Our foray into Asia!

Hello!

We are back from 2 weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Where to start?

The  Vietnamese Reunification Day holiday with fireworks?  cooking class on an organic farm? market shopping and hecklers? a harrowing mountain bike ride to a pub  in the middle of the nowhere where you pick out your own live chicken to slaughter? the moment when I thought our driver was taking us to a Vietnamese jail because we got stopped by  scary-looking police and told to turn around? a 2 day trek though the jungle and rivers to the world’s third largest cave in 100+ degree weather?  a biking tour through Angkor’s lesser know areas and temples ? visiting a village in Phong Na Kebang National Park and drinking green tea in the Chief’s hut? eating BUGS?

I didn’t get tired of any of it. I would do it all again. I LOVE ASIA!

Today I am sharing one of the 4 dishes we made with Chef Than on his organic farm outside Ho Chi Minh city, the pork lettuce cups know as San Choi Bao in Vietnamese cooking.

Vietnamese and Khmer food are healthy and fresh, thanks to being so close to the equator and an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables . Lemongrass, ginger, papaya, fresh mint and basil, coconut milk, and fish sauce can be found in many dishes. Freshly squeezed fruit juices are readily available everywhere, which I miss terribly already…

I am sharing a few photos of our favorite places and links below if you are ever planning a trip yourself.

HO CHI MINH COOKING CLASSHo Chi Minh Cooking Class

 

Banana Spring Roll with Coconut Cream
Phong Na Ke Bang National Park

Phong Na

Phong Na

The Pub with Cold Beer(yes, you can pick out your live chicken here and yes, it is a harrowing long bike ride to get here but totally worth it!)

pub with cold beer

Pub with Cold Beer Chicken, Morning Glory, Rice and Peanut Sauce

Pub with Cold Beer Chicken, Morning Glory, Rice and Peanut Sauce

 

Hang En Cave with Oxalis Adventure Tours

Hang En Cave campsite

Hang En Cave campsite

P1030542

Angkor Archeological Park-

guided by Khmer for Kmher on bicycleVietnam 657
Vietnam 625

Riding around Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia in tuk-tuks.

 

P1030652

BUGS CAFE-mixed bug platter

bug platter

 

San Choi Bao

Serves 3
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Allergy Peanuts
Meal type Appetizer, Main Dish
Misc Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Try these crunchy Vietnamese lettuce wraps for dinner in under 30 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup roughly cut mix of oyster and shittake mushrooms
  • 1/2 finely diced onion
  • 1lb ground pork
  • 1 head of butter lettuce
  • 4 teaspoons Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped red chilies
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 tablespoons crushed peanuts

Note

You can find fresh oyster mushrooms at Whole Foods.

You can find Vietnamese fish sauce(different than Thai fish sauce) at an Asian market, as well as the oyster sauce and five spice powder!

Directions

Step 1
In a hot wok saute the oil, garlic,chilies and onion about 1-2 minutes until the onion is opaque. Add in pork and stir until cooked.Add in the carrot and mushrooms and all spices and mix well on heat for another minute or two. Serve over lettuce leaves with crushed peanuts sprinkled on top.