Do you like pickles?

Like in my Pirin area also in Vietnam there are quite a few local dishes that foreigners/tourists never get to taste. Either because they do not show up on restaurant menus or – when invited to a Vietnamese home – they are too “common” or too “specific” to be presented to a foreign guest.

I am in the lucky(?) position to get such food nearly every day. It is always “nearly” vegetarian, as only a little meat is added to the cooking process – mainly for taste.

Last night we had “Canh dưa” – a kind of soup with pickled vegetable. The Vietnamese like pickling very much (a little different from the Japanese pickling).

For the Canh dưa they clean and cut mustard greens

and keep them covered in salt water three to four days (turning the stuff upside down every day). When the thicker lower parts start to become yellow, it is ready – like here:

You then wash the mustard greens to get the salt out and dry them. Then heat some oil in a pot and add cubed beef (tenderloin if possible) and tomatoes and the mustard greens. No other spices. Simmer it covered for 5 minutes. Afterwards you transfer everything into a pressure cooker, add water and cook it for about 50 minutes in a pressure cooker.

The result looks something like this:

I can assure you that the taste is unlike anything that you have eaten so far. But it is very satisfying and complex. I nearly finished the pot on my own :)

Some days ago I have bought some durian ice cream at “Fanny’s”. Horribly expensive – but the “maitre” learned in Paris at Lenotre’s. It was a perfect desert with a little sliced-up banana.

Oh, these small bananas. Like perfume in your mouth :)

Today no rain – but COLD (15 C only!) and windy. Another relaxed day in the making…

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