Bánh xèo, mango jelly and a thank you…


New Years eve itself was a non-event in our house. Si and I stayed up watching a great documentary, coincidentally about a dance school in India my dear friend is attending right now, before starting to watch this amazing film until our eyes grew too sleepy and we stumbled into bed at... 10.30pm. I know, what? Super Nanas. When you have little kids, especially ones that still wake all night long, the idea of staying up late, drinking and waking up all groggy and hungover just really doesn't appeal. It was a great choice as both kids blessed their very tired mum and dad with a full nights sleep! Hooray! Now just imagine how pissed off I would have been had I stayed up half the night, missing out on the best nights sleep I've had in ages. We awoke at the really reasonable hour of 7.30am, not the usual 4.30-5am of late, feeling refreshed and all ready to start our new year. See, being a Nana does have it's up-side 🙂

Our new house seems to have become the designated Nguyen family gathering place, so in keeping with our Christmas celebrations we decided we'd all ring in the new year with a Bánh xèo feast at ours. Everyone started arriving soon after lunch on New Years day and within a few short minutes of their arrival tables were being moved, salad greens washed and cooking started on what are possibly one of my favourite foods in the world,  Bánh xèo.

I first fell for these crisp golden Vietnamese rice pancakes when Si and I traveled through South East Asia in my early twenties. Filled with mung beans and tofu (the photo above is the non-vegetarian version with pork mince and prawns), served with copious amounts of fresh salad greens and herbs and dipped into a chilli-spiked sauce, they are everything I love. Crisp, fresh and spicy. I could eat them everyday, and talk about them so often the kids even make me imaginary Bánh xèo when they are playing 'cafe'!

We finished off lunch with chilled wedges of watermelon, fresh mango jelly and a Vietnamese drink concoction that my mother-in-law makes. It's an acquired taste. Si and Ada love it, but me and Kye well... not so much. It's a crazy mix of sweet, sweet syrup, agar-agar jelly, seaweed, dried dates and beans that is best served over ice to tame the tooth-aching sweetness. Interesting to say the least, but sadly it's one Vietnamese specialty I've not yet grown to love.

Thank you all so much for reading this past year, it truly amazes me that so many of you enjoy what I have to say and like trying out my recipes. I've got big plans for this year and have my fingers crossed 2012 is going to bring on the good stuff!

I'm humbled by your presence and wish you all the best in 2012. 
With much peace, love and light xx Emm

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  • Reply
    January 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Happy New Year Emma! It's always a pleasure to read your blog 🙂 I hope you will share the banh xèo recipe some day as it looks really delicious!

  • Reply
    Tessa Domestic Diva
    January 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Yum! I adore these vietnameses rice cakes too…just haven't delved into making them yet! I beat you into bed…10:00…and no wake ups…and convinced my one daughter to stay in bed until 6:30…of course the other two woke up shortly after! Being hungover is SO not worth it with young kids….one day later nights and cocktails might be possible for us! And one day, we won;t be able to get our kiddos OUT of bed!

  • Reply
    Janet NZ
    January 2, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Happy New Year! I too would love the recipe. I remember the very best thing about Vietnamese food is the way they use all the herbs and greens – so fresh, crunch and delicious!
    PS Am envying your gorgeous weather, and over the wet and wind we're having here… XO

  • Reply
    The InTolerant Chef
    January 2, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Very happy you had a lovely quiet New Years, and that the kiddies let you sleep, yours was quiet too, though I did watch the fireworks while I brushed my teeth 🙂
    Now, thats a cure story, but you can't show us something this yummy, and pretty, then tell us how amazing it is…. Unless you're willing to share! 🙂 pretty please?

  • Reply
    Yum's mum
    January 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Please, please, please share the recipe. I love banh xeo and here it is hard to find. Your spread looks amazing!! Too bad I'm so far away. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes and encouragement.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Happy New Year Emma. As a new follower I look forward to all the freshness your blog has to offer.
    I'll be hosting Whole Food Wednesdays at beyondthepeel and I hope you'll join us this Wednesday at http://www.beyondthepeel.net/category/blog.
    All the best in 2012 to you and your lovely family.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 1:52 am

    I promise I'll share the recipe one day, it's a pretty special family recipe though so you might have to wait until I get a publishing deal! 😉

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 1:58 am

    P.s There's loads of Bánh xèo recipes to be found online xx

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Gorgeous beach photo, and that jelly sounds amazing!

    • Reply
      January 13, 2012 at 8:17 am

      Thanks, it was such a beautiful at the beach that day!

  • Reply
    Jennifer (Delicieux)
    January 3, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Happy New Year! 😀 My fiance and I had a very quiet New Years Eve too, and while we don't have young children who wake through the night, as an excuse though 😉

    It's been a pleasure getting to know you over the lat few months since I discovered your blog. Best wishes for the New Year and I can't wait to see what you have in store for 2012.

    • Reply
      January 13, 2012 at 8:17 am

      Thanks and same to you 🙂

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Emma, happy new year to you! I agree, once you have children, staying up all night is not appealing unless one can be hungover in peace and sleep the whole next day. Wishing you and your family all the best, and looking forward to your recipes and music suggestions. Thank you for introducing Alela Diane to me! Anjadubai

    • Reply
      January 13, 2012 at 8:18 am

      You are welcome, she's great eh. My brother put me onto her xx

  • Reply
    Mairi @ Toast
    January 6, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Love the Bánh xèo, but I think I am with you on the drink! Happy New Year to you & I hope it is filled with love, laughter & good food!

    • Reply
      January 13, 2012 at 8:21 am

      Thanks Mairi, same to you xx

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