Thursday, January 15, 2009

Nuoc Cham (Page 165)


  • Date: Monday, January 5, 2009 -- 7pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A-

This Vietnamese lime sauce was a component recipe for a salad which I will blog about next. This recipe was super quick and super simple. I just stirred together some fresh lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, warm water, minced garlic, and finely chopped serrano chiles. That was it. It's a little bit silly to grade something like this. I certainly wouldn't recommend eating it on its own, by the spoonful, but it did good things for the salad that it was a part of. I thought this nuoc cham was well balanced. Sometimes the fish sauce in nuoc cham is a bit too much for me, but in this recipe the lime juice held its own against the fish sauce, providing a contrasting flavor. The serranos gave it a bit of heat, without being overwhelmingly spicy. As I said, it was quite good on the salad.

The recipe in The Book is the same as this one, except it calls for 3 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of water, rather than the amounts listed in the recipe online.

It was too cold today to walk all the way to the office. Since I don't teach on Thursdays, I didn't absolutely have to go in, so instead I went to a coffeeshop just down the street from my apartment to do some work. I was sitting there, deep in thought, when a woman walked in with her mother. They were meeting another woman, and there was a lot of positive exclamation going around,
"I'm so glad to meet you!"
"I have been looking forward to this."
"I am so excited to start working with you!", etc...
I find it hard to resist, in such a situation, speculating how these people are related to one another. That it had something to do with a wedding seemed immediately clear from the mother-daughter combo, meeting with another young woman who seemed perky and was carrying with her several portfolios of some sort and a whole mess of paperwork. Thoughts streamed through my head: Wedding hairstylist? Invitation designer? Caterer? Of course I missed the most obvious one: Phototgrapher! The oversight was partly based on that fact that this woman didn't look like a photographer to me. I don't know what I mean by that, but she just didn't give off that vibe. And indeed, I discovered, she wasn't the photographer, but rather she was the manager of the photographer. (No, I wasn't trying to eavesdrop but they were talking rather loudly!) Anyway, these three nice people went on for a while, discussing wedding photography, and then where to get your wedding dress fitted, and then on to a whole assortment of wedding details. Finally I had to leave. It was stressing me out. My special gentleman and I are having a super-small, super low-key wedding, but nonetheless hearing that type of conversation increases my blood pressure. It makes me feel like there must be a whole bunch of things I am supposed to be doing that I haven't. The feeling didn't last long. By the time I had gotten home I was back in mathematical thought, and once again procrastinating whatever wedding details remain!

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