Monday, June 02, 2008


Hello, dear readers, take my survey please! And please answer in complete sentences so that I don't get whiplash reading your answers and then having to scroll back up to double-check the question, then back down again, then back up again. And well, you get the picture. The survey is simply for my own edification in an ongoing effort to improve the site. Sometimes I can figure out what changes to implement on my own, such as recipe and restaurant indexes, but it helps to get feedback from you too! If you've been reading for a while, but haven't commented before, this is a great chance to delurk and introduce yourselves. If you don't want to publicly share your answers, you may email them to me at wanderingchopsticks (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks! And because I hate posts without at least one picture, this luscious tart was given to me by my oldest uncle's wife on Mother's Day. Wasn't that nice of her to share her gifts? I don't know where she got it from but the tart shell had a thin coating of chocolate to keep the custard layer from making the crust soggy. Ingenious!
Mother's Day Fruit Tart
OK, on to the questions: Who are you? (If you're another blogger or regular commenter, you obviously already have a name. If you're de-lurking to answer this survey, you may use your real name or make up one.) Where are you from? (You may answer this in however much detail you wish ie. your ethnicity, the country where you were born, the country and/or city you live in now, or all of the above.) How did you find my blog? How long have you been reading? How often do you check the blog? (Were you searching for a recipe online? Clicked over from another blog? Read me every day? Several times a day? Do you check every morning or every night?) What do you like? Don't like? Want to see more of? Less of? (I make no promises to change the blog because of your answers. Just wanted to see what items were and weren't popular. Want more Vietnamese recipes? Less? More restaurants? Less? What do you feel about the non-food stuff like traveling, gardening, quilting, random musings?) What would you like to say that I haven't asked? (Say anything you wish.) Thanks again! ***** 1 year ago today, Chanh Muoi (Vietnamese Salty Lemonade) and how to preserve lemons.


  1. This is a bit apart from what you've asked, but I noticed on your blog description on blogflux that you are looking for cuisines that start with X or Z. As someone who fairly often cooks from African cuisines and has lived in West Africa for a while, may I recommend that there are several Z african countries with nice cuisines, such as Zambia or Zimbabwe.

    btw, I'm Erin from The Skinny Gourmet.

    no help on the X though.

  2. Erin,
    Thanks. I'm sure Zambia and Zimbabwe have very nice cuisines. The problem is finding any restaurants in SoCal that serve it! Hence, my difficulty finding X and Z.

  3. I'm Jonathan, from Days of the Dragon - just a personal journal type blog.

    I live in Akron, Ohio, but have also lived in Columbus and Cincinnati, Orlando FL, Ft. Lauderdale FL, and Lynchburg Virginia.

    I found your blog about 3 days ago by searching for Vietnamese food recipes. I'm in awe of the huge list of awesome, authentic recipes you have here - definitely cookbook worthy.

    I love all the recipes, especially the Vietnamese ones. I like the depth you add about ingredients and dishes. I would love it if you would put the actual Vietnamese text (with diacritics and accents).

    A little over a year ago I adopted my son from Viet Nam - he was 4.5 months old. While I've always been interested in Asian and Vietnamese culture, I am now truly invested. I loved my time in Viet Nam, and can't wait to visit again. I want to pass on as much of his birth culture as possible. I'm taking Vietnamese lessons from a fantastic Vietnamese college student who moved here from VN when she was 10 - hard language to learn, but making progress. I am also working on my Vietnamese cooking skills, and so finding your site has been great!

  4. I'm Renee from
    I'm originally from NYC, then San Francisco, Berkeley and finally, I now live in Chico. Chico is a small California college town with a Mediterranean climate.

    I found your blog from another blog, I can't remember which. I read your blog whenever there is a new post. I have you on my google homepage so I'm aware of new posts right away. I like your recipes, layout and other content. I have stayed away from blogs that have a format that is not esthetically pleasing to me. I want to be in a place that makes me feel good.

    I'm into Vietnamese and other Asian cuisines right now so I enjoy that aspect. I am a gardener too, so I like garden tips and pix. I also like the travel info and random musings.
    Thanks for asking.

