What’s the most unusual or challenging food/dish/ingredient you’ve encountered in Vietnam?
I’m not squirmish about food. I love the way the Vietnamese will use the entire animal, no wastage. Many people can find this confronting, but it really is just being sensible and as a chef, the offal are always the best bits to work with.
Trung vit long (fertilized duck egg) is perhaps the most challenging for people. It’s hard boiled and taken with ginger, chilli and hot mint. If you look at it for too long it can be a bit off putting. But at Hanoi Cooking Centre I now eat it very regularly, particularly in winter when we have a hot pot. It tastes like very rich egg yolk and pate.