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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Vietnam War

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Vietnam War The Battle for Vietnam. .

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  #1  
Old 24 Feb 12, 15:53
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Vietnamese Food - Good vs. bad

Just wondering if any would like to comment on their best meal in Vietnam versus the worst they ate. If you want to comment on our own food supplies while there feel free to do so.
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  #2  
Old 24 Feb 12, 18:06
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When we were on an operation, we ate SVN rations - a small plastic bag of cooked rice and a small c-ration can of chicken or tuna (and if you were really lucky, a small c-ration can of fruit) for the day. So you ate a little for breakfast, a little for lunch, and a little for dinner. This may have been sufficient for the Vietnamese soldiers, but I was really hungry. On extended operations (like the Cambodian Incursion) this was a starvation diet. (When in basecamp, we ate food bought by us on the local economy, or "traded" for with war booty from US mess sergeants).

One evening, after a fire fight at a Cambodian hamlet, the BDQ Bn commander invited me to dinner. I watched it being prepared - a duck was bled into a giant wok, then chopped up (with the meat still on the bone), dumped into the wok, and some rice and wild onions added. It was the best meal I ever had.

I cannot say where the duck came from, but I suspect it was a casualty of the fire fight.
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Old 24 Feb 12, 20:31
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I tried monkey on a couple of occasions, one of which there was no way to back out of without offending our hosts. I know some who had to eat worse though on occasions such as this.
Cooked rice and dried shrimp was a staple on many Vietnamese soldiers and was one that I enjoyed, with some hot sauce from home of course.
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Old 24 Feb 12, 21:02
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We would buy some veggie subs on french bread. All came with a baked in sprinkling of flour weevils.
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Old 25 Feb 12, 00:56
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I had a substitute teacher my Sophomore year of High School that talked about just coming back from Vietnam. He said it was very hard to really appreciate fresh monkey brains when the owner of said protein was screaming under the table. He also said cooked Boa Constrictor was not bad.

As long as you were not downwind of the Nguoc Mam processor, it tasted pretty good.

I am really waiting in anticipation for Miss Saigon to share some recipes she learned from family..

Pruitt
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Old 25 Feb 12, 01:26
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post

I am really waiting in anticipation for Miss Saigon to share some recipes she learned from family..

Pruitt
Hey, I posted some VN Cajun fusion recipes in my Mardi Gras, Cajun music thread that should have appealed to you

One of my favorite VN foods is the Bánh xèo. The Sai Gon Crepe. Yummy, and you don't see it in too many VN restaurants in the US.
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Old 25 Feb 12, 04:58
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One of my favorite VN foods is the Bánh xèo. The Sai Gon Crepe. Yummy, and you don't see it in too many VN restaurants in the US.
Bánh xèo recipe

Last edited by Phieu; 25 Feb 12 at 05:11..
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Old 26 Feb 12, 02:29
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Old 26 Feb 12, 03:09
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The banh xeo is good (plus, the mom-in-law occasionally makes it for everyone, woohoo) but I actually like a hotpot of fish braised in salty sweet sauce (ca kho to), really good with fresh rice and veggies.



Also, if any of you folks ever get to a VN sandwich shop, get a banh mi with the grilled beef if you can. It's hard to find actually, the other kinds of banh mi are easy but for some reason with the grilled beef, it's not so easy to find. The image below actually is of the banh mi thit nuong which is the grilled pork, much easier to find. Still, it looks almost exactly the same except the beef is actually more like a rough ground beef patty.




It's called banh mi Thịt Ḅ Nướng. But if you do find it, try it. Properly done (fresh everything and I mean it, even the bread should be done that AM) with the right sauce, special mayo spread, bread, pickled veggies, and a little hot pepper, they are awesome. Better than anything you'll find from a deli or Subway. It's something to do with the combination of the special bread they make; looks like a thin French bread but it's sweeter and softer. In combo, with the salty beef and sauce, the pickled veggies, cilantro and just a little hot pepper, sooo goood. I like all the other banh mi combos too but the beef is the bomb...hmm, think I'll get some tomorrow after biking with the kids.

Also, if you like roasted chicken, try Ga Ro Ti, done right it's really good, yet isn't greasy at all.



Of course, there's always the old standby, Pho Bo Vien, which is the beef ball soup; so good on cold days.




Just be sure to use the greens they provide and use a little siracha hot sauce and hoisin sauce too.
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Old 26 Feb 12, 10:22
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Boomer,

You are, of course referring to Meatballs right? We have something around here we refer to as "Porcuipine Balls", which is Meatballs with rice stuck on. One night in the Lunchroom I had a sweet little beverage server grab my arm with really big eyes and ask "Is it really..?". I just smiled and said "Yes, it is!"..

Pruitt
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Old 26 Feb 12, 12:39
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Best food I ate in Vietnam was in downtown Saigon at a French restaurant specialing in French meals. It was very good.

Most of the meals seemed about the same no matter what they called the different dishes, they were all right. It was the first time I ate 'sweet and sour' and thought that was pretty good.

The GIs in Iraq griped about the MREs, they're spoiled compared to C Rations they are gourmet food.
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Old 26 Feb 12, 17:41
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I still like nuoc mam on my corn flakes...
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Old 26 Feb 12, 18:14
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Nước mắm so lame. Mắm tôm (shrimp paste) is real Vietnamese food for real men. Compulsorily boil it well before first use!
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Old 26 Feb 12, 18:56
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Nước mắm so lame. Mắm tôm (shrimp paste) is real Vietnamese food for real men. Compulsorily boil it well before first use!
It's hard to go wrong with shrimp - we are having shrimp ceviche (shrimp cured in lime juice) tonight.

Tell me, Altus - do you eat tendon in your pho? I haven't been able to do that yet, but maybe it's a whole other thing than finding those suckers in a cut of beef!

Of course, I like menudo (beef tripe stew), so I guess you can acquire a taste for anything.

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Old 26 Feb 12, 19:16
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It's hard to go wrong with shrimp - we are having shrimp ceviche (shrimp cured in lime juice) tonight.
Try to get in tou..., I mean, smell, with mắm tôm. You won't forget it.

Quote:
Tell me, Altus - do you eat tendon in your pho? I haven't been able to do that yet, but maybe it's a whole other thing than finding those suckers in a cut of beef!
If very well boiled, to the extent it just dissolves on first chew, then ok. Otherwise I prefer to skip it.

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Of course, I like menudo (beef tripe stew), so I guess you can acquire a taste for anything.
It is very popular in Poland under the name "flaki". I have never learned to like it.
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