  5. Hello, I'm Peter from Kalofagas, a fellow food blogger. I live in Toronto, Canada.

    I found your blog after you commented on mind and I receive your updates through my reader.

    I would like to know your name, a photo's always nice way with connecting with your readers and yes, I'm aware of your "incident".

    I like your photos and the window you open up on Viet and Asian cuisine.

  6. Who are you?
    -Hong, a nonblogger food enthusiast with interests in cooking as well as eating.

    Where are you from?
    -New to Los Angeles via NYC via Seattle via Detroit via Vietnam.

    How did you find my blog? How long have you been reading? How often do you check the blog?
    -From Rasa Masala. Less than a week ; daily every morning when I check my RSS reader.

    What do you like? Don't like? Want to see more of? Less of?
    -Great infusion of culture and food..i love how you can share and teach the history of your family and of Vietnam and seamlessly incorporate them into food topics. You learn so much more than just food by reading your posts...not unlike learning about science when watching Alton Brown.. so more of it please!

    What would you like to say that I haven't asked?
    -umm..i don't think you have chubby fingers..they're cute! hehe Also, short of asking what you do for a living, do you have another full time job?

  7. I'm wiffy from Noob Cook. I'm living in Singapore. I found your blog a few weeks ago, and I check it out whenever it is updated because I subscribed to the RSS. The photos are great and I like the Vietnamese recipes! One suggestion is to enable comments by non-blogger users/those without open ID, so that it's easier to give feedback and leave comments :)

  8. Who are you?
    - My name is Karen.

    Where are you from?
    - I live and was born in southern California. I'm Chinese-Vietnamese-American.

    How did you find my blog? How long have you been reading? How often do you check the blog?
    - I found your blog searching on Google for reviews for Nam Nuong Ninh Hoa on Mission Drive in Rosemead a few months ago. I check every few days or everyday if I'm not busy usually during the night.

    What do you like? Don't like? Want to see more of? Less of?
    - I like your Vietnamese recipes because they remind me of home and I don't know what most of them are called so it's difficult for me to search for them, so it's nice that you have them here. If you were open to the idea, I would like to put your recipes in a book using a service like (my current favorite) and make it available for people to buy online . The base price of a paperback book is around $13 for 40 pages $15-ish for 80 etc. It could either be sold at the base price or you could mark it up a bit for profit.

    What would you like to say that I haven't asked?
    - Do you like durian? If you do can you write about it?

  9. Who are you?
    My name is Tina, if you can't already tell by my ridiculous SN that I made in... 7th grade.

    Where are you from?
    I'm Vietnamese and Chinese; I was born, raised, and currently living in the San Gabriel Valley area. (MPK to be specific.)

    How did you find my blog? How long have you been reading? How often do you check the blog?
    I think I was searching for a nearby restaurant or for a Vietnamese recipe for my mom 6 months ago? I check your blog once a day or once every few days.

    What do you like? Don't like? Want to see more of? Less of?

    I love the recipes, especially the Vietnamese ones. I really love the restaurants because I live around the area and it's extremely helpful for whenever I am looking for a new place to try. It's my favorite part of the site. As for the random stuff, it really depends on what it is and what I'm in the mood for reading.

    What would you like to say that I haven't asked?
    I'm very nit-picky with design, and I think the site needs to be spiced up with something other than the boring black and white. The sidebar is kind of cluttered, too. It's kind of hard going through things with so much stuff there. Other than that, the site is fabulous.

  10. Who are you? Dani from

    Where are you from? Melbourne, Australia

    How did you find my blog? How long have you been reading? How often do you check the blog? I can't remember how I found you, maybe via Rasa Malaysia? I've been readng for a few months now. I check my RSS feeds most days.

    What do you like? Don't like? Want to see more of? Less of? I like the mix of topics. Love the Vietnamese recipes. The restaurants aren't so relevant to me but I still enjoy reading them.

    What would you like to say that I haven't asked?Keep up the good work. Love your blog.

