Today: 04/03/2024 11:24:25 (GMT+7)
THE SPECIALIZED PAGE OF BAC GIANG NEWSPAPER ONLINE

Saigon's expat hub restaurant innovates with cassava

A restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City's expat hub Thao Dien presents an array of cassava dishes, inviting food enthusiasts to experience a blend of tradition and innovation.

Madame Lam, situated at 10 Tran Ngoc Dien Street, Thao Dien Ward, District 2, is the brainchild of Chef Nhu Cuong.

Among the culinary offerings at this eatery is the cassava noodle.

Saigon's expat hub restaurant, innovates with cassava, cassava dishes, tradition and innovation

A plate of purple cassava noodles at Madame Le restaurant.

Cassava roots can be traced back to the traditional dish enjoyed by the people of Quang Nam, a coastal province in central Vietnam. Thuan An Village in Dong Phu Town of Quang Nam is renowned for crafting cassava noodles.

Chef Nhu Cuong says that the craft of producing these noodles is dying out, and it is becoming challenging to find them even in Quang Nam.

At the entrance of his restaurant, a wooden table displays dried cassava noodles and cassava roots.

Cassava noodles feature a net-like look, pressed into large, thin, square, or rectangular shapes reminiscent of rice paper.

Unprocessed noodles take on a dry, crispy form, setting them apart from the soft, flat noodles commonly used in Vietnamese noodle soups.

The original cassava noodles have ivory-white hue. Madame Lam uses a combination of butterfly pea flowers and lime juice to make the purple variation, and carrots for the dark yellow one.

Achieving high-quality cassava noodles relies on a sunny period of three days and three nights for thorough drying.

Due to the labor-intensive nature of handmaking cassava noodles, dishes featuring this ingredient are placed on a seasonal menu and served infrequently. Cuong presents four dishes from the specialty: two noodle variations, a salad dish, and banh xeo (crispy pancake).

The traditional version of cassava noodle soup mirrors Quang-style noodles, featuring soft-boiled noodles served with shrimp, slices of pork belly, young ribs, and baby spinach.

The rich broth, derived from bone broth, has a yellow hue achieved by using turmeric, imparting a distinctive aroma.

"In the traditional version, we usually use a good amount of turmeric, but I've made an adjustment by reducing it as many foreign diners aren't quite accustomed to the taste," said Cuong.

Adding his creative touch, the chef comes up with a salad dish adorned with banana flowers, carrots, cucumbers, herbs, and pan-fried shrimp.

For banh xeo, the batter is created by using cassava noodle flour mixed with rice flour. The result is a series of crispy pancakes with a golden crust.

Inside, diners will find a blend of bean sprouts, sliced mango, and a variety of herbs.

Saigon's expat hub restaurant, innovates with cassava, cassava dishes, tradition and innovation

Crispy pancakes crafted from cassava flour at Madame Lam restaurant.

The accompanying herbs are sandwiched within the pancakes themselves, breaking away from the regular practice of serving them as a side topping.

A customer who tried cassava noodles for the first time at the restaurant said the noodles were firm with a chewy texture. She appreciated the absence of starchy sweetness typically found in regular noodles.

"A meal for two cost around VND159,000 - 179,000 ($6.70 - $7.50), which might be three to four times higher than your typical noodle soups. However, the spinach was still fresh and neatly trimmed. The shrimp and ribs were tender, and the pork belly featured a crispy skin. The dish was also presented beautifully," she said.

Cuong seeks to introduce cassava noodle dishes to more diners locally and globally.

Grilled cassava cake: A tasty dish of mountaineers
Cassava has long been popular among the Vietnamese, especially mountaineers, who know how to make a number of tasty and delicious dishes with it, including grilled cassava cake.
 
Vietnam's Broken rice and Square Sticky Rice Cake: best rated rice dishes in the world
World Food Atlas (TasteAtlas) has announced 100 best rated rice dishes in the world, including two Vietnamese representatives, 'Com Tam' (Broken Rice) and 'Banh Chung' (Square Sticky Rice Cake).
 
Four Vietnamese dishes named “Best food in the world” by CNN
CNN has recently released a list of the world’s best food, encouraging visitors to try when they have the opportunity to travel in 2022. The following are the Vietnamese selections.
 
Top 8 soup-based dishes in northern Vietnam
Food magazine TasteAtlas recommends eight soup-based dishes from the northern provinces of Vietnam, from Lang Son's sour pho, Hanoi's snail vermicelli, to Hai Phong's crab noodle soup. The dishes were chosen based on their status as local specialties or renowned dishes within a specific province or city. They have been appraised by culinary experts and are known for their fine flavors, deliciousness affordability. 
 
Vietnamese food named among world's top best dishes
Vietnamese dishes including bo kho (stewed beef), bo nhung dam (beef in vinegar hot pot) and bun cha (grilled pork meatballs with vermicelli noodles) have been named among the world’s 100 best meat dishes, according to readers’ votes of the TasteAtlas, the world’s most famous encyclopedia of flavors, traditional dishes, and authentic restaurants.
 

Source: VnExpress

Saigon's expat hub restaurant, innovates with cassava, cassava dishes, tradition and innovation
 
New comment has just been added. Click here
Sort:NewBest News