Monday Meal Review: Yemen

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httpv://youtu.be/0HwkROj5dvQ "Oh yeah..." Keith says, chewing thoughtfully. "These are good!" I look at him a moment, scanning his eyes, wondering if he is being truthful. Then I look down at the plate to check if he'd eaten the right thing. Sesame coated, almond stuffed dates. Yup. Could he really think the Stuffed Date Balls are good? To be fair, he had no idea what they were when he ate them, except I did warn him that the crunchy thing inside was an almond. Still, these date balls … [Read more...]

Recipe: Almond Stuffed Date Balls

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When I made the amazing Pistachio Date Balls for Iraq, I thought I'd seen the easiest recipe in the world.  It only uses two ingredients (third if you feel like getting extra fancy), and there's no cooking. Well, today's date balls are even easier: they don't require a food processor. Boom! Even as simple as they are, the flavor is amazing - as though from a much more complex recipe. There's a sweetness from the dates that transports me straight to Yemen... I mean, forget it. Let's … [Read more...]

Recipe: Spiced Skillet Eggs | Yemeni Shakshouka

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Eggs. In the shell, they seems so... ordinary. But glowing, too, like they're full of potential. Like they're ready to become something more. When it comes to breakfast, Yemen knows how to dress them up - as Shakshouka. Shakshouka is a beloved skillet egg dish popular all over North Africa and the Middle East. We've made shakshouka before - the kind that is rather like a tomato sauce with poached eggs inside (and, by the way, yum!) - but Yemen makes shakshouka … [Read more...]

Menu: Yemen

Ava-halloween

Yemen happens to coincide with Halloween. Halloween means trick or treating. Tons of candy and dressing up as a dream - as someone else. Or something else. This year, Ava is going as "the night sky and harvest moon." Because, well, why not!? We made her dress with tulle, and she sewed her moon together from felt. I helped affixed it to the front of her dress. In the spirit of Halloween, we dressed up eggs and dates for our Yemeni menu.  I'm not sure either recipe would work for the … [Read more...]

About the food of Yemen

Footbridge in Shaharah, Yemen. Photo by Bernard Gagnon.

"Work like an ant and you'll eat sugar." Yemeni Proverb I can't decide if the country of Yemen looks like a check mark or a bow tie.  It depends on the map.  Still, every time I thought about how to begin this post, I kept coming back to that check mark - the kind you get when you do a good job on your homework. Probably because Yemen is the third to last country on our list of countries. Check, check, check. I can't. believe. it! But there is, indeed, more to Yemen than her … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Vietnam

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 httpv://youtu.be/vzbdNirNp-8 "The husband eats hamburger; the wife eats spring roll" "Ong an cha ba an nem" Vietnamese Proverb Even though Keith loves hamburger as much as he always has, and I love salad just as much, if not more...  I'm of the mind that there is no reason to eat different food at mealtimes, as long as everyone can assemble their own plate. This week, I put that theory to the test. The spring roll recipe we tried contains both meat and a garden's worth of vegetables. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Hot & Sour Dipping Sauce | Nước mắm pha

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Nước mắm pha is the quintessential Vietnamese dipping sauce, used on spring rolls, rice noodles, salads, and more. It's sweet, salty, and heavily spiced. A basic recipe includes freshly squeeze lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and water. The real flavor comes from garlic and fresh red chilies. I learned on Food Safari (a great food/travel show - catch it if you can!) that if the cook can get the garlic and chili pieces to float in the nước mắm pha, they will get … [Read more...]

Recipe: DIY Spring Rolls | Bò nhúng dấm

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  Today, let me show you how Vietnamese food is like a dream. Delicate. Lingering. But, also, let me show you how their food is like a celebration. Bold. Unapologetic. Before I do, call your friends and family because today's recipe is a Vietnamese food party. The star? The DIY Spring Roll. Here's how it works: Every guest gets to pick and choose their fillings, from cucumber and sprouts, to vibrant mint, thai basil, and cilantro. The best part? Everyone gets to … [Read more...]

Menu: Vietnam

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I don't know why this week's menu is so hard. I purchased ingredients for three different recipes before I finally settled on the recipes below. For those of you who thought I might make pho, I considered it. But, the fact is, I made "foe" for Laos, and, while some of the spices vary, I wanted to branch out a little - try something new. When one of you said something about being able to get pho anywhere, and why not show you a dish a little less known, I loved the challenge. Of course, the … [Read more...]

About the food of Vietnam

Khu cầu Đá Bạc Thủy Nguyên. Photo by Hoàng Việt.

The first time I had Vietnamese food I was fourteen, living in Paris. Turns out, great Vietnamese restaurants can be found all over the city. I remember one thing only about those early forays into Vietnamese culture: crispy, deep-fried rolls and a platter of mint and lettuce. You wrap the rolls in a handful of mint and lettuce, then dip it into nuoc mam (a sweet and spicy fish sauce mixture). I still dream about that flavor. Fresh, fried, crunchy, and sour. Unfortunately, everywhere I … [Read more...]