I have the distinct privileges of living in a very Asian neighborhood. The Asian markets Hong Phat and Fubonn are closer than any Safeway or Fred Meyer. There are more great Thai and Vietnamese restaurants that I can count. Not only the food, but the culture and diversity in my neighborhood is unmatched.
I decided to take the easy route when I hosted Vietnamese night. I went to Hong Phat and purchased tons of pre-made savory and sweet pastries. Trying to get the most non-American ones I could find.
Then I bought all the ingredients to make fresh salad rolls, my absolute favorite! There are a lot of websites with great recipes and varying ingredients, but here’s a breakdown of what I chose to fill them with: crab, vermicelli noodles, tofu, carrots, cucumber, shrimp, cabbage, mint, and cilantro. You chop it all up, and wrap it in soaked vermicelli paper wraps.
Next time, I will simplify the ingredients and maybe switch around a few things. But the start of the show was definitely the fresh mint and cilantro. Dinner by candlelight doesn’t make for a great photo opportunity.
After filling up on some pastries and salad rolls, I unveiled one last surprise – super weird desserts. They were bright green and dark brown and slightly gelatinous.
We remained adventurous and tried each one, although they definitely did not get any better. The Vietnamese have dinner locked down, but need some help in the dessert department. Maybe it’s because they sweeten everything with mung beans. Try some sugar, dudes! It’s delicious.