Discovering Cơm Hến (Clam Rice) in Việt Nam

Hen clams with rice noodles

Eating hến rice at home in Huế.

Feeling quite chuffed that my short essay about a lesser known specialty dish from Việt Nam (called cơm hến, clam rice) has been shortlisted for the Third Annual I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest.

The essay, Discovering Hến Rice in Central Việt Nam, is now posted at I Must Be Off! together with three photos I took in Huế. (Wish I had some better photographs of this multifaceted dish.) Many thanks to contest host and organiser Christopher Allen and to this year’s judge, Catherine Sweeney. All winners and honourable mentions will be announced on September 30.

About Chris Galvin

Chris Galvin is a Canadian writer, editor and photographer dividing her time between Canada and Viet Nam. Her essay Flood Season was a finalist for the 2012 Best of the Net prize, and Discovering Hến Rice in Central Việt Nam won third place (shared) and a Readers’ Choice Award in the 2015 I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and literary journals, including Descant, Asian Cha, PRISM International, Room, and others. She has written in Vietnamese and English for Vietnam Tourism Review/Kham Pha Du Lich Vietnam Magazine, Travellive, and Du Lich Giai Tri. Chris is currently looking for a home for her recently completed manuscript, Breakfast Under the Bodhi Tree, a book about living, eating, and tour-guiding in Viet Nam.
This entry was posted in Creative Non-Fiction, Food, Memoir, News, Viet Nam, Writing Contests and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Discovering Cơm Hến (Clam Rice) in Việt Nam

  1. Karen Zey says:

    Read it, really enjoyed it, posted a comment. Congrats! Wonderful accomplishment. Your Pointe-Claire writing buddy.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Caroline says:

    Beautifully written Chris. It sounds like it was an amazing meal. Not something I tried in Vietnam. But the flavours sound like the perfect combination.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks Caroline, and thanks for your comment on the I must Be Off website too. How long were you in Viet Nam?

      • Caroline says:

        I spent a couple of months there in about 2008. Mainly in Hanoi. But I did make it down to Hoi An a couple of times for holidays when I lived in Laos – such a relaxing part of the world.

        • Chris says:

          Laos is a place I’ve wanted to visit but I still haven’t made it there for some reason. I didn’t know you’d actually lived there. 2008–We may have even crossed paths in VN without knowing it. . .

        • Caroline says:

          I love Laos – it is a lovely sleepy stop after the chaos of Vietnam. We could well have crossed paths. It really is such a small world isn’t it!

  3. Susi Lovell says:

    Made me want to jump on the back of a motorbike in the rain and zoom off in search of spicy dishes. Very evocative. Lovely.

  4. Posted a comment. Loved the story about food that conveyed so much about country and people. Good luck.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks for your comment under the essay, Dorothy! Much appreciated. Several others have said the same thing–that they can’t handle spicy food–but the wonderful thing about almost all Viet dishes is that they are prepared either not spicy or only very mildly so, and the searing part is added at serving time. Those who don’t like it too hot have only to request their food that way.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s