Author Archives: The soup lady

Suong heo nuong xa – Vietnamese lemongrass spare ribs

3-4 lbs pork spare or baby back ribs3 lemongrass stalks, tough layers removed and finely minced1 Thai chili pepper, minced (or 1 tsp sambal olek) 4 scallions2 cloves garlic1 shallot3 tablespoons fish sauce3 tablespoons honey1/4 cup canola oil1/2 teaspoon fresh … Continue reading

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Cha gio: Vietnamese Egg Rolls

My family LOVES cha gio. Cha gio were present at every gathering–birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, weekend dinners–and I always avoided them. As a kid I never liked the fried, greasy foods and cha gio were so ubiquitous that I found them … Continue reading

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I was not ready for this kind of grief.

**This essay was originally published online at WBUR Cognoscenti on April 8, 2021. I wasn’t ready for this moment. More than two weeks after the shooting in Atlanta, I am still reeling and at a loss for what to do about … Continue reading

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Pandemic fog and a call to action

I have been struggling lately on several fronts.  Sometime mid-summer, a malaise seems to have settled over my mind, making it difficult to see the forest for the trees.  Covid-19, racial reckoning, protests, Lysol wipes, face masks, Amazon food orders, … Continue reading

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Remembering my father

  My father died one year ago and I’ve struggled to write about it.  I hear that grief is different for each person; different for each loss. But when the grief is your own and it holds no shape, how … Continue reading

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2020

I admittedly have had my head in the sand about 2020, but today I attended a small women of color meeting with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Interesting. We started immediately with questions for the Senator; no stump speech or warm up. … Continue reading

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Kathy’s OMG Chili Oil

I have searched far and wide, looking for a versatile chili oil that could be used with a range of dishes, from Western to Eastern. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t found one.  So I decided to make it myself. I considered various … Continue reading

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Echoes

Recently, I noticed something peculiar: I heard my voice echoed in the writing of other women. I heard my personal journey, something that I had learned to hold as sacred and singular, in the stories of other Vietnamese American women … Continue reading

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Com Ga: Vietnamese style Hiananese Chicken Rice

Last year, in a cab in Hanoi, my family and I saw a sign for Com Ga (chicken rice) and asked our cab driver if he could recommend a good place for us to try it.  Up until this point, … Continue reading

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Instant Pot Adventures

For months now I’ve been stalking two Vietnamese cooking Facebook groups: the Vietnamese Cooking Group (VCG) and the Instant Pot Vietnamese Food Recipes. Both groups are totally nuts in the best possible way about sourcing, making, and eating Vietnamese food.  … Continue reading

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