Changing it up

Since arriving here back in October, I had cooked something like four home cooked meals  (not counting the forty or so fried eggs and canned sardines I’ve resorted to in times of pure laziness).

Since Saturday just gone by, I would’ve doubled this number in just five days or something. Ok, let me be completely transparent, it’s mainly because Linh has moved in and motivated me. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s really enjoyable hitting the market in the morning and getting fresh produce and coming back to cook. Anyways, my goal is to really give it a proper go for the rest of the year and learn to cook. I have access to stupid amounts of fresh produce here, and despite all the attraction of eating out six-meals a day, the one key advantage of cooking is that you avoid consuming stupid amounts of MSG.

Tangential story: When we were down south the other week, Linh asked for a recipe from my aunt for this extraordinary caramelized clay-pot fish. My aunt ushered her over eventually, and ever so quietly, told her to listen closely so not to allow any eavesdroppers at the cafe to steal the secret recipe. This is basically what she was told. One fillet of fish. A couple of splashes of fish sauce. Six tablespoons of sugar. Into a claypot over a medium heat. And oh yes. Don’t forget the secret ingredient – nine kilograms of MSG. Voilà!

I really should check how detrimental MSG is to me.

Anyways. As mentioned, since Saturday I’ve eaten a few home cooked meals, and thrown my hand into helping a little. Hell – I even made my first Nuoc Mam – mother you’d be proud! Although, to be fair it was acidic as hell and was a serious struggle to eat. Thankfully, the accompanying meals were a hell of a lot better. Starting off with a wine and Banh Xeo night at home with friends on Saturday, we then moved onto a Yellow Duck Curry and finally a Bun Thit Nuong last night, a meal I’ve referenced before on here somewhere.

Off to the markets now before work to get some pork spare ribs to make some sticky hoisin ribs tonight yo. Let’s hope I keep this caper up.

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