In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
in Saigon, Vietnam
(also known as Ho Chi Minh
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
If you have never been to
Asia, you must know that the food options here are exotic and many. Everyday
shopping is an adventure. You don't just purchase a banana, you must choose from
a dozen of
types of banana.
Come take a look for
Fruit display at Ben Thanh
The flaming style fruit in the
center of this photo is called dragon fruit. The outer skin is a
bright fuchsia and it has these scale-like appendages with
green shoots growing out of it. If you cut the dragon fruit in
sections, it will either be stark white with hundreds of little
black seeds like poppy seeds or the inside could be a deep beet red
with the same dark seeds. The flavor of the dragon fruit is quite
mild compared to its ostentatious cover. It is juicy and subtle in
Green mangos are on the left, a
yellow cantaloupe is on the right and apples are displayed in the
At the top right is a "stinky"
spiky looking fruit called durian. One must acquire a taste for this
fruit, just as only certain people enjoy limburger cheese. This
delicacy is so smelly that airlines forbid anyone to eat it while in
Our breakfast fruit plate
Here you see a typical plate of tropical
fruit. Notice the dragon fruit in the upper center. Doesn't it look like a piece
of poppy seed cake? Pomelo and grapefruit are on the lower left, orange slices
are in the center, sweet jackfruit is at 1 o'clock, then pineapple slices and
then lychee at the bottom right. Small bananas are on the upper left.
This is such a delicious treat!
Pho and accompaniments
Pho (pronounced as a combination of the words
"fur" and "foe" is a typical Vietnamese dish from the north of the country, but you can get it
anywhere in Vietnam. This was one of the lunches brought to our room by the
Compass Living staff. Pho is a noodle soup packed with your choice of seafood,
sliced rare beef, pieces of pork or even fish balls. Vietnamese dishes are often
accompanied by bean sprouts, lime, chili sauces and various fragrant greens,
affectionately called "weeds." This soup, in all its variations, is surprisingly
delicious and satisfying.
Egg noodle soup with seafood
Another delicious soup comes with seafood,
greens, onion slices and egg noodles. Of course the chilis and chili sauce make
their appearance, with lime to squeeze into the soup. Vietnamese soups are eaten
with chopsticks and you are either served a spoon or you can slurp the broth
from the bowl.
Vietnamese spring rolls and a bowl of Pho
Spring rolls made in Vietnam are some of the
best ever. The outer wrapping is thin and crisp, not like the Chinese style of a
thicker outer wrap that holds grease when it's deep fried. There is a side of
pickled vegetables in the upper right, BBQ pork, peanuts, rice noodles and these
items are laid on a bed of bean sprouts and green weeds. A cup of sweetened fish
sauce is the accompaniment and is drizzled over these items, or you can use it
as a dipping sauce. Chili sauces are available also.
This is like a bowl of soup without the
broth. Surprisingly filling.
Chicken wings in butter
There is no way you could
possibly know how good these chicken wings taste from just looking at this
photo. The butter sauce is rich and there are chilis, yellow and green onions in
the sauce with parsley on top. It's not very Asian to suggest this, but what is
needed is a loaf of French bread to mop up the sauce.
This water spinach is sauteed in garlic oil.
The crispy bits on top are the fried garlic. The spinach itself is more like
eating a plate of crunchy stems, but the dish is very tasty.
These are stuffed fur clams presented on a
bed of weeds. They are stuffed with peanuts and green onions with a tasty sauce
drizzled on top. A cold Saigon beer and a plate of both water spinach and
Spanish peanuts completes this course.
When we ordered this dish, we thought we were
ordering half-a-dozen escargot with peanuts and garlic. One huge snail the size
of your fist came out on a plate. Billy had to wrestle it to the ground to get
it out of the shell and then we proceeded to cut it with a steak knife to eat
it. Still, it was very tasty.
Food to go
Traveling vendors are everywhere on the
streets of this busy city of 8 million. This woman carries her own grill with
her plus all the supplies she needs to cook up her offerings. When you sit
outside on one of the tiny chairs drinking beer, she will come up to you and
cook for you chair-side.
Another street restaurant
The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in this
communist country. People set up just about anywhere to do business. This woman
has brought her food by shoulder pole and placed both of her colanders over steamers.
Duck eggs with the baby duck inside and snails are being offered.
Notice that these child size chairs are
serving both as stools and as tables.
For more stories and photos
of Vietnam, click here
About the Authors