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Stumbling across Hanoi eats


I'm a banh mi slut. I found a vendor near my hotel that fries up the fillings and puts it all into bread that she keeps in a warmer. I'm in love. Above, two big chunks of pate fried up with a fresh egg, some spice (MSG) and Hanoi style chili sauce in the aforementioned warm bread. Lovely.


I believe this is called bun moc, containing the fresh rice noodles, cilantro, green onions, tiny shiitake mushrooms, some bamboo shoots, mild pork broth and ground pork and mushrooms seasoned up and formed into meatballs. And a shot of Vietnamese black pepper.

Warning, many pictures to follow, culled over several days.

It's a dog's life in Vietnam...


The big market in the old quarter is Dong Xuan market. Historically, the whole city was divided up for vendors of certain types, i.e. salt street, fish street, etc. This is one of the shops in the wok and kitchenware area.


It's really cramped in Dong Xuan itself, so they really pile it in. On the upper left, there's some sharkfin, giant dried mushrooms, in the middle some Vietnamese cassia ("cinnamon" bark) and a lot of dried beans and rice on the bottom.


There's one particular street in the old quarter that switches to seafood vendors at night. Most of it is either steamed, boiled or grilled, and served with a dish of sea salt, black pepper, chili and calamansi juice, chili and ripe calamansi (or it might be another citrus that's more kumquat-like), and some greens and herbs to eat alongside.


There are many ice cream shops here, including Fanny, which I had also been to in Saigon/HCMC. This one is called Kem Trang Tiem, tucked way back in an alley. Even though it's in the guidebook, I would have missed it had it not been for about 25 schoolkids streaming out of there who had just gotten their "cinnamon" ice cream cone for the day. I actually got sweet rice, which is a seasonal flavor. It was pretty good, but it had a little too much pandan (I'm guessing) and the rice flavor (pretty delicate already) was overshadowed. I plan to go back and try the cinnamon flavor.


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