Saturday, May 01, 2010

On (not) reading packages at the Vietnamese market

Sometimes our entire family really needs to have some bun cha. It is the favorite Vietnamese food of those who have travelled there and even those who have not love it. Since it is virtually impossible to find in VN restaurants, we must make it ourselves. If I plan well, I am able to drive down the the VN markets near us to buy all the greens that go on top, which is where I was thing morning. As well as the greens, I also picked up some things that are difficult to find even at my normal grocery store which caters to a pretty diverse population. What did I get? A can of coconut gels. M., B., and TM really love these; they are a bit too gelatinous for my taste. I also bought a package of prawn chips for TM. (He loves all things fish.) It looked like a normal package of prawn chips, though when TM ripped into them his first words were, "Oh weird!" While that would be most American's reaction to prawn chips, it usually isn't TM's. So J. and I take a look...and they are weird. They are really hard and transparent and don't taste very good. Upon closer inspection, it turns out that they must be boiled in oil before eating. Who knew you could buy prawn crackers that weren't fully cooked? Obviously I didn't or I would have bought the fully cooked variety.

What didn't I get? I was really hoping to find a bag of Vinamit dried pineapple which is my favorite snack food from VN. But, despite wandering the aisles more than once, no Vinamit chips were to be found.


April said...

We call them shrimp chips and they are so much better in the oil than buying them already packaged! And, more bank for your buck b/c you can actually break them in half b/c they puff up so big once heated in oil. I could eat that and Vietnamese salad all day long! One of my favorites that my husband makes for me :)

thecurryseven said...

OK, April, you've convinced me that I should brave the hot oil and give it a try. I'll let you know what everyone thinks,


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