  11. Hi WC!

    I'm Vicki from A Work in Progress, and I live in San Marcos CA.

    I've been reading your blog for about a year, can't remember how I found it, probably Rasa Malaysia.

    I love your Vietnamese recipes and your restaurant reviews - I have a list of restaurants to try - LA's not so far away!

  12. My name is Christine and I write the blog - Holybasil.

    I'm from Orange County, California but now live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    I found your blog from your comment on mine. It was good karma :) I read your blog every time I read my rss feed (usually, I check my feeds daily, but lately, it hasn't been as often).

    I agee with several of the comments above about the wide range of topics that encompass the culture of Vietnamese Americans presented here. I think the food is a great gateway to introduce and reinforce all that. I don't think there's anything more or less that I'd like to see. I like the restaurant reviews, the recipes (of course)and the travel posts. I think it might help to have your recipe index in a tab at the top of the page and maybe organized into categories also. (Not that I've done that for my own blog, though - oops!)

    p.s. I will send you them orangettes - sorry for the delay.

    :) Christine

  13. I'm Rita of Mochachocolata-Rita, the one who made your nutella filled chocolate mochi hehe

    Where are you from? I was born and raised in Indonesia. Studied further in Sydney, Australia (abt 2 yrs), then worked in Singapore (abt 1.5 yrs), now in Hong Kong. I love Hong Kong and plan to live here for a long longggg time

    I found your blog from Steamy Kitchen's link love, did your nutella mochi, and continue to read your blog religiously (which means I check your blog obsessively even before it gets updated hehehe)

    I like quick and easy food, something I could try in my kitchen...great to see something very ethnic specific sometimes, but I'll get frustrated if I could only imagine what I see as it is impossible to get the required materials. I love reading every day life-stories (especially funny ones)

    Keep up the good work!

  14. Since my name is very googlable name, I won't share that, but I will answer your other questions. =) I can't remember how I found your blog, but perhaps it was while I was searching bentos (and found The Lotus Life, which led me here).

    Basically two things keep me coming back: Vietnamese recipes and your OC restaurant reviews (because every few years, I visit for a few days). I don't check on a regular basis, pretty much when I think of it, but then I quickly catch up on past posts, especially if there are interesting recipes. I've only actually made one recipe (for mango bread--more mangos please) but have referred other people for easy recipes like pho bo. I really liked the VNese recipe index you started. Thanks for that, but if "VNese recipes" was right out on the front page, I'd be even happier! Asking too much, I know.

    I also like to read about your family traditions, as I like to compare and contrast them with mine. The only thing that I must beg and plead you for is the recipe for Hainan chicken rice. I had the absolute best in Malaysia 10 years ago and have been searching for it ever since. If you can't share the recipe, can you share the keys to a good recipe (so I can weed out the bad recipes)?

    Thank you so much.

  15. Hi, I'm Mita non blogger. Raised in Malaysia and Singapore but now live in India. Am of Indian origin.

    I came across your blog through another blog "masak, masak"

    I enjoy cooking SE Asian cuisine and want to visit Vietnam soon just to sample the food.

    I cant think of any suggestions, I like your style of writing and your pics:)

    Keep up the good work

  16. Well, WC, I think you already know plenty about me ;-) I found your blog probably through a recipe search, though I can't remember. I do remember thinking I'd found a fabulous source for recipes and discussion and descriptions and photos on all kinds of foods, not just VN.

    Since you have a habit of back-dated-posting, I tend to check a couple of times per week and then get my big dose of WC. I like all kinds of posts and think any direction you take would be terrific.

  17. Who are you? DKM

    Where are you from? Now... the SF Bay Area. Originally... Santa Barbara CA

    How did you find my blog? WHB - and I get your updates via Google Reader

    What do you like? Don't like? Want to see more of? Less of? Love it all

  18. Survey eh... ok, I make it simple and short...

    I'm Kay, a blogger.
    Currently @ USA.
    I think I found your blog from another blog. I would check out your blog whenever I go down my blog list.
    I like Vietnamese food but I like looking at pictures mostly. If you like to share other things on your blog, it be nice to look at too.

