1. Pho Night this Sunday

    Pho Night @ Dear Mom

    Sunday, November 17th

    2700 16th Street (at Harrison)

    4:00-11:30pm

    Pho weather is upon us. It’s crispy outside, which is why we’ll be bringing three types of noodle soups to enjoy for Sunday Night Dinner on November 17th.

    image

    First up, we have our Hanoi-Style Beef Pho. It’s made with a six-hour broth with sliced hanger steak and thick noodles that we pick up fresh everyday from our purveyors in the Mission. Make it Dac Biet (or Special) with extra add-ons of beef brisket, beef balls and tripe.

    image

    The Banh Canh Cha Ca has all its components in the name. Check it:

    Banh = noodles (and in this case, thick housemade tapioca noodles, similar to udon)
    Canh = soup (a fish, pork and tomato broth)
    Cha Ca = fishcake, more specially, a dill cod fishcake, the lead singer in a seafood and pork ensemble including fish balls, pork shank and shrimp

    image

    Lastly, our Buddha’s Mien is a tribute to the vegan noodles we once had in the Mekong Delta: glass noodles with fried tofu, kabocha squash and braised daikon in a star anise and mushroom stock.

    We’ve got small bites to share: dry fried chicken wings, potstickers, and mushroom pho rolls and warm red bean mochi pancakes.

    See you soon!

    Menu

    Starters

    Pho Cuon Chay - Mushroom Pho Rolls - 8 (vegan)
    fresh rice noodle rolls filled with beech mushrooms, fried tofu, and Thai basil. served with nuoc cham chay.

    Dry Fried Chicken Wings - 11
    crispy chicken wings served with a lemongrass and chili glaze

    Pork and Ginger Potstickers - 9
    served with soy and red vinaigrette

    Kabocha and Shiitake Potstickers - 9 (vegan)
    served with ginger scallion oil

    Soup

    Hanoi-Style Beef Pho - 13
    fresh rice noodles in beef broth with hanger steak, shaved onions, cilantro, scallions and limes

    Pho Bo Dac Biet - Special Beef Pho - 15
    same as above plus brisket, blood cubes and tripe

    Banh Canh Cha Ca - 13
    fish and pork noodle soup with a tomato broth, housemade tapioca noodles, dill fishcake, fish balls, pork shank and shrimp

    Buddha’s Mien - 13 (vegan)
    bean thread noodles with fried tofu, kabocha squash, yuba and braised daikon in a ginger, daikon, mushroom, and star anise broth. served with scallion, onions, jalapenos, cilantro and limes

    Dessert

    Red Bean Mochi Pancake - 5
    a la mode with Fish Sauce Ice Cream - 8

     

  2. Halloween at Rice Paper Scissors

    We’ve got a special Halloween menu this Thursday at Mojo Bicycle Cafe featuring blood, guts and pumpkins.

    Blood: Our soup, Banh Canh Cha Ca (or Fish and Pork Soup with Tapioca Noodles - pictured above) will have huyet (blood cubes) floating alongside housemade tapioca noodles, dill fishcake, fish balls, pork shank, and shrimp.

    What are blood cubes exactly? It’s coagulated pig blood formed into cubes, common in Vietnamese soups such as rice porridge and Bun Bo Hue and other noodle soups. It adds a great texture and mineral taste. Even when I was a vegetarian, I found myself fishing for them in my rice porridge (instead of fishing them out.) Food writer Andrea Nguyen wrote an excellent explanation of blood cubes during her investigation of Pork Blood Pho.

    Guts: The Eight Treasures Rice Plate will feature spicy tripe with pickled turnips along with seven other treasures: Bo Luc Lac (Shaking Beef with Parmesan and lemon), seared cabbage with dried shrimp, grilled okra with housemade XO sauce, salt-and-pepper tofu, roasted kabocha squash, soft egg and dua gia (pickled bean sprouts).

    Pumpkin: In cookie form! Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies will be served as part of our housemade cookie assortment.

    Bonus photo: Last year’s Halloween costumes. Katie as Danny Bowein, me as an Asian pear.

    Come in your costume and bring the kids - we’ll have Asian Halloween candy to share!

    - Valerie

     

  3. Rice Paper Scissors at Macy’s / Thursday, October 24th

    image

    A Night of Fashion

    hosted by Macy’s Union Square & San Francisco Magazine

    Thursday, October 24th
    Macy’s Union Square / Third Floor 
    6-8pm / free
    food, music, fashion

    more on Facebook

    We rarely get girly (kitchen life makes it hard) but we always love an excuse to. Macy*s is throwing a happy hour to celebrate fall fashion with free after-work fun complete with a nail/braid bar, clothing styling and food.

