04 SAIGON – 10AM Local Food Market (720 MINS Pt. IIa/IV)
Part 2a of 4 // 720 Minutes
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“…This photo series (720 Minutes), which serves as a 12 hour timeline when viewed together, is broken into five parts of what my typical day was like in Saigon: (1) 8AM early morning walk at my grandma’s neighbourhood; (2a)(2b) 10AM grocery shopping at the local market with my aunt; (3) 1PM buying gifts for relatives back home in Canada; (4) 2-8PM running the home restaurant at night.”
Grocery shopping with my aunt at Cho Thu Do Market in Saigon around 10 AM. Like the local that she is, she typically buys all or almost all her ingredients (her non bulk items i.e. vegetables, spices, fish and meat) a few hours before opening the restaurant at home at noon.
A typical view of the marketplace.
Charcoal grilling vegetables gives them a more distinctive taste. The best is when it is applied to marinade pork chops with Vietnamese fish sauce – so good…
Takeaway spices in plastic bags. Be gentle as the plastic is cheap and they rip easily…
Squirming fishes, freshly caught.
All the ingredients you need to make the traditional hot and sour soup – Canh Chua!
In addition to the baguettes and escargot, frogs were introduced to the Vietnamese cuisine by the French in the 1890s-early 1900s as a result of their colonialism.
Here’s my amazing aunt – ordering her freshly cut meat for the day!
Dessert in the market – Deliciously grounded sesame soup. The only way to get all the flavours is to ground the sesame seeds as fine as possible.
Looks like tar but tastes incredible. It was less than 50 cents Canadian.
Vietnamese cooking ingredients typically call for the above ingredients: ginger, garlic, shallots, limes, onions, and chills, together with fish and/or soy sauce.
My aunt picking out the ingredients that she needs.
Pick your freshly cut ingredients!
A stall selling appetizers and tofu made with various spices and flavouring.
Tofu with Buddhist seals. I believe these are bought as offerings to temples
Love them or hate them, durians are a must try if you ever travel to South-East Asia. I personally love eating them slightly frozen as the texture reminds me of vanilla ice cream.
Here we are shopping for pre-openned durian. My aunt is inquiring which batch to take as they come from different locations outside of Saigon and usually differ in taste and sweetness.
Typical vendor view
Grounded salt and chili is usually eaten with fruits that are too sour to have on its own, such as pineapples, water apples, star fruits and even sour sop (as shown here).
Organic vegetables, non GMO. North America needs more of this…