Night Markets and Food

I just came back from California, yesterday 10/18/14, at 1 pm and edited the photographs that I made while out there.  I was able to take a day away to photograph some more scenes for "Searching for Little Saigon in America." As well as explore another night market in California.  It's not fair, how come Philadelphia does not have as many as California?

Lemongrass Banh Mi

As I finish making a blog post for Foodploration, I made a lemongrass chicken banh mi for lunch.  Also on my mind was where I will go next to work on my "Searching for Little Saigon in America" project.  I think that I will be heading down towards Virginia/DC area to check out Eden Center where a bunch of Vietnamese shops have set up.  Plus I will be able to see a friend of mine down there too.  Hopefully I can go there sometime in October.  I did go to Cheu Noodle Bar, Rival Brother's, and Federal Donuts this weekend.  You can read about that on Foodploration.  

In camera gear news, I recently bought a Sigma ART 50mm lens.  It's nice and sharp!  Said photographs were taken with said lens.

Making banh mi

I am going to be honest with you.  I am probably going to get hate mail for this. ... please send me some kind of mail!  haha! 

Using the wrong bread...

Using the wrong bread...

Banh Mi, whether it is banh mi chay (vegetarian), Banh mi thit ngon (roasted pork), etc, is the best hoagie that you can ever have.  Take that Philly cheesesteak, meatball sub, etc!  It has the savory, the sweet, sour, and fresh flavors all packed into an airy bun. As in my previous post, where I went to pursue my project in Elmhurst, Queens, I went to this really great banh mi shop up there.  So I decided to make one for myself at home. 

Banh mi is, like pho, one of the most common street food that you can find on the streets of the major cities in Vietnam.  Probably on the countryside too.  Sometimes when a vendor is out of bread, they would run to their neighbor and buy some from them... even if they are direct competitors.  At least that is what I saw when I was in HCMC, Vietnam.  I mean it could be that I ran into sisters selling their hoagies at different locations, but this one that I went to ran out of bread so she ran to the cart 5 ft from me to get some bread.  I uhh... bought seven of them. 

So Sunday, I didn't have time to run to the Vietnamese market to buy the right kind of bread so I just used the leftover loaf of bread that I had from Whole Foods Market.  The bread is, as written, light inside and crispy on the outside.  This is actually pretty simple to make.


  • Bread (for the right bread, go to a Vietnamese market they make them fresh in the morning like every other bakery.)
  • Cilantro
  • Sweetened pickled carrots and radish
  • roasted meat
  • cucumber (sliced length wise)
  • mayo
  • crushed black pepper
  • fried egg (optional)

Depending on what kind of meat, or vegetarian item, that you use you will need to make that first.  For the roasted pork, for example, A blog of salt has pretty accurate recipes.  Go check out Thuy's. 

Slice the bread and spread the mayo onto both sides.  Line the bread with the meat/tofu/soy/etc.  Then layer in the sliced cucumbers, put in a helping of the sweet pickled carrots and radish.  Once you do that, put a piece of the cilantro on top and then sprinkle a pinch of crushed black pepper on top.

If you choose to add in a fried egg, which I think you should, add that in right after the main meat. 

Eat it and then tell me that that isn't the best hoagie that you have ever had!

Searching for Little Saigon in America: NYC

Over the weekend I went up to NYC to the Elmhurst Queens area to check out the Vietnamese community up there.  I know on Mott Street there are two Vietnamese shops and a cart, but I wanted to see a larger picture.  So taking my project, "Searching for Little Saigon in America" to NYC I went to Elmhurst and saw that it was really a large pocket of the Asian American community.  I went towards Joju Modern Vietnamese sandwich shop to check it out and to get some lunch.  I was pretty hungry!  

I did see some pho shops and a major supermarket that had mostly Chinese and some Vietnamese products inside.  So this was not necessarily a Little Saigon in this area.  I could be wrong and I should go back up there to explore.  I was hoping to walk by nail salons, which a majority of Vietnamese run and own, more banh mi shops and markets.  But I didn't find them in the area I explored.  

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After meeting and talking to Kelly, the blogger, I had some new ideas- I am going to have to start interviewing people which means... I need to learn Vietnamese and or get a translator and try to see if I can make a kickstarter program to help fund this project.