    The deets:

    -  pho rolls and cookies from us

    - pop up closet styled by SF Blogger Krystal Bick from This Time Tomorrow

    - nail bar Pams & Kin and Braid Bar by Le Burge’t Salon SF

    - jams from DJ Kelly and KiWi TIME

    Come get fed and done up with us! If you’re hungry for more, we’ll also be at Mojo Bicycle Cafe from 6-10pm with our fall menu: Seafood and Pork Tapioca Soup and the Eight Treasures Rice Plate.

    Valerie, Katie + Felicia

     
  4. A little over a week ago, we celebrated Autumn Moon Festival at Virgil’s Sea Room and were greeted with people up for all things round and whole. By the end of the night, little red stools had migrated to circles around heat lamps, DIY lanterns were strung along the fence, and Banh Pia (Vietnamese mooncakes) were portioned and shared among friends. We couldn’t have had a better Autumn Moon. 

    Photo credits: loveme.Joanna and pepotograpi

     

  5. September & October Menu at Mojo Bicycle Cafe

    Introducing our late summer and early fall specials: Eight Treasures Rice Plate and Banh Canh Ca.

    image

    The Eight Treasures Rice Place is our way of recreating the family meal, but in one bowl. There’s usually a bunch of small plates in a typical Vietnamese and Chinese family meal: greens, pickles (sometimes two types), meat, cooked vegetables, fried things, sauteed things and so on. The idea is a mixture of textures, flavors, acidic and earthy things.

    There will be new treasures for you to explore each week! Pictured here: soft egg, chicken confit, crispy tofu and celery in Sichuan oil, galangal and caramel eggplant, buttery scallion corn, seared cabbage with dried shrimp and pickled bean sprouts.

    image

    'Tis the season for Early Girl Tomatoes — and we have them here in our Banh Canh Ca, a seafood and tomato noodle soup. Salmon fishcakes, fish balls and cha lua (Vietnamese ham) accompany housemade tapioca noodles, which are similar to Udon noodles in thickness and texture.

    Try it this week and till the end of October at Mojo Bicycle Cafe, 6-10pm. Full menu here.

    Valerie + Katie

    Thursdays @ Mojo Bicycle Cafe

    639 Divisadero (b/t Hayes and Grove)

    every Thursday, 6-10pm

    Every two months, we change up the menu to include new dishes inspired by food we’ve eaten, memories we like revisit and vegetables we discover at the farmers market.

    Though dishes may change, you can always expect to see small bites, rice, noodles and banh mi on the menu.

     

  6. Phases of the Moon(cake)

    The Autumn Moon Festival is the time of year to eat mooncakes. So we made our own called Banh Pia, a Vietnamese version with lotus seed paste, candied coconut and salted egg. It’s similar to the molded Chinese ones you see around, except it has a flaky crust.

    Step by step photos with Katie as the chef and hand model.

    image

    Soaked lotus seeds

    image

    Lotus seed paste with candied coconuts

    image

    Salted duck egg

    image

    Putting our stamp on it

    image

    Part of the Autumn Moon Festival is sharing them with family, friends and business colleagues. We biked around the Mission and handed them out to our favorite vendors, starting with Duc Loi Supermarket on 18th and Mission.

    Here, Amanda (Duc Loi’s owner, banh mi maker, and overall mother figure to us) gives us her approval.

    image

    We also left a mooncake with the folks who make our rice noodles fresh everyday in the Mission.

    image

    Come split one with a few friends at our Autumn Moon Festival pop-up tonight at Virgil’s.

    Happy Autumn Moon!

    image

     
  7. All Things Round and Whole: Autumn Moon Festival Pop-up Menu in photos.

    We’re serving up moon-shaped items for our Autumn Moon Festival this Friday at Virgil’s Sea Room, 6-10pm. More details here.

    Autumn Moon Festival Menu

    Mushroom Pho Rolls (photo: Andria Lo)

    Ham Sui Gok (Crescent-shaped Fried Mochi Dumplings),

    Bun Cha (Pork Patties with Netted Rice Noodles)

    Pate Chaud (Chicken / Mushroom Puff Pastry Pies)

    Banh Pia (Vietnamese Mooncake)

     

  8. Autumn Moon Festival @ Virgil’s

    image

    We’re celebrating the Autumn Moon Festival this Friday with a pop-up at Virgil’s Sea Room, a new bar near Mission and Cesar Chavez.

    Enjoy a moon-inspired menu in Virgil’s beautiful (and heated!) back patio, which will be lit up by our silk lanterns and the full moon.

