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Holiday Get Togethers

19 Dec

Well, December certainly has flown by. Wasn’t it just Thanksgiving? If you’re like me, your days, evenings and weekends have been filled with family and friend gatherings, work events, and holiday preparation. All which leaves little time for blogging.

My good friends – my Husband’s girlfriends who have since adopted me as their trắng friend – hosted a girls Christmas dinner last week that I need to test at home for sure.

One of the girls made Mang Cua Asparagus Crab soup to eat while we waited for other guests. I’ve had this soup before but love it with the quail eggs. Everything is better with quail eggs.

Sup Mang Cua Crab Asparagus Soup

The main event was bò nhúng dấm (boh nyung yahm) and Nem Nuong with mắm nem fermented fish dipping sauce. So so good. Such an easy party menu where guests cook their own meat and make their own rolls. Rice paper roll dishes are probably my favorite Vietnamese meal discoveries. So easy and fun. This is basically the Vietnamese version of Japanese shabu-shabu, which  you’ve likely tried.

Ingredients for hot pot rice paper rolls including shrimp, calamari, beef, grilled pork, and vegetables

I’ll work out the broth later and share with my own post, but it’s water, some onion, and vinegar. They bought mắm nem pre-made from the store and just added some crushed pineapple. The combined result is a pungent dipping sauce that’s cut by the pineapple sweetness and Thai chilis added to taste.

Mam nem dipping sauce

I have to say, the most difficult part about serving this as dinner is knowing when to stop. Not like I need more kitchen gadgets and supplies, but I am going to pick up the plastic perforated plates that make prepping the rice paper rolls super easy. We use regular plates, but you can only work one at a time and have to get up for a new paper each time, which isn’t made easy if you drip on your plate. Like I always do. You can stack these guys and set up your own assembly line. How great is that?

Rice paper roll with shrimp, grilled meat, vegetables and vermicelli noodles

I stopped counting how many rolls I put away and had to remove myself from the table. You have to leave room for che, after all!

It was a perfect holiday dinner gathering with great friends and great food. We can only all be so fortunate. And on that note, this article has been making the rounds on the internets about two Vietnamese brothers making a better tomorrow for themselves. Read the article, watch the video, and read the Tweets. We shouldn’t leave it to the holiday season, but this is a great reminder about helping others where we can, and that we truly can chart a different path for ourselves with a little work and great friends.

Merry Christmas and Chúc Mừng Giáng Sinh!

 

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