Nước chấm is a popular condiment and staple of Vietnamese food. It’s a multipurpose sauce, used as a dip for egg rolls, summer rolls, bún (rice noodle dishes), and lots more. It’s made with fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, garlic, and Thai bird chili peppers, but I haven’t had fish sauce in my pantry in a couple years. I’ve found that I can achieve similar flavors with plant-based umami sources – mushrooms, soy sauce, mushroom seasoning, vegan chicken boullion cubes,… Read more »

For those who know me, I love having people over to share a meal and entertain. When my husband was the Officer Rep for a student club over at the Naval Academy, it was pretty common for us to host a meal for up to 30 midshipmen at a time. I’m no stranger when it comes to cooking for a crowd, but our place was big back in Annapolis. It’s much smaller here in the Bay Area, but we still… Read more »

You know, I really love Thai green papaya salad, but every time we order it at a restaurant, my hubs chooses to make it off-the-charts, Thai-spicy hot. I like to think of myself as a person that can handle the heat, but the guy bites off Thai bird chilis like they’re apples. Come on!! Every few months, we take a trip out to an Asian market (they’re at least 45 minutes away from us in Maryland) to stock up on… Read more »