The personal stories and adventures of a nerdy food lover.

The foodie road to self-discovery: Why it is great being a Vietnamese-Australian

There are advantages to being a Vietnamese-Australian.  Having been born in Australia, I escaped the horrors that my parents went through with the Vietnam War.  Understandably, to this day, they don’t talk much about what happened back then.  Living in Australia also means having access to some wonderful food produce.  I’m lucky enough to live near the Adelaide Central Market which is one of South Australia’s food meccas (in my opinion), and I go there most weeks to do my food shopping.  I absolutely adore this place, because you can pretty much get whatever is on your shopping list regardless of whether it is your normal everyday grocery items or something that is a little more gourmet and special.

The great thing about being Vietnamese is the food Vietnamese people make.  And I truly believe that having ready access to good quality, fresh ingredients, like you do in Australia, just adds to the greatness of this type of cuisine (or any cuisine for that matter).  My Mum has been a huge influence on me and my love of food.  I found out recently that my Mum was not always a great cook and my Dad did the majority of the cooking when they first lived with each other in Australia.  This was absolutely unbelievable to me because the food she makes now is outstanding! In the years to come, my Mum would learn how to cook from her peers.  A few years ago, I went through a short phase of self-discovery.  I became really interested in finding out about my heritage and the family history that makes me who I am today.  In particular, I wanted to learn more about Vietnamese food, the food that has been part of my life since the day I was born.  I thought to myself, “what kind of Vietnamese person doesn’t know how to make their own food?”.  This was when I decided to reach out to my Mum and ask her to teach me how to make some of my favourite Vietnamese dishes.  The time I have spent with my Mum, talking about food, cooking food and eating food has been such a wonderful experience.  I discovered so much about her as a person that I did not notice before as a daughter.  I will forever cherish these moments I have with her, and will always be grateful for everything she has done and all the lessons she has taught along the way.  So, over the coming months (in between the other dishes I make) I will be sharing with you some of the Vietnamese dishes I love and hopefully, you will come to love them too.

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9 thoughts on “The foodie road to self-discovery: Why it is great being a Vietnamese-Australian

  1. Wow, you have Vietnamese heritage, do you make your own bánh mì at home? I bet you it is as good as the bakeries in Melbourne. Also, very nice piece, I look forward to the recipes.

    • thecookingchook on said:

      Thanks 🙂 When I was younger, my family used to make their own banh mi, but it’s something that you need to do for a crew of people because of how much of the ingredients you need to get, e.g. you can’t buy the cooked meat for one or two people. It’s just easier to go to a shop. But it’s really easy to do, it’s kinda like making a sandwich. I’ll have to consult with my Mum to see if she has a special recipe for me to share.

      • Yeah, the actual process of making it seems simple enough, but getting the perfect balance, when all the ingredients work in harmony, must be very difficult indeed.

  2. I agree with you about the Adelaide market, it is an excellent place to shop.

  3. I love this! This is perfect. This is what I try to encourage; people learning about their families, telling their stories, and food is a great way of learning ,plus it makes people open up.
    I grew up during the VietNam war and have recently read much about what happened to the people, what happened to the farms, their lives, everything .I am heartbroken over it…but the picture of you and your parents is wonderful…and up-lifting.What a lovely family you are.
    Reading your profile,I was going to say that we have a great deal in common, but you are gorgeous!

    • Thank you for your kind words! Food is one of things that everyone has in common, and you’re right, it does help people open up. It’s like an ice-breaker because it’s something we can share.

  4. Pingback: These are a few of my favourite things – Luke Nguyen « thecookingchook

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