My parents are Northerners . When the Geneva agreement was signed in 1954 they migrated South with their respective families.

I was born in the South yet I am still considered a Northerner due to my parents’ heritage. Bac Ky Dzon is a nick name given to all of us Northerners from the Southerners (Nam Ky).

Bắc means North and Nam means South

This is one of my favourites. I should cook it more often.

Cà Bung (Eggplant Casserole)

500g belly pork sliced or 1kg of pork ribs

4 egg plants quartered lengthwise then sliced into 1 cm pieces

2 bunches of tía tô (perilla ) chopped

(use leaves and tips only )

spring onion for garnish

1 box of deep fried beancurd/tofu cut into 12 then half the thickness to 24 to fry . After frying cut it into half again by scissors.

2 tomatoes cut into wedges

4-5 cloves of garlic sliced

2 tablepoons of shrimp paste (Lee Kum Kee)

fish sauce to taste

sugar to taste

oil

Sautee the garlic in some oil. Add the belly pork , tomatoes, shrimp paste then a little water and simmer with lid on until meat is tender.
Add beancurd and eggplant and simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Eggplant don’t take too long to cook.

Fish sauce and sugar to taste. Garnish with perilla and spring onion.

****need to dissolve the paste in some water before adding to the dish when tasting to make sure no clumps or alternatively if don’t like too much shrimp paste can do half paste half fish sauce.
****the perilla compliments the shrimp paste..will still taste nice without it
****also I always fry my own beancurd/tofu ..tastes much nicer..can cheat and buy pre-fried ones if no time..