The feature image above was taken at the top of the mountain which has great historic significance both during ancient times and during the Vietnam War days. We had a private guide with us who explained the history and significance of the site (more on that in the very near future).

A note about my recent absence from blogging…It’s been a while since I posted anything as I’ve had a couple of major spinal surgeries in Sydney over a few weeks. I thought recovery would have been easier with time to reflect on good times + do some writing; however, between lots of sleeping, physio and various appointments in hospital and out, the head has been rather foggy (pain levels variable) and even concentrating on TV has been a challenge at times.

It was great to wake up to a beautiful, sunny Canberra morning today with a clearer head. Tony is cooking for family tonight for dinner so he asked me to find some Asian inspiration…something simple. We’ve decided on “Chicken slow braised in Green Pepper” (photo below) and recipe at the end of this post.

I’ll also start by re-posting the map of Vietnam (below) which I put in an earlier post (see Hanoi etc). Underlined in purple are some of the main stops we made but the photos in this post are mainly from our day trip (via car/private guide) heading south from Hue and Da Nang. I’ll refer to Tony’s journals over the coming days and post a little about the history that relates to some of these photos eg. The mountain which was a place of great significance during the Vietnam War. We climbed up (a reasonable track but steep in parts) to get to the cave which was used like a fortress by the north Vietnamese. It was located quite close to a major American air base.

Vietnamese Chicken Slow Braised in Green Peppers (from Indochine by Luke Nguyen)

Ingredients:

1 x 1.5 kg Chicken; 50 Gm green peppercorns (available in a small tin in supermarkets); 6 cloves garlic (finely chopped); 2 teas sugar; 3 teas salt; 2 tablesp veg oil; 2 tomatoes chopped; 1 carrot cut into 1 cm dice; 2 tablesp oil; 1.5 litre coconut water (try to avoid type with added sugar…ie from “young coconuts”!…available in tetra paks); 4 tablesp fish sauce; 8 red Asian shallots (peeled & left whole)…use French if you can’t find Asian type; 1/2 onion (cut into wedges); Vietnamese baguettes (to serve).

A nice accompaniment is also a Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce (I’ll be eating more of that rather than the baguette which Tony & our son might prefer) or even plain broccolini – I like the tender stalks so worth the extra cost in my opinion.

Method:

Will write up soon.