Coast Cooking

Vietnamese stew is good to the last spoonful

By JULIAN BRUNT

Special to the Sun Herald

Vietnamese stew is full of meat and vegetables.
Vietnamese stew is full of meat and vegetables.

All this week this blog has explored the basics of eating at one of the many Vietnamese restaurants on the Coast.

I have never eaten at a Vietnamese place I did not find delicious, so when you go, you will certainly be in for a treat.

I have saved one of the best Vietnamese dishes for last: Vietnamese-style beef stew. This is a hearty dish, normally served with a short loaf of crusty French bread. The bread is meant for dipping, so don’t hesitate to dig in and sop up every last delicious spoonful.

The beef stew is remarkable for being fragrant. Imagine a stew filled with big chunks of tender beef, thick slices of carrot and flavored with star anise and Thai cinnamon.

The stew is much more complex than just those two seasonings, so when you give this dish a try, think about what you are eating. What else can you identify?

Add a little sriracha if you like, but this stew will not require any other condiment. Just remember to put the crusty French bread to good use.

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