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Aug 20, 2013 01:20 PM

Astonishing condiment at Ao Sen [Oakland]

Never seen or heard of it before. It was on the table, a tangle of fried lemongrass slivers with dried chili and a strong dried-fish smell and taste. I ate it by itself mostly. It was unbelievable. Anyone know it, what's in it, how it's made?

By the way, this new deconstructed bun trend is a real drag. Gimme a big bowl with the noodles and good stuff already in it, would ya?

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    1. Thanks for bringing that condiment up again -- I've marked both threads.

      What do you mean by "deconstructed bun"?

      3 Replies
      1. re: grayelf

        From the context, I assume essvee is talking about how some Vietnamese restaurants give you all the components of whatever bun dish you ordered and you have to mix them yourself. Sort of a bun kit.

        My guess is they do that in self defense because people are always asking them to leave out this or that.

        1. re: grayelf

          I think they are talking about Bún Chả Hà Nội

          1. re: chefj

            Ah, got it. That's not really new around these parts, but I know what the OP's talking about -- sometimes you just want a big ol' bowl of bun, and not have to worry about picking out herbs or wrapping stuff up in lettuce : -).

        2. Here is another recipe for Saty
          10 Garlic Cloves
          4 Shallots
          8 Stalks Lemon Grass
          1/2 cup neutral oil
          2 tsp Sugar
          3T Fish Sauce
          1/2 tsp kosher salt
          2-3T Sambal Olek
          1/2 Oz. Dry Crushed Thai Red Chilis

          Finley mince the Garlic, Shallots, I use a Food Processor.
          Clean Lemon Grass and finely slice the first 4"
          Put Oil in small Sauce Pan, add Lemon Grass,Garlic and Shallots.
          Fry on very low low heat for 15 minutes. Watch closely, you do not want Browning.
          Add crushed red pepper, fry for 5-10 minutes,
          Add the rest of the Ingredients. Let cook another minute or Two.

          "new deconstructed bun trend" Are you talking about Bún Chả Hà Nội ? If so it is not a new dish at all.

          1. believe that it could be considered "Satay Chiu Chow" or "Sa Te Trieu Chau" in a broad sense. You can buy this in jars in Asian markets, but most of the brands don't have as much lemongrass.

            1. they have fully constructed bun dishes too. you just ordered the wrong dish ;-)

              as chefj says, avoid the Bun Cha Hanoi . . . and it's not new.

              1 Reply
              1. re: drewskiSF

                Half the fun is the wrapping process and getting your hands dirty for Bun Cha Hanoi, same goes for Banh Xeo. Besides, theirs is one of the better ones in the Oakland area.