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Saturday, March 17, 2012

bánh xèo spring bento


Hello friends! After a mild winter, spring has arrived early and bright. 




 



Blue Nikko hydrangea leafing out in glorious bright green this morning:


Native redbud. Love the candy like magenta pink bud-blooms: the festive essence of spring!





There is a feminine light and brightness to Vietnamese cuisine that always makes me think of spring; today's bento reflects that spring-association and a recent visit to Eden Center, Northern Virginia's epicenter of all things tastily Vietnamese.

Likely for the last time (our home is under contract now!), we visited our fav restaurant in the center, Huong Viet, for a selection of tried and true delights.

Bánh xèo, a crisp and addictively delicious filled crepe, served with aromatic herbs:


Caramelized heads-on jumbo shrimp over lotus root salad


Savory squid with cilantro

We ambled around Eden Center after our meal. Pretty and friendly Song Que Deli offers bahn mi and other prepared snacks and treats, a delightful place...


 Mmmmm, mango ice cream!


Delectably pastel Banh Bo rice flour sweets






The corridors of Eden Center house innumerable cafes, restaurants, snack bars...


Tropical bubble drinks!


                             

 




In today's bento, a portion of bánh xèo is nestled on a bed of springy green watercress, with fresh fennel and ruby red grapefruit in fan shaped sections...





 
Happy spring and happy cooking this week!


















16 comments:

babykins said...

Oh this is another world! We haven't had any sighs of spring yet. Thanks for the delicious pictures to the eye!
Kind of sad we'll be unable to enjoy your pics around Virginia anymore, but I'm looking forward to seeing what you do in the new place. :)

AikoVenus said...

When I saw "banh xeo" when I read my blog list I knew I just had to pop over! Not only are your pictures amazing as usual - you make me really appreciate spring! ^^ Its so beautiful, and I love those hydrangeas!

Bentobird said...

Hi Izumi! Hope spring comes to your world soon, dear! We will miss some aspects of this area but are so excited to explore the West Coast. Have a wonderful day!

Bentobird said...

Hi there Aiko! I so love these crepes, they always make me happy.

Thanks so very much for your warm comments, they are a joy to read.

Gnoe (@Graasland) said...

Gorgeous pictures but teh last one is definitely my favourite Jenn! :)

Happy spring & cooking to you too!

Robin O said...

Glorious spring has arrived in your eastern home! You will be glad to know that there is a vibrant Vietnamese community here in central/northern California for you to explore when you hunger for those fresh tasty dishes.

You photos just jump off the page, so beautiful makes me want to walk in your shoes a bit. Happy Sunday Jenn!

Bentobird said...

Hello Gnoe, spring greetings to my fellow washi obsessive!

Bentobird said...

Hi Robin, so cheery and brightening, your comments--thank you! ANd that is wonderful news re the Vietnamese community in central/northern California :D! Enjoy the rest of the weekend, dear friend....

Rina@BentoSchoolLunches said...

Lovely spring photos and I am craving the durian bubble tea on one of the photos! Impossible to find any where I live now.

Bentobird said...

Hello Rina, thanks so much for coming by, would love to share a bubble tea with you! I'm partial to coconut :)

Bobo said...

so you have visited Northern Virginia? miss those beautiful pictures of flowers that you shared with us in your blog..lovely..

thanks for sharing the yummy banh xeo, i have never tried that. Normally the popular dish served from vietnamese restaurant here is noodle.. :)

And Durian Bubble Tea? I wonder how does it taste like, we have lots of Durian in our place but we never heard of Durian bubble tea.. interesting..

Bentobird said...

Hi Bobo! Thanks for coming by, glad you liked the flowers :)

Northern VA is a great place for foodies interested in exploring Asian cuisone, with many established communities where restaurants offer authentic and very delicious dishes.

Have a wondeful day, dear!

Susan Yuen said...

Your bento is gorgeous and delish as always! Beautiful pictures Jen!

Bentobird said...

Aw, thanks sweet Susan! Its been a while, how are things with you and family? Happy spring, bento sister!

Lyndsey said...

I love the pink blossom against the bright blue sky...it's takes my breath away! Of course all the photos are beautiful!. I am lucky because the Asian store right near my husbands shop is Vietnamese, si I can get many Vietnamese things. I am curious, is the crepes similar to the Korean pancakes? It looks wonderful!

Bentobird said...

Hi Lovely Lyndsey, awwww so glad you enjoyed this first little tour of emerging spring around here--more to come!

As a fan of Korean pancakes as well, I must say these are delightfully different--light and cruncy and in the French manner filled rather than having non batter elements in the pancake itself, hearty Korean style.

The Vietnamese crepes deliver cripy satisfaction and the lilt of herbs and seafood. Cannot wait for you to try!! Hugs.