Com Tam Time

Streetfood has remained a permanently exciting and indulgent fixture in my daily comings and goings around Saigon.

I have expressed a few thoughts on this blog in the past about pho, the staple Vietnamese noodles (increasingly popular and available in the UK now, I noticed last month) and which we usually eat two or three times a week.  There are some moments when noodles just hit the mark.  Fiery chili heat combined with leaves, bamboo shoots, raw steak and delicate broth.

There are some moments – for me, this is currently every day, hence capturing this for future posterity – when only Com Tam will do.

Com Tam translates as “broken rice” and is a special type of rice, shorter, slightly more al denté than normal rice, and typically accompanied with chopped cucumber, chives, bbq pork (or other types of meat) sweet honey sauce, chili and, should you desire, a fried egg on top.


Feast your eyes, and your stomach...
Feast your eyes, and your stomach…

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Just your typical Friday in Saigon

The daily sights and sounds of Saigon never fail to disappoint.

Take “Goldfish Alley”, the street to which the guy in this picture is no doubt headed.  It contains, on most days, about half a dozen enthusiastic traders offering what I can only reason, given the hot weather here, is something more akin to a boil-in-the-bag dinner for one, rather than a new pet for the kids.

Photo credit @Steve Jackson
But, if you live in Saigon and want to buy a pet fish, even if its life expectancy is dubious, then you know where to go. Continue reading