Remember the scrumptious green papaya salad you bought from the street vendor in Thailand? She asked you how spicy you wanted it and your cringed and said “Thai spicy” – knowing you may regret it later when you couldn’t feel your lips. When you came back to America, you decided to relive the experience so you went to the ‘best, most authentic’ Thai place in town and ordered the papaya salad. Utter disappointment.
After living in Vietnam for a year, now I’m back in America in search of good Asian food – but the search seems to be futile. It’s just not the same. The Pho is bland, the herbs are different, and it all seems to be ‘Americanized’ (the bigger the portions must equal better food).d Asian food, I decided that I would simply start making my own. I would channel my inner little Asian woman and fire up my wok and use excessive amounts of garlic and fish sauce – I would be cooking up Vietnamese feasts in no time!
With my first stop at the grocery store I hit a big roadblock. American grocery stores are very limited with Asian cooking supplies. It’s hard to believe that in the ginormous, wide aisles of an American grocery store they don’t have rice vermicelli noodles, lemon grass, or fish sauce in a bottle larger than 8 oz. However they have prepackaged boxes of Pad Thai…just add water…ugh.
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