How To Visit Vietnam, Thailand, And California In Just One Night


Get ready to drool! Sriracha is a documentary about the origins of the hot sauce. If you believe in the power of sriracha + mac & cheese, you must see this film. (Photo: “Sriracha”)

Inspired by a recent post by Jessie on a Journey, I decided to travel without leaving home. Without leaving my kitchen, actually. Like the rest of the world, I’m a huge fan of Sriracha, the wickedly good hot sauce. I assumed it was an Asian import. It is, kind of. I learned all about it by watching “Sriracha“, a charming documentary about the sauce, directed by NYC-based filmmaker Griffin Hammond. It’s available for streaming on Vimeo for $2.99.

The sauce creator, David Tran, left Vietnam as a refugee in the ‘70′s. He, along with thousands of others, settled in California. These immigrants brought with them their love of phở, big bowls of broth and noodles, but it was missing the hot sauce served at home. David concocted a simple mash of chiles, garlic, and pepper and began filling bottles by hand. Today, Huy Fong Foods, produces 3,000 bottles an hour, bottles that are in practically every restaurant kitchen and college apartment in America.

The sauce may have first appeared in Thailand in the coastal town of Si Racha. The filmmaker travels there to taste our Sriracha’s slightly sweeter cousin. All of this food porn made me very hungry indeed. I was particularly taken with the Thai version of on omelet, cooked up in oil, served over jasmine rice, and slathered with sauce. This is what I wanted. This is what I needed. I probably could have improvised a recipe, but I wanted it to be just right and I found this version of kai jeow on The Kitchn.


Love at first bite. If this is typical of Thai street food, I need to get on a plane now. (Photo: Anjali Prasertong)

I would not have thought of including fish sauce in the beaten eggs. But it was the perfect complement to the Sriracha. And the best part about my mid-week kitchen journey? I only had a couple of dishes to wash instead of a suitcase of dirty laundry.

Postcards from the Desk

My boss refuses to yield to my repeated requests for a 4-hour workweek.

I, like Timothy Ferriss, wish to indulge my true passion and travel the world but I’ve had no success cajoling and wheedling, explaining how I can work remotely; that through the magic of Skype, I can be virtually present while actually slurping down a bowl of pho guya truyen in Hanoi. He deftly deflects each of my attempts, reminding me that my tax dollar-funded position as chief fiscal officer requires my physical presence in the office. To date, I’ve simply managed to get him to agree to let me work more hours in exchange for additional days off. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what Mr. Ferriss had in mind.

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