Tag Archives: Vietnamese

Recipe: Sloppy Joe Banh Mis

Sloppy Joe Banh Mi

Sloppy Joe Banh Mi

I wish I could claim this sandwich invention as my own, but I have to give credit where credit is due. And all the credit in the world goes to Tracey Bloom for this delicious creation.

This is such a great twist on an American favorite and a Vietnamese favorite. I may have to try and convince a local Vietnamese eatery to put this on the menu.


For Sloppy Joe portion

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 TBSP rice wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire
  • 1 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP Sriracha
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

For Banh Mi Garnishes

  • Pickled onions (1 cup onions, 1 cup water, 1 cup red vinegar, 1 cup sugar or honey)
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, sliced thin
  • 1 daikon or radish, sliced thin
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 bunch of cilantro

Tracey Bloom

Chef Tracey Bloom


  1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, saute ground beef and onions.
  2. When ground beef is about half-cooked, add the rest of the Sloppy Joe ingredients and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Spoon Sloppy Joe mixture into French bread (or another bread) and garnish with remaining fresh ingredients.

You may recognize Tracey from season 7 of Bravo’s Top Chef. Tracey lives in Atlanta, but I was lucky enough to get to know her at last year’s ACS Hope Gala where she made an awesome shrimp ceviche on a fried plaintain chip. She’ll be back again this year so email me if you’re interested in tickets.

If you want to read more recipes and food tips from Tracey, be sure and check out her articles on here. And if you have questions for her, leave them in the comments section and I will get her to answer them.


Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes


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Recipe: Chicken Thigh Banh Mi

Banh Mi Toppings

Banh Mi Toppings

With apologies to 99% of the delis in America, the best sandwiches out there are Vietnamese-style banh mis. They’re loaded with fresh veggies, herbs and meat plus a spicy blast of sriracha.

The traditional variety of banh mis have pate, but I didn’t have any so I made a more Americanized version. I also combined the Sriracha with the mayonnaise to make a single spread.


  • 2 baguettes
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cooked
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 carrot, finely julienned
  • 1/4 of an onion, cut into thin slivers
  • 4 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, finely julienned
  • 2 TBSP mayonnaise
  • 1/2 TBSP Sriracha
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP sweet vinegar (such as cane vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
Chicken Thigh Banh Mi

Chicken Thigh Banh Mi


  1. In a small bowl, combine mayo and sriracha, mixing well.
  2. In a small skillet, heat olive oil and vinegar over medium heat. Saute carrots and onions for until carrots are darkened, but not soggy and onions are translucent. Set aside.
  3. Slice open baguettes horizontally, but do not slice all the way through.
  4. Spread Sriracha mayo on top and bottom halves of baguettes.
  5. Place chicken equally on both baguettes then layer evenly with carrots, onions, jalapeños and cucumbers. Finally, top each sandwich with fresh cilantro. Close the sandwiches and serve.

These sandwiches aren’t 100% up to par with what you’ll find in most Vietnamese bakeries, but they will do in a pinch. Thankfully, they aren’t time-intensive at all.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy the freshness of the veggies and herbs as a change-up to the typical sandwiches you find out there. You can also substitute the meat of your choice in place of the chicken thigh meat.


Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes


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Review: Kim Son

Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls

If you live in New Orleans, it’s possible you’ve never heard of Kim Son. It flies under the radar as far as Vietnamese places go and it’s located off the beaten culinary path. If you do know about Kim Son, you know it’s one of the best go-to places for Vietnamese and features one of New Orleans’ most expansive menus. Even Cheesecake Factory would be put to shame by the number of offerings.

I only stumbled across Kim Son because one night Pho Tau Bay and Nine Roses happened to be closed. Since then, it’s become my number one spot for Vietnamese. As a bonus, they also have a ton of Chinese dishes if you don’t want Vietnamese.

Pho with Medium Rare Beef Flank

Pho with Medium Rare Beef Flank

Kim Son has the best pho I’ve ever had, some of the best tofu I’ve ever had, and the salt baked items (shrimp, scallops, lobster, tofu and squid) are out of this world.

