Browsing Tag


Bowl Food

Thai Glass Noodles, Shrimp + Veggies

May 27, 2023

One of my dear friends–blonde, blue-eyed Becky, grew up in Thailand, and didn’t even visit the States until well into her teens. We met at college on a hot summer afternoon. I was photographing the shadow-play of bamboo trees on the street behind my dorm, and Becky agreed to step in to a few of the frames. Not long after that, she cooked my first Thai meal, explaining in her lilting, song-like Thai, the names of the ingredients and dishes. It was a fantastic introduction.

In Thailand, Becky explained, there is no actual word for “salad,” but tossing fresh vegetables, proteins, and noodles together with a dressing is the commonplace equivalent, called “yam.” (I quickly learned to say, “Yum!” to yam.) This dish—glass noodles with shrimp, cilantro, Thai chilies, a bit of ground pork, fresh matchstick vegetables and sugared chili-lime-garlic-fishsauce dressing, is a classic known as Yam Woon Sen. Continue Reading…

Spicy & Fun

Viet Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Boil

September 10, 2020

When my mom grew up in Houston, Texas, excursions to Galveston, where my grandfather owned land, were a beach-filled regularity. Grandfather loved fishing, and my mom loved sea-food. Especially shrimp. Those days, shrimp boats were manned by a tough lot of Texans, with some Cajuns mixed in. But by the time my Mom and Dad bought Neil Armstrong’s old house in the shrimping village of Seabrook on Galveston Bay, the shrimping community had broadened to include a large group of Vietnamese immigrants. Mom—a spicy food lover, was thrilled to discover the fusion cuisine that resulted: Viet Cajun. While the marriage of these two on the plate may seem unusual, both cultures share colonial French roots, which gives them a natural affinity. Best Viet Cajun dishes take familiar Cajun fare, and then ramp it up to include Vietnamese spices and seasonings such as lemon grass, ginger and fish sauce. This shrimp and sausage boil is a classic example. Continue Reading…