If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to hang out with Brad Pitt at a Brad Pitt Appreciation Convention, then you could simply take a blond haired, blue-eyed baby to Vietnam to get the gist of the mania. Luckily, we didn’t have twins or it would have been akin to traveling with the Beatles and I don’t know if I could handle having undies thrown at me on my honeymoon.
D Man had the honour of accompanying Mister H and I on our ‘month of honey’ when he was 9 months old. It was a little less like mead moon and a little more like Bia Hanoi but D Man refrained for the most part, sticking to breast milk, possibly occasionally tainted with a touch of said Hanoi nectar.
I had traveled in Thailand when I was a stinky backpacker, and I’d also been to many of the Indonesian islands but Vietnam had been high on my itinerary wish list for a rong rong time….it seemed the perfect time to go, as we were heading to Holland for a white Christmas and it was practically on the way……and it was OUR HONEYMOON.
It really was like traveling with a superstar. People would come running to touch him, grab him out of our arms, once even reefing him off my shoulders practically decapitating me in the process. The kid was a hit.
He was a bit of a reluctant hero though. I dare say the experience was somewhat overwhelming as ‘personal space’ is not a commonly used term in most not-quite-third world countries.
We tried to protect the little fellow from too much man-handling. We found him safest in his backpack, but a kid cannot spend an entire three weeks in a backpack. Besides, it squashed his nuts.
He was a brilliant travel companion, and I thoroughly recommend inviting your children to your honeymoon. If you don’t have children, don’t take someone else’s though because they do cramp your style somewhat (i.e.
bonking romance is not the same with imminent squawking, or wakeful babies). Just a little warning.
The food in Vietnam was awesome. It not as chilli-burn-your-face-off as Thailand (although I do love that), and I just adore the big, fresh flavours.
This recipe was inspired by our trip, or more accurately, a desire to eat Vietnamese without taking off my slippers and getting a babysitter. It’s not totally authentic, because I made it up, and I’m not Vietnamese, but it hit the spot.
This would be awesome with a couple of birds-eye chillies chopped into the meat, but I was serving it to D Man – who enjoyed it considerably more than the kofte, thanks for asking.
Yield : 4 serves
You will need :
For pork -
- 500g pork
- 5 spring onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemongrass, white part only chopped and bashed (I found a jar in the fridge and used that. If you don’t have it or can’t find it, use a little lemon zest, or omit. It’s not make or break.)
- 2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shao Xing wine, or sherry
- 1 handful chopped coriander
- 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
For coconut rice -
- 1.5 cups Jasmine rice
- 1.5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1.5 cups coconut milk
- 2 bunches Chinese greens, to serve
Put your rice on first as this will take half an hour to cook. Aim to get the rest done and cooked in that time…..or turn your rice off.
Throw rice ingredients into a heavy passed pot with a lid. You could chuck it into the oven on 180C for half and hour, or you can get it to the boil on the stove, then turn it right down and pop it on a diffuser if you need to….Do not stir. Just ignore it for half an hour, or until liquid is evaporated. Turn of an leave to sit, especially if it looks gluggy. Sitting will be good for it.
Throw all of your pork ingredients into a bowl and give it a good mix with your hands. Remove your wedding rings first cos getting this out of the grooves is not cool.
Using tablespoon sized portions, roll into balls and give them a little pat to flatten.
I cooked mine on the BBQ but you could pan fry or grill. Whatever floats your boat.
Steam your greens giving them a nice drizzle with oyster sauce, or soy, plus some sesame oil and maybe a squeeze of lemon.
Take a little walk down memory lane with me….I loved hunting these photos down. That’s the arse about hard drives. Pictures aren’t as present as they used to be.