguyen Hue's Secret Street Food Alley

Nguyen Hue's heritage has been badly degraded over the years. Thanks to the city's neverending development, its older buildings have either been torn down, used as air-conditioning unit pedestals or t...

in Food Culture

South Korea Just Opened Its First Insect Restaurant

Next time you're craving a healthy, protein-rich meal, don't reach for the read meat. Instead, curb you hunger with a helping of bugs.

in Food Culture

[Video] The True Story of 3 Bros and a Bánh Xèo Taco

For all the magic involved in Vietnamese cuisine, it's surprising how few of the country's dishes have made it abroad. Of course, you'll have no trouble finding foreigners who love phở or appreciate t...

in Food Culture

Chinese Restaurants Fire Incompetent Robot Staff

While human waitstaff are sometimes a disappointment – they forget your order, they punch in late, they expect a tip – three restaurants in China are finding out that our machine friends aren't necess...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: A Perfect Saigon Breakfast

Most days, I roll out of bed 15 minutes after my alarm has stopped ringing, stumble downstairs, brush my teeth and leave the house just in time to grab my morning dose of caffeine before heading to th...