Friday, January 23, 2009


Day 2 was scheduled for the Mekong River Tour.  The coach picked us up at 8 a.m. and it took us 3 hours to get there. We went to a place where they make popped rice and other candies made with coconut milk.

After the rice has been popped, a mixture made with coconut milk, sugar syrup, and coconut strips are boiled until slightly caramelized.  The popped rice is then added and mixed into the coconut mixture. Two men with wooden sticks go through this mixing motion, sort of like a tribal dance and in the process, the popped rice gets sticky and gooey. 

The sticky popped rice is then transferred to a table. Metal rolling pins are used to flatten and to keep them compact.  Then they are sliced and allowed to cool.
Then it is packed in plastic, sealed and labeled.

Here's a candy that they make made out of coconut milk. It somewhat tastes like coco jam.  It's wrapped in rice paper and then it's individually wrapped.

There was a lady there that made rice paper.... the one that is used for fresh spring rolls
It looked really easy but when I tried it, as you can see, it didn't turn out so well. :-) It was fun trying it though.
Ok... more stories next time.

Monday, January 12, 2009


My family and I went to Ho Chi Minh City for the Holidays. We figured, it was a place that most of us have not yet been to and the long holiday was a perfect time to explore and get to know the place.  I know Vietnam through their popular spring rolls, lemongrass barbecue pork, shrimp in sugarcane and the beef noodle - pho. 

My first dinner in Vietnam was not so good though.  We ate at a tourist place that served French and Vietnamese cuisine.  We ordered a set menu that had soft shell crabs as an appetizer and it turned out to be raw in the middle.  That really made me lose my appetite that night. What saved the night was the spring rolls. I don't think you can ever go wrong with that.

The two things that I found interesting that night... Beer and Kropek.  I'm not a beer drinker but I always enjoy seeing another brand.  The kropek was a good tummy filler specially when you're waiting for your food to arrive.

More stories about Vietnam on my next post...