  19. Who are you? Hello from Susan at
    (Would you consider linking to me?)

    Where are you from? I'm a Hapa (half Japanese, half Scottish) living in Altadena

    How did you find my blog? Link from another blog (don't remember which one) How long have you been reading? About one year How often do you check the blog? Weekly

    What do you like? Don't like? Want to see more of? Less of? I like the So Cal restaurant reviews and recipes.

    What would you like to say that I haven't asked? I love your blog personality!

  20. Heya! Time to de-lurk, as you eloquently put it ;)

    I'm Dave, another food blogger at It's not much, but I'm trying hard :)

    I'm from Boston.

    I found your blog a few months ago while searching for Vietnamese recipes and also found it linked from many of the other blogs I read. Definitely enjoying all of the pictures and trying to learn more about different cuisines (newbie photographer and foodie).

    I've got your blog in my rss so I get updates as they come (which means I could end up reading several times a day :P)

  21. Hi WC--You already know me, but here's a recap:

    I'm MaryRuth, a general blogger at
    I was born in Wisconsin, moved to the SouthBay of SoCal in 1980, with a little break on Maui. My heritage is French Canadian.

    I discovered your blog about a year ago following a link from somewhere. I check in usually every day.

    My favorites are the recipes and restaurant reviews, but I also enjoy hearing about your family traditions.

    Keep on blogging! =)

  22. Hi there!
    I'm Jennifer, from Manila, Philippines.
    I'm Chinese-Filipino, grandparents came over from Hokkien, China.
    I found your blog some months ago, bloghopping from another food blog.
    I like your stories and I love your pictures.
    Maybe you can feature some Hokkien recipes or some Filipino recipes?
    More power to your blog!

  23. Hi! I'm Kim. I'm a big lurker.

    I'm a Vietnamese American. I've lived in Florida my entire life. First in the central area near Orlando, now in Jacksonville.

    I think I found your blog while I was searching for a Viet food blog. I've been reading for several months. I probably check your site three or four times a week.

    Well, I really like the Vietnamese recipes because the instructions my mom and dad give aren't always useful. They cook by intuition like I do. But when I try a new dish, I like ballpark estimates; which they don't give. I like the majority of the content on your blog. The restaurant reviews make me a little jealous because good restaurants (especially asian ones) can be hard to come by in Jax. I wish I lived in SoCal. Most people here are content with the big chain places; which aren't bad but aren't exactly awesome either.

  24. Who are you?
    Hi! I'm Candy and I'm 14 years.

    Where are you from?
    Where am I from.. I'm from Sydney, Australi! I'm Vietnamese and update my readings of your blog everyday!

    How did you find my blog? How long have you been reading? How often do you check the blog?
    Um, my mum sent me a link to your blog.. Since I cook dinners on Sunday nights, I got sick of cooking italian, cheesy or 'white'-peoples meals, and wanted to try something from my home country, Vietnam! And yes, I update EVERYDAY.

    What do you like? Don't like? Want to see more of? Less of?
    I like everything!

    What would you like to say that I haven't asked?
    Nothing really, just that this place is great.

  25. Hey WC,
    Dave Au here sounding off.

    I'm American born Vietnamese living in Alhambra.

    Found your blog looking for restaurants when I moved to the SGV. Read everyday as you know.

    I love the recipes of all sorts as well as all the restaurant reviews. I find that your recommendations are almost always on, even on the restaurants I don't think I'd like. Musings are good too, always an interesting read.

    Aside from that, I'd like to say thanks again for what I'm sure is an often thankless job.


  26. Hi! I'm Ning from the Heart and Hearth blog. I'm a Chinay - that's Chinese-Filipina - living in Manila, Philippines.

    I think I found your blog through WHB - ever since it was announced that you were going to host a week's event. I have been visiting your blog everyday since then.

    I like your pretty pictures. I like the way you write. It is also always interesting to learn more about another culture through food.