I can never go without having something salt baked. Usually, it’s the shrimp, but when I feel like splurging, I go for the lobster. The seafood itself is baked (though I think it’s fried) to an amazing crispy texture. Plus, the sauteed onions with ground black pepper and chili flake send things over the top.

Another favorite of mine is the Pho with Medium Rare Beef Flanks. The beef comes out medium rare, but cooks in the hot broth releasing even more juice into the broth and taking in the broth flavors at the same time. That’s my favorite version, but you can’t go wrong with any of them.

Salt Baked Shrimp

Salt Baked Shrimp

The make-your-own beef spring rolls make a great app to share at the table. You customize your spring rolls by adding in cucumber, cilantro, lettuce, carrots and other garnishes.

You also can’t go wrong with any of the tofu dishes. Try the tofu curry in the clay pot or the tofu with eggplant. Kim Son calls it “bean cake,” but rest assured, it’s tofu.

I haven’t had time to make it through the whole menu (that would probably take years), but everything I’ve ever had has been outstanding. It’s consistently fresh, never greasy and always tasty. Other Vietnamese places have great dishes, but none of them can match Kim Son’s overall effort.

Kim Son is located 349 Whitney Ave. in Gretna on the Westbank and is open Mon. through Sat. from 11 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.


Posted by on November 11, 2011 in Eatin'


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Review: Pho Tau Bay

Pho Tau Bay Logo

Pho Tau Bay Vietnamese Cuisine

Great Vietnamese food isn’t hard to come by in New Orleans, especially on the Westbank. While it took me at least two years to fully discover the Vietnamese restaurant scene, it’s become some of my favorite cuisine. I love the freshness of the ingredients used, the complex combinations of ingredients that create the perfect balance of spicy, cool and crunchy. Another plus is not feeling like you’ve just inhaled the food equivalent of a bus the way some other cuisines do.

One of the best places for Vietnamese in the city is Pho Tau Bay. While it may not be as traditional as some of the other Vietnamese restaurants in the city, it’s definitely one of the most convenient. While I think there is better pho and better banh mis in the city, Pho Tau Bay overall offers a great menu that’s affordable, delicious and quick.

Pho Tau Bay Vermicelli Bowl

Pho Tau Bay Vermicelli Bowl with Pork and Egg Rolls (B3 on the menu)

They definitely have the best Vietnamese egg rolls in the city. Nothing I’ve had elsewhere even comes close. In fact, I usually order them as an appetizer (to share if I’m feeling generous) and I add them in a vermicelli bowl if that’s what I order. The companion nuoc mam sauce really sends them over the top. The wrapper is crispy, but not crunchy and the filling is always fresh and complex in flavor.

After chowing down on the eggrolls, I normally go with one of the vermicelli bowls. While it’s a nice size portion, you can upgrade to a large for only a dollar more. Filled with noodles, lettuce, cucumbers, fried shallots, carrots and meat of your choice, the bowls make for a great lunch or dinner. While I don’t know the ins and outs of the nutrition facts, I can’t imagine them being nutritionally void.

While I’m not crazy about Pho Tau Bay’s banh mis, they’ll do in a pinch. The bread is good, the meat is good, but the pate and jalapeno on traditional banh mis are missing so they don’t quite stack up to other banh mis in the city.

Pho Tau Bay Banh Mi with Pork

Pho Tau Bay Banh Mi with Pork (BM#5 on the menu)

The pho is great at Pho Tau Bay as is the PTB wonton soup. The broth at Pho Tau Bay doesn’t feel overly salt and isn’t as greasy as other broths I’ve had. The herb basket that come with the pho is also one of the most generous in the city. I always feel guilty not using every leaf of basil, every bean sprout, every slice of cucumber and every jalapeno.

To wash it all down, I highly recommend the soda chanh (club soda with lime juice and sugar). It’s always refreshing, isn’t packed with sugar and has a great tart/fizz combo to it.

Overall, Pho Tau Bay offers inexpensive, quality, fresh Vietnamese food in a hurry. It’s one of the best places to go on the Westbank. So if you ever get the urge to venture across the Crescent City Connection, be sure and stop in for some of the best Vietnamese around.

Pho Tau Bay is located at 113 Westbank Expressway (take the Stumpf exit). Hours: Mon.-Wed., Fri.-Sat. 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in Eatin'


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