Let’s see…to be honest, I’d have admit I don’t miss anything. It’s not that my mom’s food was a terrible; it’s very good. The reason is I’m still in the nest and thus, fortunate enough to have a frequent dosage of my mum’s cooking. So, with that being said, here’s a list of the 10 things I like most about my mum’s cooking.

1: Bánh Bò (Steamed Rice Cakes)
I remember she used to make these rice cakes for me to snack on when I came home from preschool. Sadly, I only had a few shorts years to enjoy these cakes, as she soon got a job and was too busy to make them anymore. It has been 15 years since she’s made bánh bò. I’m sad to say the recipe is also gone. I’ve been able to come up with a recipe for bánh bò but for some reason mine’s are just don’t taste the same although I use the same ingredients she did. Maybe it things tasted different to a child then an adult…maybe my recipe is missing the most important ingredient of all…a mother’s love.

2: Bún Tàu Gà (Cellophane Noodles with Chicken and Dried Bamboo)
The ultimate comfort food. I can vividly remember how she would make a large bowl and fed me as she ate.

3: Kit Kats and Gummy Bears
Ok an acceptation here…obviously she didn’t cook these but she would remember to buy them for me everything she/we went to the market. Way back when I was about 4 or 5 I would go tag along with my mom every time she went to the store. After the shopping was done, my mom walked out of the store with a bag of groceries in one hand and her other hand would be holding onto my wrist. As for me, one hand was holding the candy and the other hand was used for stuffing the candy into my mouth….and occasionally giving passing on a piece to mom.

4: Cháo Trắng với Dưa Măm (Congee with Marinated Cucumbers)
My mom would make this every time I’m sick. She would boil the rice until it was a perfect consistency. As the congee was cooking she would marinate the cucumbers to perfections with minced garlic, chilies, sugar and fish sauce.

5: Sương Sa (Agar Agar Jelly)
She would make it form whole agar agar (not the powdered) and flavor it just right. After setting the jelly was put in the fridge to chill. Once cold, she would the jelly into little squares before handing them over to me to snack on.

6: Ga Chiên Mặn (Salty Fired Chicken)
So simple to make but so tasty. All you have to do is sprinkle salt onto some chicken and fry until golden. My mom would shred the chicken into small pieces so I wouldn’t get my hands dirty by having to deal with the bones. How thoughtful of her…

7: Khoai Mon Luộc Chấm Đường (Boiled Baby Taro Dipped in Sugar)
“Lột từ ở dưới củ khoai lột lên theo xoáy của vỏ…” in English words, “Peel the taro starting from the top going along natural spiral of the peel”. This is what my mom would always tell me whenever we had these as a snack. For some reason, no matter how many times my mom would teach me to peeled the taro I just couldn’t do it. My mom would smile so sweetly when she saw me trying and then gave me a few bites from the taro she was eating.

8: Trà Cúc (Chrysanthemum Tea)
My mom would boil a big pot and sweetened it with just the right amount of rock sugar. The sweetness from the sugar and the fragrance from the chrysanthemum flowers were always in harmony with each other. There would always be a pot of this especially in the hot summer months as the tea has “cooling” properties.

9: Nước Đá Chanh (Limeade)
Lime juice, sugar and water stirred together. My mom would make this before she left for work in the morning for my brother and me to drink when we got home from school. Her limeade is not like others which are sweet. My mom makes the drink more sour than sweet which is just the way we liked it to be. A cold glass of limeade and a piece of beef jerky. Life was sooooooo good.

10: Khoai Môn với Thịt Quay Hấp Chao (Steamed Taro with Roasted Pork)
My mom is half Hakka and half Cantonese. Every time she could buy good taro she would make this Hakka dish. The ingredients consist of roasted pork, preserved tofu (aka bean curd), 5 spice, pepper, soy sauce, garlic and taro. Everything except the taro was mixed with the pork. Then the pork and taro are arranged alternatively into a bowl and steamed. My mom knew I love eating taro would always make sure she added extra taro in the dish just for me.