    We have some common interest - like we both love mangoes! I can't wait to try out your mango recipes. :)

  27. hi my name is kate .. came across your blog from another blog... i love food...when i'm not eating food ..i'm studying food..i'm working on my master in food science and human nutrition...i haven't venture into the making food department yet... but i love reading food blogs like yours.

  28. Jonathan,
    Thanks for introducing yourself. I know you delurked right when you found the blog. It think it's great that you're learning VNese! Short of switching over to VPS Keys and back, I'm not sure how to enter VNese diacritics on the computer. Hence, why I simply italicize the words instead.

    I know where Chico is. :) I'm glad you like the simple layout. Simplicity is best since I'm not a techie anyway. :)

    I know who you are! :) You've opened up my window into less common Greek cuisine as well. Ah, yeah, still no photo or name. There's been more than one such "incident" so I like to play it safe.

    Thanks for still one of the nicest emails I've received in a while! Haha! I'm glad you like chubby fingers then! Wait 'til you see my toes. ;) I wish I could do this full-time!

    You can check my FAQs but I disabled anonymous comments b/c I was tired of dealing with too many trolls and SPAM.

    Aww, thanks! I'm glad you like my recipes enough to want them in a cookbook. I'm still tweaking them, and have more I want to add. Hopefully when I do get together a book you'll then buy it? :) I have written about durian, you can search for it or look under the "fun food" category. I can't bear to eat durian fresh, something about the texture and smell puts me off. But I love it in ice cream and shakes. Weird, I know.

    Haha, yeah, I thought you were a kid. ;) I hope you try more restaurants. As for design, the "cluttered" part of the sidebar is what lures in new readers. I like simple black and white. Also, as a non-techie, it's set-up so it's easy for me and new readers to find what we're searching for.


    I think it's great that you've got a list of restaurants down here that you want to try. I hope you get to some of them. Let me know what you think!

    Umm, who are you again? ;) I see you've found my indexes. I've been trying to find an easy Blogger tab hack but they seem incomprehensible to me. So until then, that index will have to do.

    Hmm. Which recipes do you want to try and what ingredients do you need? Maybe we could do a food swap?

    I've posted about generalities for com ga before so you can search for which post it's under. The VNese recipes link is right at the top of the list of recipes on the sidebar. Although I did swap recipes with restaurants since that seems to be more popular. Just for you lady!

    That's pretty interesting how you found me since I don't remember ever coming across that blog. Thanks for the nice words!

    I remember when you found me b/c I was so happy to have another gardening blog to read. :)

    Thanks for being a new fan!

    Haha. Yeah, I know, I got lots of people who only look at pictures. That's fine too.

    I've added you. Glad you like my blog personality, it's much nicer than my real personality. ;)

    Welcome to the world of food-blogging. It's great fun. Learn as you go is the best method.

    I think you delurked about a year ago too. :)

    Oh dear, I really don't know any Hokkien or Filipino recipes. I'm learning about those cuisines through other blogs myself. For Filipino food though, I'd have to humbly refer you to Marvin of Burnt Lumpia, he's my resource for Filipino food.

    My parents are like yours too, toss in this and that. But when I try something new, I like to know exactly how much this or that so I can make adjustments to suit my taste.

    Haha! I think it's great that your mom sent you a link to my blog. Have you cooked any of my recipes then? I'd love to know how they turned out. I think it's great that you've got designated cooking nights too!

    Dave Au,
    Ha! I love that we like and hate the same places. And thanks for being so appreciative.

    I'm glad I found your blog too. Try my mango bread. That's the most popular recipe. :)

    Hmm, you're getting a degree in food science and human nutrition yet you don't cook? That's gotta be an oxymoron. :)

  29. Re typing in VNese: in Windows XP, just make sure you have the international languages set installed and select VNese as your input language. You have to learn the different diacritic keys (I use numbers but there are others). In Mac it is similar (ie go into the systems menu and select your input languages). It's really easy. You only need to switch between the languages by clicking on the language bar (which I have always on my screen), not between software. Hope that helps.

  30. L-K,
    Thanks for the tip. Now if I can just figure out what that means...


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