Nipa palm

140km on my bike on Sunday just for this 😛 New record for me! Yay!

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One of my most favourite fruits! It’s served fresh with coconut water and ice. 50 cent for 1 cup. Super cheap!

On the ferry
On the ferry to cross the river

Then 40km more on open road to get to Can Gio beach. Such a nightmare for new cyclist like me!

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I can’t say I like the road 😐 11143495_970903346294376_7157787872350578777_o

How a pro dealed with dirt 😀

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I hate all the bridges, no matter it’s high or not!

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Anyway, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey…

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The beach is not nice and very crowded. Seafood is okay and not cheap. No picture for the beach!

101 things to love about Vietnam

Don’t know why phở and bun bo Hue are not in the list. It’s a signature! It’s a must to be in the list!

Link to Word Vietnam, one of my favourite magazine.

Therefore I’ll give phở as no. Zero which is higher than no. 1 😛

I’ll quickly list here few things that are my favourites

#0. Phở and Bun bo Hue

#31. Rice wine

Ruou de, ruou chuoi, ruou can, ruou nep, ruou thuoc, ruou mo qua, ruou go den… The list of ruou, or rice wine, peculiar to Vietnam goes on. And if you want to drink your ruou with style, the Son Tinh range out of Hanoi is the way to go — apricot, red plum, white ginseng, Minh Mang and passion fruit. They’ve even got their own selection of cocktail recipes. Devil’s fart, anyone?

I don’t like alcohol drinks honestly. I only want to drink with my best friends or people I’m close with. But I have to admit that some home-brewed wines from fruits are really impressive, including cocoa wine in Mekong Delta and red plum wine in North West Vietnam. They’re not too strong, not too sweet. OMG, try one shot then I dare you to resist the second one!

#33. Floating markets in Mekong Delta

Shiny purple eggplants, squat squash and furry zucchini bob on spindly poles far above the jumble of boats and people vying for river space in the Mekong Delta’s floating markets. In the cool dawn light, sellers and patrons jump skilfully from boat to boat — buying, selling and haggling over the day’s fresh produce.

#2. Coconuts

They drop on your head. Fortunately their contents can also drop in your mouth, although you need to open them first. In Vietnam coconuts are cheap, nutritious and very, very tasty.

from Word Vietnam

If you go to Mekong Delta, you should try coconut that has pandan flavor.

#3. Cafe

Yes, yes, yes and yes. I’m addicted to coffee. 1-2 cups everyday for over 11 years. I bring Vietnamese coffee whenever I go abroad.

Coffee shop in Sai Gon is fantastic in styles.

#40. Bia hoi

Street beer in Ha Noi.

#48. Ca phe phin

It’s a must for me every morning with daddy.

#52. Banh mi

My breakfast, quite often.

#72. The tones

Dau sac, dau huyen, dau nang, dau hoi, dau nga, khong dau… Master the tones, and you’re speaking what some linguists call one of the most difficult languages in the world. Fail to get your tones right and you’ll get smiles, laughter and just won’t be understood. Vietnamese is a melody, a set of melodies, and the tones are the notes. Understand that and you’ll be singing in no time.

Haha yes, Vietnamese language is crazy! But no worries, many of my good friends who are Canadian, American, French can master it.

#84. Phu Quoc

#91. Free wifi

Yeah! Everywhere!

#92. Very cheap 3G

And pretty bad signal!

Hope you enjoy the article.

Cheers,

Boo

What’re you gonna do with leftover breads and overripe bananas?

Last weekend I had 4 medium-size leftover loaves of bread and a lot of overripe bananas. After make some frozen banana ice cream (just banana covered by coconut milk, shredded coconut and chopped peanut – my most favourite childhood ice cream, Vietnamese style), I decided to make Vietnamese banana cake which is made from those 2 main ingredients.

Level: Easy

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Baking time: 35 minutes

You need

  • 200 gr dried breads
  • 600 ml coconut milk or half coconut milk and half whole milk
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten or 100 ml coconut milk instead – up to you
  • 50 gr all purposed flour, optional – if you want it thicker
  • 700 gr bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 150-200 gr white sugar or brown sugar or half and half
  • 1 tbsp Rhum wine
  • 2 tsps lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Cut the breads into pieces, place in the oven at 210 degree F in 30 minutes or until they are completely dry (as below image)

    L1070196
    Breads after dry in the oven
  • Preheat the oven at 350 degree F.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together bread, coconut milk, whole milk, eggs, flour (if any), salt. Set aside. NOTE: It’s easier if you crush the breads into smaller pieces.
  • In a non stick loaf pan, mix together sliced bananas, sugar, Rhum wine, lemon juice until sugar covers bananas well.
  • Place bananas in the oven in 10 minutes. Sugar is almost dissolved then.
  • Remove the pan from the oven. Mix together the bread mixture and banana mixture. Add in vanilla extract and mix well.
  • Pour the batter into a 10-inch round/square pan.
  • Bake in 30-35 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool completely in the pan before slice it.
Vietnamese banana cake
Vietnamese banana cake

If you don’t use flour, the cake still has nice texture (as I did) and you don’t realize any bread crumb when you eat. It should be kept in the fridge up to a week (and it will get thicker then).

Enjoy dear! Don’t waste any leftover food in your kitchen!

Cheers,

Boo

Coconut macaroons

Level: Easy

Preparation time: 10 mins

Baking time: 25 mins

Saturday morning, soooo lazy but craving for cookies, not in the mood for gluten food, coconut macaroons seems like the best choice at that moment.

This is all you need

  • 4 cups fresh coconut, shredded (coconut is very popular in Vietnam, if you can’t find any fresh one, frozen ones works well too)
  • 3 large egg whites + 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 can condensed milk (7 oz, use more if you want it sweeter)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven at 320 degree
  • Beat the egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until stiff peak
  • Mix well condensed milk and coconut and almond extract
  • Gently fold coconut mixture into egg whites
  • Scoop the batter onto the silpat or prepared pan
  • Sprinkle peanuts on the top
  • Bake in 25 minutes or golden
  • Let it cool completely on wire rack, store in airtight container at room temperature up to a week or in freezer up to a month (if possible!)

Those cuties are crispy outside and soft inside. To make it fancier, drizzle melted dark chocolate on the top. Or just eat it like that!

Cheers!

Boo