Monday, August 15

Che Bap and Moms in the kitchen

Despite what the title says, there will be no pictures of moms in kitchens, but I do want to talk about moms and their expressions of love and care through food. This week, I've had 3 different foods that remind me of 3 different mothers I know and it inspired me to write this post. It has really made me appreciate the role of mothers and maybe women in general in the kitchen. I'm not saying that women belong in the kitchen, or that men who love to cook don't. But in my childhood memories, the mother-child bond is very closely linked to food; memories which can be recalled when you eat or recreate these foods. 

1) Olay's mom's fried taro snack - I had the pleasure of going to my friend's house for dinner on Friday. He's Laotian and I always enjoy trying authentic home cooked foods of different cultures. When you have dinner at someone's house, you never really know the name of the dish or what its made of, but it's always tasty. I watched her coat the taro pieces in a batter of tempura flour, sesame seeds, and coconut milk, then deep fry them. I was so hooked on these, I ate 3 there and took 7 back. She makes another dish that I've had on a separate occasion and totally love which I can only call "Olay's mom's fish thing." Home cooked Laotian food, so good! Thank you Olay's mom for introducing me to this food.

2) Clare's mom's egg sandwich - In high school, my friend's mom would make her sandwiches for lunch. They contained a fried egg in between slices of wheat bread with mayo, mustard, and sliced dill pickles. These sandwiches were so good I kept mooching off her lunch and eventually, she would bring me a sandwich of my own. And even though it sounds so simple, in high school I just couldn't recreate it the same way. Many foods are good just because you shared it with a friend. Clare brought an egg sandwich to hiking this weekend and it totally reminded me of high school days.

3) Mom's che bap (Vietnamese corn pudding dessert) - This isn't my mom's best dish but corn was on sale at the market and I bought too many for myself. I thought I should try this simple Vietnamese dessert that my mom usually makes. Now this isn't her unique recipe but instead of looking up directions online, I just asked my mom for verbal directions.

First, use a knife to cut the corn kernels off the ear and heat up sticky rice and corn in a pot with water.There's no set amount of water or rice, just put in as much as you want and cover it with water. Keep stirring. ALL THE TIME. Keep stirring because it will stick to the bottom and burn if you don't. 

As the rice expands and water level decreases, add more water and keep stirring. Once the rice is fully cooked meaning the grain has expanded and is soft, any more water you add is optional depending on how sticky or separated you want the grains to be but make sure that your final product is fairly sticky and not like a soup. (the picture above is still undercooked).

The next step is to add in sugar and stir it in until its at your desired sweetness level.

Last step, turn everything off and pour in a can of coconut milk. Amount is also optional to taste. The more you add, the more rich and buttery it gets. I only used a small can for the whole batch.

Ta-da! I have lunch and dinner desserts and I used up 3 out of 8 ears of corn. 5 more to go! I feel very proud that this turned out to be a success. I'm really bad at following written directions while I cook because it takes so long to keep going back and forth to the recipe. Verbal directions from mom are the best!

Do you have a favorite food that your mom makes? I'd love to hear.


  1. DUDE I'm so glad you liked the egg sandwich cause I made that one! WOoo learnin' from the pro that is Mom! And it looks like I missed out on Friday's dinner booo

  2. aw good topic! too bad my mom never gave me the mom-food-child was more a thing my dad does a lot better. he's my go-to for all chinese recipes, and yours too if you'd like. :) hm i guess my mom makes really good fish cake from scratch. haha. and stephen's mom makes awesome tofu + some kind of beef patty.

  3. @ Clare, yes I noticed the sandwich. hehe. Friday's dinner was pretty delicious and there was so much food left over.

    @ Sherry, I am really impressed when I hear about fathers who are good cooks. Mine's not too bad but he only has a few dishes that he does well and only makes those. I would totally love to get Chinese recipes from your dad some time. The Mister would love it.



You Might Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...