Sunday, October 07, 2007

In Pictures: The Vietnamese-English Dictionary for Fair Foods

One thing that they have in New Orleans, is a vibrant Vietnamese community. Thankfully, the Vietnamese community loves food and having fun. For me, that means . . . Food fairs! I went to one with my family a few weeks ago, and would love to share with you some of the food that we ate. This is "classic" Vietnamese fair food, so get yourself well-acquainted with the following:

Bo la lot
- Seasoned ground beef wrapped in leafy greens and topped with 1) crushed roasted peanuts and 2) fried and caramelized onions. (Think dolmades or stuffed cabbage, but very, very flavorful) . . .

Nuoc mia - Sugar cane juice, flavored with the juices from tangerines . . .

Banh tieu - Sweet baked sesame buns . . .

Banh mi - Vietnamese-style sandwiches made with baguettes, stuffed with a cooling vegetable slaw, and smeared with liver pate . . .

Tiet canh - Raw duck blood with duck livers

Thit nuong - Seasoned ground pork grilled on skewers and brushed with a slightly-sweet and sticky sauce. . .


  1. Hi!
    Wow. That looks like so much fun. I wish we had something like that here in Michigan. By the way, Bo La Lot is a very traditional snack eaten in Viet Nam. If want a recipe, Andrea Nguyen has a really good one on her blog:

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Wow, everything looks so good...but I'll pass on the tiet canh, haha. My dad refuses to eat it because he said it "looks ugly," but he said that my mom's side eats it.

  3. mmmm....those crispy caramelized onions have my name all over them. umm, as does everything else. buns!! yes yes.

  4. Did you eat the Tiet Canh or did you just take a picture of it? Everything else looked good!

  5. Thank you so much for the recipe Holy Basil, I love the idea of using the stem as a skewer!

    And Christine D. and Melinda, I did NOT thankfully eat any of the tiet canh. It was all my friend's! He did offer me a bite, which I sniffed at.

    Pink Nest, I see your name on everything! Except for the tiet canh!

  6. All my favourites - except that I all also love Bun in it's many forms. Reminds me of my recent trip to Vietnam. The best we had of Bo La Lot were in Dalat from a hawker crouching over a small brazier. She served them with lashing of pineapple/anchovy sauce or chilli, but I make them at home too. Luckily here in Melbourne, Australia we have tons of Vietnamese restaurants and all the groceries you could ever need for genuine home cooked Viet meals.

  7. i didn't know that about new Orleans! how neat. i love Vietnamese food, its one of my all time favorites, have you had any good pho yet?

  8. I didn't know that New Orleans had a vibrant Vietnamese community. Thanks for sharing your experience at the fair.

  9. I can never resist banh mi. Mmm mm.

  10. PE, my mouth was watering until I hit the duck blood! Oh no! But then you saved me with the juicy pork skewer. Whew. Thanks!

  11.'s midnight and you are making me hungry!

  12. yum everything looks absolutely delicious! well, cept for that duck blood liver beverage...but your picture of it makes it look strangely beautiful! do we have any such food fairs in the Bay Area that I need to know about?

  13. Once again, I am learning from you. I can tell you for sure I never knew about tiet canh!! Yikes.
    PE, please do me the honor of clicking through on my name for a little surprise.

  14. this definetely makes me miss the good times at the vietnamese fairs. i was wondering was this held at the church Mary Queen of Vietnam or was it somewhere else? just think if this was the one held either during the autumn moon festival or labor day weekend, just wait till tet, the vietnamese new year. that is when Mary Queen of Vietnam church goes all out.

  15. Hi There!

    Everything looks so good here! I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and been hooked ever since! I just came back from a business trip from San Francisco and fell absolutely in love with the city. I really enjoyed reading your older posts from SF and look forward to hearing all about your culinary adventures in New Orleans!


  16. Hi Everyone! I missed all of you and am touched by all of your comments! I will start leaving them on your sites too, and stop my silent lurking soon!

    Chef Ben and Food Hoe, you two made laugh out loud! There are some ethnic festivals you have got to check out and try the food too. I know that the Japanese Festival near Concord that has some amazing tempura and fish cake, and Fremont has some rockin' Indian food. Also, although I've never done so myself, during Chinese New Year's in San Francisco and Oakland, I would recommend stopping by Chinatown and see what specials and food items they are hawking!

    Why yes BLuang3Lbby, it WAS at the Church Mary Queen of Vietnam! I can't wait for the Moon and Tet Festivals!

    Thank you so much Hirono, I took a look at your site and was very impressed too!

  17. i'm not sure if you know about the saturday open market. you can get some of the things that you purchased at the fair there. its on alcee fortier blvd. i'm not sure if it is still in the same place where it use to be which is in the middle of an apartment complex. but you should definetely check it out. they are usually only out there from 6 am - 9 am. so good luck. hope you are enjoying new orleans.


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