Last night, while waiting for the Chelsea match to start, we planted ourselves on tiny little stools at a street stall, surrounded by locals and tourists alike, and enjoyed one of our favorite activities in Vietnam: eating. (Fine, fine, there was some drinking involved too). I sometimes think eating is a competitive sport over here. There are too many sidewalk stalls to count and the choices of street food are nearly endless.
Not only did the little street stall we sat at offer snacks, but so did the many vendors that walked by the street stall. And, as best we can tell, so long as you order your drinks from the street stall, there is nothing wrong with ordering food from the vendors that pass by. In fact, if you are stupid like me and actually get up and cross the street to order food from a street vendor instead of waiting for one to walk by, the street vendor will tell you to go sit back down and will deliver your food to you when it is ready!
We started with a rice cracker covered in sesame seeds (with a very spicy dipping sauce) and roasted peanuts. I am in love with this rice cracker. It melted in my mouth. I just might need another one tonight…As for the peanuts, the shells go right on the ground — it felt like I was a kid eating at Ground Round again.
I then moved on to fried corn. This came from a vendor who pushes around a little cart and fries the corn up to order. I’m not sure what all is in this concoction, but if I had to guess I would say that the oil used to fry it is coconut oil because there was a coconut taste to it and I know there is sugar. Normally the corn is fried with onions and shallots, but I managed to get the vendor to leave those out. The concoction gets all caramelized, turning into the best corn dish ever.
Robert had to try the dried squid. We bought this one from the street stall we were parked at and one of the employees had to go out and find a street vendor selling squid. Basically, an entire dried squid is salted and lightly grilled and then shredded. Robert says it is like squid jerky. He wouldn’t even let me try it because he knew I wouldn’t like it — one smell confirmed his conclusion.
And we finished things off with a “potato storm.” Basically, potato chips on a stick. Once again, just like the fries we had the other night, these were coated with some weird orange cheese like substance and sugar.
Everything but the squid was dirt cheap (and even that wasn’t bad), even though I’m pretty sure we paid the tourist price for the corn and the potato chips. Not a bad way to kill time before a match. But, tonight, we need to eat a real meal… Right after I get another order of that corn…and an order of fried donuts…and some pho…and Robert has a bahn mi…