Fish sauce and I are having a moment. It’s not an ingredient we cooked with growing up, but it’s suddenly finding it’s way into more and more of my meals. It started with Molly telling me how much she and her beau loved it on roasted brussels sprouts. That was such a hit that I added fish sauce to my new favorite cauliflower recipe (which I also roast in the oven, rather than stir-frying on the stovetop. My cast iron skillet and I are also having a moment), making it even more delicious. Then I tried a recipe I can’t wait to share from Hal’s favorite lady chef that showed me how well fish sauce plays with chicken. And in a really fish sauce focused evening, Hal and I took a Vietnamese Street Food cooking class that featured the savor/salty/sweet taste in every single dish (except dessert)–Sugar Cane Shrimp, Caramelized Pork Belly Banh Mi, Banh Hoi, and Che Thai. And dang was it good. But my very favorite way to use my new very favorite ingredient is in Shutterbean’s Thai beef with basil.
After my first visit to Portland, Oregon, I was a starry-eyed amateur: I loved every single bite and there was still so much more to taste. Now that I’ve gorged myself four times in PDX, I understand that being starry-eyed is the way to be: there is an overwhelming amount of delicious food and there will always be more to discover. So how does a person begin to digest all that Portland has to offer? The following list of traveler’s tips are my attempt, after serious contemplation and a few handfuls of Zantac, to give some guidance to my fellow hungry tourists on how best to stuff oneself in the City of Roses.