Here now and now here or nowhere

The title of this blog comes from a play on words that "now here" is also the same letters as "nowhere" just with a space added in the middle. I am always trying to get better at being in the here and now, and I've always been a bit of a joker so that is why I chose this name.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hue Foods

Hue is known for it's food, and for me this is probably one of the best reasons to come here. Long ago (well not too long, around 150 years ago) in Hue, emperors felt that the more dishes created during their reign, the more power and sophistication they would appear to have. Emperors hand-picked Vietnam's finest chefs and transferred them to Hue. Ordering these "new" locals to whip up hundreds of new creations, chefs introduced new regional flavors and texture to traditional Hue dishes. During this time, commoners were forbidden from eating these dishes reserved for Vietnamese royalty. Now-a-days we can all relish in their good efforts.

Banh Nam, flat rectangular packets of banana leaf. Inside is a base of steamed rice flour, ground pork, shrimp.

Banh Beo, Silver-dollar disks of rice flour. Topped with mung bean powder, ground shrimp, and oil-moistened green onions. Served with nuoc cham.

Banh It, sticky rice flour balls. Filling of ground or cubed pork. Garnished with oil moistened green onions and sometimes fried shallots.

Bun Bo, Hue's spicier answer to Hanoi's Pho.

Banh Khoai, local specialty of a "pancake" filled with bean sprouts, shrimp and pork. if not too fried and oily, it's very delicious.

We ate at this vegetarian restaurant quite frequently. This was the 8 treasures dish and I found it and all it's fake meat soy products to be quite delicious.

A somewhat secret and local place to get banh mi. She only opens at night and is located besides a bridge. Some of the best banh mi I've had on this trip.

One of the secret to this lady's Banh Mi are that she adds a local specialty of banh loc into the sandwich. Banh Loc are translucent, almost gelatinous tubes of sticky tapioca flour. Filling consists of whole shrimps and sliced boiled fatty pork.

Che is Vietnamese sweet dessert soup, usually served in a glass over ice and eaten with a spoon.

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