Just when I thought my interview with Hai Tran, owner of the Toronto restaurant Hanoi 3 Seasons, was coming to a close, I asked about spring foods. Of course, in Vietnam, a tropical country, there are seasons too!
When I think spring eating, I think fiddleheads, asparagus, the fresh chives that pop up out of the soil in a pot in our backyard. But for Hai, who was raised in Vietnam, spring means the return of the Vietnamese staple called morning glory or water spinach. This long leafed green was shipped north to Hanoi where he was grew up and immediately replaced wintertime staples like turnip and cabbage.
I am talking more about ong choy on the radio this afternoon for my CBC food column. If you’re in Toronto, I recommend heading down to Hanoi 3 Season and eating a bowl of bun — with morning glory when they start to cook with it this spring.