Saturday, January 31, 2009

Vietnamese Coffee - My New Favorite Thing (not to get all Oprah on you)

Last night, Caroline was teaching a class on Vietnamese street foods down at The Kitchen Studio (she has traveled to Vietnam). In addition to the Pho, which is a little "clovey" for me, the rice paper rolls (boo yah!), the Hue chicken salad, and rice noodles with stir-fried vegetables, Caroline also brought in two Vietnamese coffee filter contraptions and some ground Vietnamese coffee (Trung Nguyen).

If you're unfamiliar with the concept, let's start with a picture of what the filter looks like:

Start by pouring 1/2" or so of sweetened condensed milk into the bottom of a small coffee cup (we used espresso cups). Next, place the bottom part of the filter on top of the cup, fill with a tablespoon or two of the grounds, place the little press (in the picture on the far right) on top of the grounds, then fill with boiling water. The water will drip through the grounds on top of the sweetened condensed milk (get Longevity brand at The Asian Supermarket on W. Patrick St. for around $2.50). Once the water has dripped through, press the grounds to squeeze out any extra yumminess. Stir to incorporate the milk with the coffee and enjoy! WARNING: This is super-delicious AND super-caffieinated, so beware. If you drink 3 or 4 of these, you may regret it later. If however, you're like me, caffeine doesn't really both you and you can suck them down all night long -- woo hoo!

You can find supplies at, or you can go check out Viet Gourmet on Rosemont where Lillies used to be (just past Military Rd. if you're headed out of town) and have them make it for you. They make good coffee there to go with your dinner, and I like the joint. More info coming on that new restaurant once I get to eat there just one more time.

Coming soon: Why the heck did I pay 15 bucks for one piece of fried catfish and shoestring fries???

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