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Hubble catches planet being devoured by its star

In Uncategorized on May 25, 2010 at 5:20 am

Tastebuds tingle as pho catches on in Vientiane

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Tastebuds tingle as pho catches on in Vientiane

QĐND – Thursday, May 06, 2010, 21:34 (GMT+7)

Rice noodle soup (pho) is a favourite dish for Vietnamese. In the Lao capital of Vientiane, pho shops are meeting places for Vietnamese expatriates and locals alike.

Every weekend Nguyen Van Thuan drives to Pho Mai-Ha Noi shop in Naxay Road in Vientiane, to have a bowl of pho with half-done beef (pho tai) and savours the taste.

The 45-year-old, from Nam Dinh Province, has worked as a civil engineer in Laos for a year. It’s his favourite time, after a hard day’s work, to enjoy his pho and chat with his countrymen.

“There’s not much difference between pho in Laos and that which I was used to in Viet Nam,” Thuan says. “It tastes just like home. Rice noodle, spring onion and parsley all are available here.”

“I miss my family and pho so much. I’m lucky to have every thing here where pho stalls have mushroomed.”

For 1km, Naxay Road is known as Viet Nam Town. It is crowded with Vietnamese restaurants and cafes, but the majority are pho stalls.

Each shop has its own style, depending on where the Vietnamese owners come from: the north, central or south. However the basic pho recipe consists of broth cooked from a mixture of boiled beef’s bones, cardamon and cinamon. Noodles are made from starch and cooked rice.

There are full noodle soup varieties, including pho ga (with chicken), pho xao (stirfried beef and noodle) but pho tai (with half-done beef), pho chin (well done beef) or tai chin (mixed well-done and half-done beef) are often ordered.

Among the shops are Pho Sai Gon Cafe and Pho Mai-Ha Noi (Mai’s Ha Noi), the latter being a hot favourite.

Owner of Pho Mai, Nguyen Thi Mai, said she used a recipe she picked up from leading cooks in Ha Noi.

“Sorting out materials carefully is an important step to making the best soup,” Mai, 50, said. “Bones must be scraped clean of meat before boiling through the night with anise seeds, cardamon, ginger, grilled dried onion and cinamon.”

“The broth must be clear and tasty, but not too fatty. We also make our own rice noodles to ensure the pho is the best.”

A Vietnamese resident in Laos for 20 years, Tran Manh Chien, said he had pho almost every morning so he had managed to sort out the best to his taste.

“I like to eat Hanoian pho at Mai’s stall because of the flavour. It makes my mouth water just thinking of it, even though I was not born in Ha Noi,” Chien said.

The 56-year-old businessman, who owns a silverware shop at Talat Sao (morning market), says he has tried pho at many different shops.

“Pho at Thong’s stall comes in a bigger bowl with more beef and noodles, but it is too salty and has too much monosodium glutamate, while pho at the Sai Gon restaurant has too much sugar, in the southern Viet Nam style.”

At the opposite end of Naxay Road, Lao people cook pho in their own style.

They don’t use ginger, cinamon and dried onion as the Vietnamese do. Their soup is stewed bones with little spice, but the bowl is bigger and Lao people use it to eat with different vegetables.

Stall owner Xixangga Thonvilay said even Vietnamese go there to eat pho.

“There is a difference between Vietnamese and Lao pho. Lao eaters like it spicy. They have pho with vegetables: bean sprouts, cabbage, eggplant and Chinese pea, plus basil,” Xixangga, 30, said.

“Sugar, fish sauce and soya sauce are the main flavours to Lao pho. For the Vietnamese customers, I don’t add boiled beef blood, dried squid and mince.”

She also added that pho had somewhat changed lunch diets for local public servants.

Xunthon Ratthavong, a patron of Xixangga’s restaurant, said he loved to have pho for lunch.

“I eat pho at lunch time rather than sticky rice, papaya salad and grilled fish as is the Lao tradition. I have traditional foods with my family for dinner,” Xunthon says.

Xixangga says Lao people enjoy the new taste of pho, but they still prefer traditional foods.

Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


Source: QDND

Vietnamese martial art catches on in foreign shores

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 5:26 am

After Grandmaster Nguyen Loc, the founding father of the Vietnamese martial art known as Vovinam (Viet Vo Dao), passed away in 1960, his mantle passed to Le Sang from the northern province of Thanh Hoa.

Vietnamese students perform Vovinam in France
The ninety year old martial arts instructor further developed the art and oversaw its growth into other part of the world.

Grandmaster Nguyen Loc combined Vietnamese traditional martial arts with others to create Vovinam, keeping true to the principle that learning the skills will benefit the practitioner’s health and help her/him in self-defense, says Le Sang.

The first Vovinam class was opened in Hanoi in 1940. Later in 1954, Grandmaster Nguyen Loc moved to the South to spread this art there. In 1967, Vovinam came to be called Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao.

Le Quoc An, Chairman of the Vietnam Natioal Textile Garment Group (Vinatex) as well as the Vovinam Federation, and Dang Thanh Tam, Chairman of Saigon Investment Group (SIG), said that people learn martial arts to develop the equilibrium, precision and sharpness that are indispensable qualities to succeed in any field.

Martial arts instructor Nguyen Van Chieu (L) instruct a foreign student a posture of the Vovinam
At first, the martial art was introduced to foreign countries through overseas students in European countries like France, Germany and Italy.

Then, first through the efforts of Professor Hoang Phan and later that of others, Vovinam expanded to African countries like Algeria, Burkina, Faso, Senegal and Morocco. It has since spread to many other countries including India.

“To promote and develop Vovinam in foreign countries, we should improve the technical aspects of its postures, said An.

“When I visited a Spanish student, I moved to tears when his child showed the S-shaped land of Vietnam on the map and folded her arms and said hello to me like a Vietnamese child,” said martial arts instructor Nguyen Van Chieu.

Chieu has made outstanding contributions to developing Vovinam over the last 30 years including promoting the martial art in Asian and European countries.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share