Xin Chao | Vietnam Gulf Coast Fusion | Houston, Texas

Review by: Michael Stern

Houston became a major destination for Vietnamese fleeing communism after the Vietnam war ended in 1975. Its location near the Gulf of Mexico made it especially suitable for fishermen. Peruse the menu at Xin Chao and you find Gulf oysters, catch-of-the-day whole fish, and soft-shell crabs. Each of these packs exotic flavors you won’t find in simple seafood shacks anywhere else. Vietnam Gulf Coast fusion is one fascinating cuisine!

Consider Viet-Cajun oysters. Zesty H-Town Bang Sauce, garlic butter, and fried onions grace the Gulf Coast beauties. Or top them with Thai chile mignonette infused with Vietnamese herbs. Dip forkfuls of Gulf fish in sweet tamarind sauce. Dip your egg roll in fish sauce vinaigrette. Inside that egg roll, shrimp and crab join the traditional pork filling.

Even beyond seafood, the Vietnam Gulf Coast fusion flavors seduce an adventurous appetite. Southern fried chicken becomes lemongrass buttermilk fried chicken served with beef tallow aioli and hot sate honey. Chinese broccoli and cilantro ginger chimichurri dress the flat iron steak. Braised pork belly comes on crisp rice in a stone bowl with pickled greens and a soft-boiled egg.

Vegans will appreciate five fungi congee, a jasmine rice porridge crowded with trumpet, oyster, snow wood ear, shiitake, and enoki mushrooms.

How about good old American apple pie? Not quite. Xin Chao’s apple pie includes star anise, ginger, and lemongrass. On the top come caramel fish sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

 

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Xin Chao | Vietnam Gulf Coast Fusion | Houston, Texas Recipes

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