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Global Journey: Scene VII

Wandering through the impoverished, drought-stricken provinces of north-central Việt Nam. Landed in the little country town of Nghĩa Hiếu, in the province of Nghệ An. Ended up chillin' there for a few days longer than expected. Swell kuntry folk, always eager and willing to offer up a bowl or rice, or $11 prostitute. Don't worry kids, I only indulged in one of those offers. Read on.

Roadside pineapples: 10,000 VND (52 cents) a pop. Grandma (not pictured) enlightening you on why you should marry a Vietnamese girl and bring her to the states: no added charge.

I had heard good things about Lạng Sơn style roasted duck, so I was pumped to see this duck rotisserie in the middle of the Nghệ An sticks. Did this kid know his bird or what? Even spent time up in the mountain province to study the authentic ways of duck preparation and roastage. Grass fed, free-range ducks bathed in honey, fish sauce, lemongrass, fresh turmeric, sugar and vinegar- along with the imperative móc mật leaves, which are shipped direct from Lạng Sơn. After that 3 hour soak they're hardwood roasted while basted with honey for 50 minutes, chopped up and served. He sells all 40 each and every day.

Vịt Quay
These free roaming ducks (vịt cỏ) have tight flesh (remember?) but are just tender enough to enjoy. Even my Mama, infamous for her perpetual revulsion of duck dishes would give this honey-basted-leanest-bird-not-named-turkey a shot. Yeah, I polished it off clean. 80.000 VND ($4.17) per.

Market Run
My second night in Nghệ An, some neighbors invited me for dinner. After dinner they invited me for lunch the following day. As is the custom in Việt Nam, the invitations will continue until you either leave town or impregnate the 3rd cousin. Anyway, the mother and I made plans to hit up the market the following morning. I'd pick up the tab is she put together a scrumptious mid-day meal. Here she is with her favorite swine seller, who also serves up a damn accurate volleyball lob.

Secret Chef
Cooking up a nice lil' bean sprout, spring onion and beef stir-fry. Not sure what the hat's for, could be a leak.

Sweet caramelized shrimp (tôm rim), shell on of course; boiled veggies, that beef and bean sprout stir-fry along with sweet and sour pork {#1} (sườn xào chua ngọt). Beers to wash it down. Delish.

Stay Cross-Legged.


Mel said...

That duck caused me to salivate.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! I check on it about once a week and it always make my day better :). Keep up the great work . cam on

mina said...

I'm really not a fan of duck, but your description of it would make anyone want to try it.

What an amazing experience!

Reima said...

I love duck! I'd like to try this style without the honey! :) Looks good!

Jenny said...

Your photos are a-flippin-mazing. Must learn your tricks.


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