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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Vietnamese Herbs and Tamarind Candy...

As I blog about our recent, month-long trip through Vietnam (thanks to Vietnam Central Coastal Tourism!), I am also sorting though (and, uh, enjoying...) the many "foodie" and "drinkie" treats we brought back, and making the list of herbs and veggies I want to try to grow in our garden at the Elkhorn Inn, so Chef Dan can make Pho they way Pho needs to be made!
Based on our Cooking Class and Market Trip with Vy's Market in Hoi An, and our "Pho Trail" Tour and Market Visit in Saigon with Saigon Street Eats, I have put together the Big List of Vietnamese herbs and greens I want to get seeds for or plants of- so if anyone has contacts to seed companies or growers who can supply these things, PLEASE let me know!!!
A few are easy to come by- Coriander, Lemongrass, Garlic Chives, Thai Basil, Peppermint- but many are things that I have never seen in the USA... but with all the Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, and Chinese markets around the country, I am hopeful! Thanks to Barbara of Saigon Street Eats, I also found Vietworldkitchen:
  • Rice Paddy Herb - Rau Ngo (aka Rau Ho in the north and Rau Om in the south). This grows from cuttings, not from seeds
  • Holy Basil​, aka Thai basil​ 
  • Vietnamese Balm 
  • Saw-tooth leaf herb/spiky cilantro - rau ngò gai
  • Morning Glory - Rau Muong
  • Red Shiso - Tia To
  • Vietnamese Mint - Rau Ram
  • Bitter Herb - Rau Dang
  • Peppermint - Rau Hung
  • Palm Leaf - Kinh Gioi
  • Pennywort - Rau Ma
  • La Mo
  • Betel Leaf -La Lat
  • Chinese Celery - Rau Can
  • Coriander - Ngo (Mui)
  • Lemongrass - Sa
  • Garlic Chives - La He
  • Mustard Sprout - Cai Con
  • Chinese Coriander - Ngo Gai hoac Mui Tau
  • Chrysanthemum - Tan O (Cai Cuc)
  • Anise Basil - Rau Que
  • Lemon Basil - Rau E (Que Trang)
  • Green Mustard - Cai Be Xanh
  • Wild Watercress - Diep Ca
From the wall at Vy's Cooking School, Hoi An

Sawtooth Leaf Herb- Spiky Cilantro - From the Saigon Street Eats "Pho Trail"

The other thing that was making me NUTS is that I discovered THE BEST MUNCHY IN THE UNIVERSE in Saigon: sour, sweet, spicy- but I only brought back a tiny bag of them from the Saigon Market while on the "Pho Trail" Tour, and I've been doling them out like a Controlled Substance ever since we got home and I discovered how AMAZING they are! I posted a photo on Facebook:

... and within SECONDS, my BFF Cindy in NYC came up with the answer: Tamarind Candy! AND she found me a recipe- an EASY recipe- assuming, of course, that I can get some tamarind here in the mountains of West Virginia- from "Rachel Cooks Thai":

Ah, the marvelous power of the internet!!! 
And I just found a jar of tamarind paste in our pantry! :-D


Earthly Chow said...

I was able to root these herbs in water !

Anonymous said...

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