Summer's hot-weather is peak time for growing and eating Vietnamese herbs. In fact, above is my friend Alec Mitchell's Vietnamese herb 'garden' that he set up on his condo balcony in Culver City. He started the herbs with an indoor Aerogarden unit and planted the seedlings in recycled terracotta pots.
Fresh herbs (rau thom) are an elemental part of the cuisine so don’t miss out on them. They offer an amazing array of nuanced flavor and soft, leafy texture unlike common western herbs such as basil and parsley. For information on why fresh herbs matter in Vietnamese cooking, the awesome array of herbs, and how to source and grow them, check out this article I wrote for the Los Angeles Times Food Section that was published today:
- Fresh Herbs at the Center of Vietnamese Cuisine, LA Times Food Section, July 15, 2009