The weather suddenly turn gray and grim, with temperatures that bordered on making it necessary to turn the furnace on. I fought against the changing seasons by coking food that reminded me of warmer times. This morning, I thawed one of the daikon and rice cake loafs from last week. My goal was to to recreate a street food snack we had in Saigon last January.
My husband and I ventured to Cholon (Chinatown) with our friends Robyn Eckhardt and David Hagerman of Eating Asia. Dave is a professional photographer and wandered off on his own. Robyn, Rory and I walked the market and picked up some cool house wares. While we waited for Dave to meet us, we took in the scene.
Cholon always looks like something exploded. People are in a hurry, buying and selling. It’s packed and all business. Transactions happen fast. It’s no nonsense so you have to know what you want before you go.
The three of reviewed the street food options a couple of times before Robyn settled on some sticky rice and fruit. I spotted a man making bot chien (literally fried dough, which sounds utterly blah but it is darn good) on a flat top. He was doing a brisk business and having a good time chatting with customers. His sizzling cart emanated fabulous fragrance.