    The Autumn Moon Festival is the second most celebrated Vietnamese holiday (after the Lunar New Year). Taking place the 15th day of 8th lunar month, celebrations involve moon gazing and getting down on some grub.

    Our menu features bar bites that symbolize all things round and whole (just like the moon!)

    And the holiday wouldn’t be complete without mooncakes, a dense tea cake made out of sweet lotus seed paste with a salted egg yolk in the center. This yearly treat is meant to be shared with family and friends - so come partake in some mooncakes and moon gazing this Friday.

    See you there.

    - Valerie, Katie and Felicia

    Autumn Moon Festival
    Friday, September 20th
    Virgil’s Sea Room / 3152 Mission Street
    6pm-10pm
    bar bites, cocktails, mooncakes and moon gazing

    share on Facebook

    Mushroom Pho Rolls - 8
    fresh rice noodle rolls filled with beech mushrooms, fried tofu, lettuce and Thai basil. served with nuoc cham chay.

    Chicken Pate Chaud - 5
    puff pastry filled with ground chicken, pate, and wood ear mushrooms

    Mushroom Pate Chaud - 5
    puff pastry filled with a mushroom and cream cheese pate

    Ham Sui Gok - 8 
    fried mochi dumplings filled with pork and shiitake mushrooms

    Bun Cha - 7
    grilled pork patties with banh hoi (netted rice noodles). served with mint, shiso, cilantro, red lettuce, green papaya, and carrot daikon vegetables. 

    Bun Cha Chay - 7
    fried tofu, chanterelles and eggplant with banh hoi (netted rice noodles). served with mint, shiso, cilantro, red lettuce, green papaya, and carrot daikon vegetables. 

    Banh Pia - 5
    Vietnamese mooncake with flaky crust, lotus bean paste and salted duck egg

     

  9. SF Street Food Festival (Year Two)

    Last year we got in because of your votes. And now we’re excited to be back with one of our all-time favorite street food dishes: Grilled Baby Octopus.

    image

    We discovered the dish in Saigon, and loved it so much we went back three times during the course of our trip. Grilled Baby Octopus is sweet, smoky, and speared with little toothpicks for easy eating. Marinated in fish sauce and caramel, it’s served with rau ram (Vietnamese coriander), salt and pepper, lime, and a housemade sweet chile sauce.

    In our first video for Rice Paper Scissors Travels, our YouTube series, we document how the octopus is made and enjoyed in Saigon. 

    As for the rest of our menu, we’ll also be serving up our Pho Rolls and Vietnamese Iced Coffee, favorites from last year. 

    See you on Saturday!

    SF Street Food Festival
    Saturday, August 17 / 11am-7pm
    Our booth will be located at Folsom St between 20th and 21st
    Download the festival app to add us on your list of things to eat!

    Menu

    Grilled Baby Octopus - 3
    Beef Pho Rolls - 8
    Mushroom Pho Rolls - 8
    Vietnamese Iced Coffee - 3

     

  10. Introducing Ca Ri Ga & Bun Cha

    A few weeks ago, we started our June/July menu with Ca Ri Ga, yellow coconut curry and Bun Cha, grilled pork patties served with banh hoi (netted rice noodles).

    image

    The Ca Ri Ga is inspired by Valerie’s stepmom’s recipe, which calls for yellow curry, chicken thighs, steamed taro and sweet potatoes, enjoyed spooned over a side of rice. We also added local Thai eggplant, lemongrass, lemon verbena, and the most precious baby carrots to make it our own.

    The Bun Cha is a dish from Hanoi, and actually Katie’s first street food dish when she landed there in 2010. It holds all of summer in its many small plates; first comes the grilled pork patties, swimming in sweet fish sauce vinegar along with crisp slices of green papaya.

    image

    Next comes banh hoi (netted rice noodles) steamed into a porous cake; perfect for soaking up sauce. They say banh hoi is eaten during special occasion, though we see no reason to eat it every day.

    Finally, there is the herb plate: a mountain of red lettuce, red shiso, mint, rau ram, and sprouts. Armed with a bowl and chopsticks, you can mix and match to your heart’s content.  

    We are so excited to start summer with these dishes. Come give it a try on Thursdays, 6-10pm at Mojo Bicycle Cafe. See ya soon!

    Valerie + Katie

    Thursdays @ Mojo Bicycle Cafe

    639 Divisadero (b/t Hayes and Grove)

    every Thursday, 6-10pm

    Every two months, we change up the menu to include new dishes inspired by food we’ve eaten, memories we like to dwell on and vegetables we discover at the farmers market.

    Though dishes may change, you can always expect to see small bites, rice, noodles and banh mi on the menu.