Adult Speaking Class, Level 1: What do you need … ?

21st May 2020

What do you need …. ?

What do you need to make pho ? (Vietnamese beef noodle soup)

Cách nấu phở bò thơm ngon bổ dưỡng cho cả nhà

I need: onions, lemons, meat, noodles, vegetables, chili and stock (water with flavour)

What do you need to ride a motorbike ? Is riding a motorbike fun ?

Why I'll Never Ride a Scooter in Southeast Asia Again - Just a Pack

It is very dangerous. It is very stressful

Firstly, I need a motorbike. The motorbike needs petrol

(petrol = British English, gas = USA)

GRAMMAR NOTE: I need / you need / he, she, it, name needs

What else do I need ?

I need a helmet, a face mask, gloves, glasses or goggles 

Through the lens: Motorcycle fashion in Vietnam | Anita's Feast
Helmets with a ponytail slot – ingenious !

What do you need for a party ?

Stonebwoy – African Party (Official Music Video) » Townflex

We need people, wine, food … what else ?

Also, plates and glasses. Of course, we need music !

Non-alcoholic drinks – for example orange juice … we call them ‘soft drinks’.

bread and flowers. We also need decorations for a birthday, Christmas, or Tet.

Tips for planning the perfect Bar or Bat Mitzvah party
A Bar Mitzvah celebration, when Jewish boys turn 13

What animals do you need for a zoo ?

The Zoo of Barcelona | Barcelona-Home

We need elephants, monkeys, tigers, birds (parrots)

crocodile or alligator

Lions, camels and hippos. Also, rhino and giraffes. Lastly, zebras.

Chimpanzee bottle feeds tiger cubs at zoo in Bangkok, Thailand ...

What do you need to do before you go out ?

Fast Quick Forward Young Asian Woman Selecting Clothes Thinking ...
Buster Keaton Shaving Barber Decor Silent Film Photo Poster 16″ x ...

Vietnamese party food

19th May 2020

Here’s another request blog; a friend, Pete (who has featured in some of my lessons) is planning a party this Friday. His daughter, who is turning 18, has requested some Vietnamese food.

My friend Pete: musician, online DJ and all round diamond geezer

However, Pete lives in the UK, which is still under lockdown (quarantine), so many restaurants are closed. Furthermore, he lives in the middle of the country, so had no access to really fresh sea food (the Vietnamese only say sea food is fresh IF it was swimming in the sea just ten minutes before).

Additionally, Pete won’t be able to get his hands on some vegetables or ingredients so we’ll have to take that into account. Having said that, here are some tips for making Vietnamese food in a western kitchen.

Beginners Guide to Vietnamese Cooking: 8 Glorious Recipes - YouTube

Banh xeo is like a pancake filled with beansprouts, shrimps, salad, grilled meat …

Grilled pork is ubiquitous – a street food stable served with rice and pickled vegetables.

Fried spring or summer rolls – can be a bit fiddly (difficult) to make, and require special material. Probably available in Asian supermarkets, but hard to get in small towns (or just order online like everyone else in 2020). Contains salad leaves and shrimp and vegetables).

Pho (pronounced ‘far’) is THE traditional food of Vietnam, and is normally eaten for breakfast. It’s basically noodle soup with meat of your choice. Shrimps (prawns) or just vegetables could be substituted. Another ubiquitous dish.

HA NOI

The best Vietnamese pho soup, pho Hanoi or pho Saigon?
If the locals are queuing for the food, if must be good and reasonably priced.

Sai Gon

Pho Ha, Saigon - review by Rusty Compass
Typical street scene in Ho Chi Minh City

And now, without further ado … how to cook Vietnamese:

First, one of the UK’s most loved, and sadly missed chefs, Keith Floyd. Keith came to Vietnam as part of an east Asian cooking show. In Sai Gon, he made this dish, beef cooked in sweet and spicy stock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO6cSQ8Vly8

The scene starts at 06.39

But, I hear you protest, how can a westerner make authentic Vietnamese food ?

Ok, so now let’s have pho bo (beef noodle soup) made by a Vietnamese lady: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCaGOQLpTt0

For fans of the fowl, connoisseurs of the chicken, I haven’t forgotten you. Here’s an interesting recipe, lemongrass chicken (lemongrass, which is ten-a-penny in Vietnam, that is, very cheap, can be so expensive in the UK. I once saw 5 lemongrass on sale for £1, that’s over 30 000 VND): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJtMlTnqyw0

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Time to party
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Goodbye from Viet Nam

Sai Gon eating and coffee bars 2: the beat goes on.

The previous blog found me after work, Saturday evening, discovering a great coffee bar, and very cheap Robusta Honey coffee (25 000 VND). Before the coffee, I went here:

Quán Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang Liến Húa at 151, Nguyễn Duy Trinh, Phường Bình Trưng Tây, Quận 2, Phường Bình Trưng Tây, Quận 2. This is referred to as a ‘hawker stall’, ubiquitous in HCM. They also sell Chinese dim sum (but I was too late), so I had seafood noodle soup.

45 000 VND (£1.50 $1.94). Hope to go back and try the dim sum soon.

Again, closer to home, a busy, no-nonsense pho joint:

In the less than glamorous Cat Lai area of District 2, near the port so constant container lorries in the main road, trucks and cement mixers on this road and the non-stop flow of Hondas and Yamahas, a small oasis of great traditional pho (noodle soup:

One seafood, one beef. Typical spread, accompanied by fresh herbs and salad, lime and fresh chilli, with crushed chilli to really pump up the heat. Great food, best in the area, around 40 000 VND each (£1.30 $1.73) but … it’s now closed, been taken over by Chap Coffee … looks exactly the same, but I’ve not tried their food … yet. Now, back to District 3.

Nhà Hàng Hoàng Ty at 106 Cao Thắng, Phường 4, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh. Famous for its seafood, and this restaurant is ornamented with classic bikes. As for the food …

Seafood porridge, fried rice and mixed seafood soup. This is a very popular place, so it gets busy and noisy at peak times. Well recommended.