Humm…..my meme sounds more like a recall of childhood food than 10 things I miss…all well. For me food and memories go hand and hand. As the wheel of time rolls us all along I’ve developed an obsession with food and cooking and my mom has…well…she never liked cooking in the first place. Now that she has found someone to gladly take the job she has stepped down and only cooks when she feels like it. Leaving me with more time in the kitchen to play with my food :D. Next up… Lily's Wai Sek Hong, Jan’s Kitchen, Jingle’s Kitchen.

Comments (15)

On 6:11 AM , fooDcrazEE said...

OMG......all ur food in the meme cept for the gummy, chuckle ....NGON QUA.....especially the khoai mon....ooh!

BTW, there's a soup made of taro and its sort of purplish in colour..do u have the recipe ? cant remember the name though.

 
On 10:30 AM , Little Corner of Mine said...

Thanks for completing the meme, tt. Oh, I love steamed taro with roasted pork too, delicious!

 
On 12:59 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

ching,
happy to do it.

foodcrazee,
do you mean canh khoai mo? the soup has a thick texture an like congee right?

 
On 9:27 PM , Anonymous said...

Mommies r the best things that happened to us!

phuong

 
On 7:31 AM , the shrewness said...

do you know of an online store that sells good chrysanthemum tea? ive found a few but im scared that they sell the nasty stuff.

 
On 1:24 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

shrewness,
I buy the tea from local grocery stores, not online so can't refer you to an online store...

 
On 8:18 PM , chihai said...

miss your food @ dv...guess who m i? hhihihi..

 
On 11:36 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

I dunno too many chị hai to guess.

 
On 6:27 PM , iportion said...

I want to thank you for such a lovely post.
I could feel your mother's love to you. I hope my family one day thinks of me the same way.

 
On 6:10 PM , hoang said...

Hey,i used to read your recipe in one of the vietnamese forum but can't remember which one. Can you refresh my memory!

 
On 9:27 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

hoang,
It's datviet.com ....and I'm still there.

 
On 8:42 PM , Anonymous said...

My father is Hakka too. I remember around May 5 Lunar calendar, he cooked Hakka cake (the ingredients are blackbean, giò heo, and bột dẻo, oil, etc). Now I could no longer to eat his delicious Hakka cake. Don't know if your mom have this receipe to share with. I love to learn this cake to remember my father. Thanks for sharing your cooking. I learn alot from your blog. Thank you.
Linh

 
On 3:49 PM , Hằng said...

I love what you have been telling story about your mom's cooking. Every dish is a meaning story of your childhood :D. I don't have that luck. My mom didn't cook anything when I was little.
As seen your profile, I have been grown up in the US. How meaningful you still remember these thing and write the whole blog with a "Vietnamese soul" recipes. My god, I am so touched by your blog. I guess you are around my age as well. How talented you are knowing and writing down all your recipes.
I am in love with your blog lol.

 
On 4:02 PM , Hằng said...

You know what? It's really touching when I read this entry. Every single dish was a little story about your childhood.
My mom didn't cook for me when I was little. My home was right beside the market so I just came out there to buy food whenever I am hungry. I am jealous of you, you know? As seen from your profile, you have been grown up in the US. Even there, your mom still cooked a lot for you. I myself grew up in Vietnam, but my mom rarely had a chance to cook for me cause she was so busy. Sometimes, she cooked but really weird stuff. However, I appreciated that :D. love her a lot :D.
I am now studying in Canada, I still remember all the weird food she cooked for me, and I think those are the most delicious I have had in my entire life.
I admire you a lot, you know? Cause you know a lot of recipes even though u are a guy (you know, vietnamese guys don't know a lot about cooking); and plus you are around my age I guess.
I love cooking too but still an amateur, need to learn a lot. I never think of writing a blog like yours :D.
Your fan lol.

 
On 8:30 AM , Kham Phuc said...

Meme, sounds like a french word. Remind me of my "meme" (Grand mom)when I lived in France.