Two years ago in January my mother in law passed away from a brain hemorrhage. They believe that this was a blood vessel weakened by years of battle with high blood pressure. My husband is from Vietnam and high blood pressure runs rampant over there. I’m guessing it’s from all the salt in the soy sauce, fish sauce and the MSG they eat over there. Since then two things have happened in our marriage…well actually three.
1. My husband goes and gets yearly physicals and closely monitors his high blood pressure.
2. He eats better and works out at the gym at least three or four times a week.
3. I’ve learned how to cook Vietnamese dishes. He told me that one of the things he would miss the most about his mom is her cooking. He’s a boy who likes to eat! And eat
And eat! So it doesn’t surprise me that one of the things he misses is her authentic Viet cooking. It broke my heart into about a bazillion tiny shards when he said that. So I started looking up recipes. Can you tell how much I love him???
Our friend Soury (you can see her blog here) posted a link the other day to Ca-Ri Ga. It’s a Vietnamese chicken curry with potatoes and carrots. When he saw that link he
demanded asked me sweetly if I would make it for him. So I put it on my menu plan for the week. I set forth to make this and made a couple of mistakes.
First of all who knew that when you prepare lemon grass you peel off the outer most layers (he called it the woody rind)? Yeah, I didn’t either and now I’m pretty sure the only good knife we had left is not so good any longer. *making mental note* Next time I will peel the woody rind off before cutting it.
Another thing. I didn’t peel the potatoes. It wasn’t until I got them all cut into pieces that he told me that the skin should have come off. *making mental note*
Last but not least. The recipe did not tell me this but I guess I was supposed to cut the chicken into bite size pieces so I just plopped them whole into the pot. *making mental note*
So…the instructions could have been a little more clear. The one thing the instructions did get right was that this should be served with a nice piece of french bread. The Vietnamese people love french bread and this is due to the French occupation of Vietnam.
Luka had been begging me to teach him how to make bread so I decided today would be a good day. Ya know the feeling when the planes align for you? Well, that’s sort of how the making of this bread went down. Luka was amazed at how many steps there were to making something so simple. As it happened the bread got done about 5 minutes before the Ca-Ri Ga so it had time to cool.
Neither Vinh nor Luka could get enough of it. I was afraid it would be too spicy for me, being a white Irish girl and all, but it had just the right amount of slow heat. I will make this again and I will utilize my mental notes.