This seller is about as street as you’ll find in Saigon. She’s plonked mid-street on the Luu Van Lang/Le Thi Rieng junction in District 1. She’s rather mobile. After buying a selection of edibles from her bucket, I turn around and head off for a nibble and a conflab with noodlegirl, I turn back to give an approving nod to the seller and she’s vanished. Upped and offed in a flash. Vapourised for all I know. Spooky. She sells okra, various kinds of fish balls, stuffed red chillies and banh my.
This is the first time I’ve seen fish paste stuffed red chillies sold as streetfood in Saigon. I buy a couple of them and a selection of here fish balls for 10,000VD. All come in a polystyrene box with two ingenious wooden eating implements. I don’t know the names of what I ordered – I wasn’t in ‘blog mode’ and didn’t ask – However, I believe we’re in similar territory to Ca Vien. Any insight, much appreciated.
That’s a sweet, hot fluid sauce you can see drowning my nibbles. And there’s a splash of Vietnam’s nasty red sauce on top. The fish balls to the left are each stuffed with a quail’s egg – shades of an uber-oriental Scotch Egg. The stuffed chillies are a bitch. A tasty bitch. Whenever I consume vicious chillies like this I hiccup for 5 minutes post-scoff. Apparently I am not alone. It’s a common reaction. Not big on Vietnamese fish paste – bit too industrial for my delicate palate – but this little lot was fun. If I spot this phantom flogger again I’ll repeat the chilli order and check out her ladies fingers. Nice.