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« Hanoi & Cambodia: First we had to get there - Dumplings, A Lee's Pit Stop, EVA Airlines, Taiwan International Airport, Hello Kitty, and other stuff....... | Main | Hanoi: Banh Gio - It's what's for breakfast, and a first taste of Northern Pho Bo »

Sunday, 13 April 2008



Great stuff. I was wondering about the chili lime salt dip. Is it that easy? Large grain (kosher) salt, with straight up lime juice and a couple chilies? The acidity and salt balance? Was that specific to that restaurant, or did you see it througout Hanoi? I DO hope you visited the restaurant with the turmeric/dill fish (cha ca thang long). I saw this restaurant on tv. It is run by ex-pats, yes?


Hi Chris - It is that simple...sea salt, some sliced chilies(the chilies in VN aren't quite as hot, but have a nice sweetness to them as well), and it is a typical garnish that we had in Hanoi, Bac Ha, Can Cau, and Sapa...and we did eat at Cha Ca Thang Long...I'm not quite sure who runs the I'm interested, which show was it on?


Awesome. My (ex) Brazillian girlfriend used to make me a "drink" like this. The juice of 2 limes a bunch of salt, and some chilies. It is intense, but serves as an "elixir" to "get the blood flowing". I can so see that as a dipping sauce. Do I see bits of black pepper? Vietnam is known for it's black pepper_ did you get alot of that? Sorry for so many questions, but expect many more as the saga unfolds. The show was.."bizarre foods with Andrew Zimmern" shown on Travel. I was referring to Highway 4 being run by ex-pats, not the other one. Did you meet the owners? In the show, he and friends eat scorpion, bees, tarantula (I think). He visited a city outside of Hanoi known as snake city or something, and had a (7?) course snake dinner also. I will gather my notes and have more specific information for my next interrogation tomorrow.


Hi Chris - LOL! No problemo...sometimes a bit of pepper...sometimes, how should I say it...the salt isn't completely devoid of "bits". I'm not a fan of Andrew Zimmern, because he seems to eat stuff just for the gross-out factor, but maybe I should be? Le Mat, aka snake village is coming up.


oh, that pic of the sparrow brought back some memories of yakitori that I had as a college student, at least your version seems a bit more crispier...


Wow! what a first day. Were you on a guided tour or did you just decide to wander around yourselves with pre-planned cities to stop at? Was there a large language barrier? All the food looked wonderful. Would probably check this restaurant out when I get to vietnam sometime :)

ed (from Yuma)

I've been waiting to read about the trip. The old Joy of Cooking that I own has a whole section on eating things like sparrows. They look amazing. Thanks for sharing.


Hi Kat - You know, that sparrow would be right at home on a kushi..... great point!

Hi Rachel - We planned a few guided tours in piecemeal, and thankfully only had one group tour. Several of our tours were of the hired driver and guide variety, which worked out best for us. We kinda enjoyed being on our own, and having some control over the agenda.

Hi Ed - We still mention the flavor of those sparrows at the dinner table.


Maybe the young lady was posting comments to your site. ;)

Nice post! I'm totally jealous!


Thanks, Reading this make me really want to go back and visit "the motherland" And pretty much eat everything! ;-)


Such an interseting post! I'm glad you're back safe and I gather you had a great time. You're a very adverturous eater. I doubt I'd have the cahonas to try and eat a whole bird! I had a shot of snake soju here once. I think it was the worst thing I've ever tasted - blech! I'm looking forward to your upcoming stories!


jeez I was just reading an article about the forbidden french songbirds and here you have sparrows... It sounds delicious especially that dipping sauce. The pictures are great too!


Hi Jan - Now that's really a nice thought, but I truly doubt that......

Hi Billy - There would be no end to eating.....

Hi Jenn - I don't think we're that adventurous, everything we choose sounds, or seems like would taste good.

Hi FH - Those sparrows are very tasty......


I'm glad you survived the traffic. It looks terrifying!

And those sparrows look very tasty. What did the head taste like?

I had started using that salt lime dip at home too after reading about it in Into The Vietnamese Kitchen, which calls for a lot of black pepper. But I'm sure it's all up to taste. It's a great way to spruce up a supermarket rotisserie chicken.


Hi Howie - The head had a mild gizzard/heart flavor that wasn't too strong

Captain Jack

Was the sparrow head crunchy? Was it's little brain gooey or gelatinous. Inquiring minds need to know, lol.



Hi CJ - Yes, head ( lots of beak) was crunchy....brain matter none of the above.


I have been enjoying your posts. Thanks. I had cicadas at Highway 4. We don't hear them in Vietnam but they are really loud in Japan.


Hi Loan - Thanks for taking the time out to comment! I'm glad you're enjoying the posts. The menu at Highway 4 is so extensive...we had entertained the idea of returning, but ran out of time. Funny thing; I don't recall hearing Cicadas in Vietnam....but man were they loud in Siem Reap.


I think I've had that whole bird dish at Dinh Thieng in Little Saigon...flavorful (although I think it was pigeon or quail), but I couldn't bring myself to eat the heads!

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