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Vietnamese Herbs in NYC


kai-chan
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Hi,

I'm brand new and quite excited to be here. It's so hard to talk about food with my friends. They usually have a shell-shock expression and tell me they are simply content to just eat my dishes.

Anyway, I want to make Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls. I can get thai basil and mint easily but it isn't quite as fragrant and homey without the rest of the herbs. I remember that I use to get the herbs from these two tiny Vietnamese grocer on Mulberry Street in Manhattan Chinatown. At least I think they're on that street. It's been a while since I have been back. My question is do they still exist and what are their locations? Are there any other stores that I should try?

Tran

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Welcome, Tran. To my knowledge, the place is still there on Mulberry between Bayard and Canal. Other places you can try are the Hong Kong Supermarket on Pike St., Udon's Thai-Indonesian store on Bayard and the Thai store on Mosco St, but none of those are specifically Vietnamese. The New York forum is probably the best place to discuss these kinds of New York-specific things, however.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I don't know the name of the market but attached to the Pho Tu Do restaurant there is a Vietnamese market that is very well stocked with a lot of fresh ingredients.

Address:

Pho Tu Do

119 Bowery

212-966-2666

Keba

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Sorry about the consecutive posts....but the question appeared after I just posted my thanks.

Hmmm. Well I use mint, thai basil, and occasionally the long leafed Vietnamese version/Mexican coriander/thorny coriander/culantro/saw-leaf herb/ saw-tooth herb/recao if it's in my fridge. I don't like using cilantro in my rolls. The saw tooth herb, I usually reserve for Pho (Beef Noodle Soup w/ basil and sometimes mint) and Vietnamese Hot and Sour soup (usually w/ rice paddy herb). The other herbs are Rau Dap Ca (Vap ca/Fish mint/fishscale mint), Tia To (Purple perilla/hojiso (Japanese)/beefsteak/ red perilla), Rau Kinh Gioi (Vietnamese Balm, Vietnamese mint), Rau Hung Cay (another variety of mint from the more common spearmint), and Rau Ram (Vietnamese coriander, hot mint). Though I kind of agree with Mai Pham (I own both her cookbooks) that rau ram/Vietnamese coriander, and red and green perilla leaves would be just fine along with the more prevalent mint and thai basil. But I get so excited when I can get the other herbs, I have to use them. I have found that, from the restaurants I have patronized, don't go beyond the common mint and occasionally thai basil.

This site has pictures and descriptions. Also has some excellent recipes.

http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/essentials/herbs.htm

This site has bigger pictures and also encompasses some of the more uncommon greens to be found in Chinese and SE Asian food.

http://www.nre.vic.gov.au/trade/asiaveg/thes-00.htm

I hope that helps.

Tran

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