Family

Grilling on the 4th of July

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Chicken wings

Grilling on the 4th of July is as American as it gets. Strangely, for the first 10 years of being in American, we never grilled at home. While living in Wisconsin, every 4th of July was spent at Marathon Park enjoying all the events that were going on. There was always a fair where we […]

Family

It’s the Year of the Dog!!!

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Spread of food.

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới! The year of the Dog is upon us! I wish everyone good health, wealth, and yummy food all year long. After a month plus of recovering from the food glut of Christmas, I am now in the throes of Tết (Lunar New Year) and its cornucopia of food! As always, my […]

Family

The End of the Year as We Know It

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Juicy brisket

I have survived another X-mas. It’s usually my favorite holiday; I love the lights and decorations, I love the music, and of course, I love the food. This year it has been a drab and not so merry Christmas for various reasons. The National Christmas Tree was small and not very bigly. There were no […]

Family

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Leftover – Turkey Phở

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Turkey leg

My very first Thanksgiving in the States was at my Bo’s co-worker’s house in the backcountry of central Wisconsin. Times were rough but the co-worker, his wife, and their baby girl welcomed my Bo and me into their home. That year they could not afford a turkey, so my first Thanksgiving was celebrated with a roast chicken […]

Family

In the Palm of My Hand

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Braised pork

  I’m an intuitive cook. Most immigrant cooks and great chefs are intuitive cooks. Growing up watching my Mang cook, I never once saw her use a measuring cup or measuring spoons. A cup of water was one rice bowl full of water. She used dinnerware for tablespoons and teaspoons. The most important measuring utensil in […]

Family

I Love the Smell of Fish Sauce Part 2

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Caramel braised chicken

I love the smell of fish sauce…just not early in the morning! Part Deux Mang made home cooked Viet food, not fancy dishes. She made braised pork, chicken, or seafood. Braising the Viet way in those early years in the U.S. was labor intensive. First Mang had to make the caramel that would color and sweeten the braised dish. Cook […]

Family

I Love the Smell of Fish Sauce Part 1

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Sliced cucumbers marinate faster

I love the smell of fish sauce…just not too early in the morning! Part 1 I never knew the true nuances of fish sauce – all its subtlety, pungency, and variety – until my Mang arrived in America and started to cook real authentic Viet meals at home. Before that, the only fish sauce that […]

Family

Hungry for Memories

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Our V Spice Seasonings are great in burgers

The strongest memories in my mind seem to be tied to food; its smell, its taste, its appearance, and what role it played in my life at that point in time. I don’t have many memories of my life in Vietnam, since I was only 3 when I left, but there are certain vignettes that […]

Family

My Culinary Journey

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I came to the United States when I was 3 years old, but grew up in a very Viet household. The first 6 years I lived here, I ate predominantly American Midwest cuisine until my Mom (aka Mang) came over. My dad (aka Bo), my brother (AC) and I came over together first, so my […]