ready to roll

Food is embedded into our everyday lives and our culture.  It becomes familiar to our senses, and linked to our memories.

I would say I used to take this food memory for granted, not realizing how intertwined food is in our lives and memories.  But now, more than ever, I realize how so many memories can be tied to one meal.

My mom made a great many delicious meals, and I always looked forward to eating each one.  However, there was one that my mom made, I’d like to think especially for me, but let’s face it, all of us kids looked forward to it.  My mom would make Bo Nhung Dam for us when she knew we were coming to visit, or is she thought I was getting too skinny, b/c she knew I would devour it and then some.

I only ever like the way my mom made it.  I’ve come close to getting a good broth, and enjoy it, but still trying to find the perfect ratios to get it exactly the way my mom used to make it.

the major fixings, additions up to you.

{Bo Nhung Dam – Beef Dipped in Vinegar} serves about 4-6

  • 3 – 16oz cans chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 1 – 16oz canned pineapples, drained (you can definitely use fresh)
  • 1/8 cup vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 can of Budweiser beer, any beer would work, but my mom always used Bud
  • 1lb thinly sliced beef – round eye beef or any other lean beef
  • 1lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • fine vermicelli noodles
  • rice paper, i prefer ‘Ba Co Gai (Three Ladies) Brand
  • 1 Head of Leafy Green Lettuce, wash and torn
  • 1 large cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
  • Bowl of water
  • optional, spinach, enoki mushrooms, squid, abalone, or anything really, that’d you want to put in it.
  1. Bowl your noodles according to the package.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Pour chicken brother into a pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat.  Add the butter, stir occasionally to combine.
  3. Add the sliced onions and pineapples. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat
  4. Add vinegar.  I love vinegar, but tend to add a bit more, so use this time to taste test and add to your taste. Let it simmer for about 5 -10 minutes
  5. Arrange the remainder of your raw ingredients out on the table.
  6. Transfer your pot of brother to a table top burner.  Pour the can of beer in, bring to a rolling boil
  7. You’re now ready to dip your beef in the vinegar broth.
  8. While the goodies are boiling, dip the rice paper in a bowl of water to hydrate it.  No need to drench it for too, just make sure it gets dipped in the water quickly.
  9. Layering technique: Rice paper, lettuce, cucumber, noodles, then the cooked toppings: beef, shrimp, additional veggies.
  10. Fold both sides towards the middle, and roll forward.  Sorry those directions are vague, but it seems like everyone has their own rolling technique, find what works for you.
Do you have any dishes that are strongly tied to a memory?