Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Beef shanks, sold in pairs, a small piece attached to a large one,
Using fresh oil, fry the sliced shallots over low heat until golden, drain excess oil from the pan and add one large table spoon of ót mâù and toss with the fried shallots (pan should still be hot). Add the content of the pan to the soup, using a ladle add hot soup to the pan to de-glaze and pour back into the soup pot. This procedure creates the red flagrant oil sheen at the surface of the soup, with bits of floating fried shallots, typical of Bun Bo Hue. Some cooks add more dried red pepper flakes to this procedure to make the soup more spicy, but I prefer to make the soup mild and let people add fresh sliced Thai chili pepper at the end as a garnish. Some people add MSG to the soup, or a little sugar in lieu of MSG. I usually do not find this necessary for home cooking, because the meat to soup proportion is quite high so the soup is rich enough, plus the fish sauce also adds to the richness. Other cooks may add pork bones to strengthen the broth. I found this makes the broth not beefy enough, but rather porky, which detracts from the authenticity of the broth, which must taste robustly beefy, with strong lemony taste and fragrant with the fried shallots. I believe the five essential ingredients to Bún bò Húê are beef shanks, lemon grass, fried shallots, chili powder and rau răm.
This is my mother's authentic recipe. Enjoy!
[Addresses and names of our friends are generally not available except on a limited basis. Furthermore, only USAID students and friends can have access to this list. For our friends, please access this list from here.]
[We have lost touch with a few USAID students. We do not have addresses for all USAID students and friends. If we find them and with their permission we will make the addresses available to you.]
[This is a very good question and it deserves a practical answer. We are relying on local volunteer organizers. Please watch the "Recent News" for announcements. We also would like feedback from all our friends regarding time, location and other logistics. Please let us hear your ideas on this.]
[On a recent visit to Vietnam, we met a few of our friends. These friends are co-owner of a company that supplies medical equipment to the hospitals and doctors in Saigon and the Delta provinces. Recently, they just formed a branch to sell Toyotas and are doing very well. In contrast, we also heard (but did not meet) a couple of others who still struggle to meet their needs just because of unfortunate circumstances. We could not find their addresses. A project will be underway to see if we can provide some relief to these friends.]
[The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided scholarships to top ranking Vietnamese students to come to the US for Undergraduate and Graduate studies. The programs began in the sixties, and in1967. There was a total of three or four groups; the last one arrived in 1970. The first group arrived and met in the US for the first time in San Dimas; the second group met at Pacific Palisades; the third group met at Asilomar and the fourth group met at Claremont College, California. After a few days of orientation, the students were divided into smaller groups and assigned to different Cal State Colleges and Universities. Later groups had more freedom to choose schools to attend. Before these formal programs, there were other smaller groups of Vietnamese students who had come under various auspices of the US government for shorter stays]. Editor's note: Locations may be inaccurate. Please write to us if you have better information.
[Any time is a good time to visit relatives in Vietnam. Besides, Vietnam has
many attractive places for tourists. The best time for a visit is during the
Lunar new year and a couple of ensuing months when the weather is nice and not
too warm. It also depends on your destination in Vietnam. In Hanoi, the weather
is already pleasant around Christmas time. However in Central Vietnam, it appears that the
rain stays until later, sometimes. In Saigon, it is usually warm and
humid from around June to September-October, with rain showers almost every
afternoon in October-November time frame, but clear and cool around Christmas
and New Year. The weather during Tet is perfect for
visiting the entire country from North to South.
[Not now, may be at a later time. We do not have a budget to support this activity. We do
know, however, all of our friends have channels where they provide charity
services to Vietnam in one form or another. Some even personally visit Vietnam to carry out
their own work. We applaud all of them.
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