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Thai Curries 101: How to Make Traditional Thai Curry Pastes

how to make traditional Thai curries

Learn How to Make Traditional Thai Curries

Thai curries are as complex and regionally varied as the many cultures that call Thailand home. 

From the southern Malay flavors of Massaman, to the famous Khao Soy of the northern borders, Thai curry pastes are the base on which all other ingredients build to create the perfect sweet, salty, sour and spicy balance the food of Thailand is known for.

If you’re a lover of Thai food or are wanting to relive your travels through South East Asia through food, you need to know how to make your own traditional Thai curry pastes. 

I was once told at a Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai the only way to “find a good husband” was to be efficient with a mortar and pestle. Alas, curry pastes are a labour of love. Creating the perfect paste will take a bit of elbow grease but your efforts will be rewarded once you taste the final product.

making authentic Thai curry
Take me back to the tastes of Thailand!

Essential Thai Ingredients

If you’ve never heard of or tasted the ingredients you will need to make curry pastes at home, the list can be intimidating. We’ve included a short glossary of lesser-known ingredients and substitutions for ingredients that may be more difficult to find in the Western world. With the exception of a few very specific ingredients, it is possible to find most required ingredients at your local Asian import market

Northern Thailand fresh produce market
I could walk through these Northern Thai markets for hours…

Sweet Basil (Bai horapa) – The most commonly used basil in Thai cuisine. Has darker leaves than others with purple tinged leaves, also has a sweet licorice flavor. It is okay to substitute Italian basil if sweet thai basil isn’t available.

Holy Basil (Bai mang rak) – Often used in Thai fish dishes, holy basil has a peppery taste that is released when cooking.

Green Cardamom (Luk grawan) – The most common type are straw-coloured pods containing 8-10 tiny black seeds. It’s sweet and floral with hints of citrus. A favorite in sweet dishes, teas, diary treats and green curries.

Black Cardamom (Luk krawan) – Large firm black-brown pods. Black cardamom  is strong and smokey with an almost minty finish good for curries and stew. Black and green cardamom are not interchangeable. However, in savory dishes omission is worse than substitution. 

Coconut Cream (Nam maprow) – Typically the first squeeze of a mature coconut, it’s richer and much thicker than coconut milk. Water can be added to coconut cream to substitute coconut milk. Add 2tbsp coconut cream to ¾ cup water for coconut milk.

Coriander (Pak chee) – Cilantro in the West, Thais might use more coriander than any other cuisine. The roots of coriander are often used in creating curry pastes. 

Fish Sauce (Nam pla) – Thai cuisine would not exist without this distinctive flavor. Used similarly to soy sauce in Chinese cooking. Made with fermented fish or shrimp it has a salty tang and is lessy “fishy” and more umami than you’d think. Do not omit from recipes unless there are allergies. In which case tamari or soy can be used (I guess).

Galangal (Kha) – Thai ginger is a larger and lighter version of traditional ginger, and is used in almost every curry paste and thai soup. The softer, more vegetal flavor of galangal makes it hard to substitute with regular ginger.

Ginger (King) – In Thai food ginger is used mainly young and fresh, and added to dishes last.

Thai ginseng (Kra chai) – Adds an earthy, woody, sweet (barley?) taste that helps balance complex curries.

Kaffir lime (Makrut) – The leaves, the rind and wrinkly little lime fruit are all used for flavoring Thai curry dishes. There is no substitute for kaffir lime leaves, however you can get away with substituting the juice and peel of regular limes.

Lemongrass (Bai takrai) – This long leek-looking grass is a staple in South East Asian cuisine; there are no true substitutes for its intensely lemony flavor, but lemon zest and a small amount of juice could do in a pinch.

Turmeric (Kamin) – Rich and pungent, this cousin to ginger will stain everything so beware. It’s a bit sweet, a bit bitter – tastes like yellow-orange. As a rule of thumb, you can substitute fresh turmeric for half dried. 

Palm Sugar (Naam taan peep) – Made from the sap of coconut palms or the sugar palm tree, palm sugar is less sweet than cane sugar. You can substitute one for the other, although the flavor won’t be compromised much but the texture of your curry may be altered. We don’t recommend it.

Peppercorns (Prik thai) – While black peppercorns are most commonly used in Thai cooking, fresh green peppercorns are used for green curry and in sauces and salads. Green peppercorns can be difficult to find in the west, but are worth the search if you can find them at an Asian market in your city. There is no substitution. 

Tamarind Concentrate (Makaam) – Is it sweet? Is it sour? It’s tamarind. It can only depend on what this unique ingredient is mixed with. Often a vital ingredient balancing thai noodle dishes but is also used in northern-style curries.

Star Anise (Poy kak bua) – A dried, star shaped spice with a pungent licorice or aniseed flavor.

Methods for Making Thai Chili Paste at Home

mortar and pestle grinding spices
Mortar and pestle for the win!

Mortar and Pestle vs Food Processor

You would likely never see a food processor being used to blend curries in a Thai household. While you can use a food processor to combine curries into a paste, it isn’t recommended.

Food processors quickly macerate all ingredients into a single homogeneous blend. Not only will this alter the texture of your final product, it will change the flavor. 

A mortar, pestle and a bit of patience will ensure all the flavors in your mixture are being broken and blended slowly, releasing all the spicey nuances of your favorite curry mixture. 

Toasting Spices, Nuts and Seeds for Curry Paste 

DO NOT skip this step. Toasting dry spices before adding them to curry pastes helps the oils inside spices release more of their aromatic properties. This helps flavors to blend and develop into a deeper, more complex flavor.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high and add dry spice ingredients. Stir until spices are a shade or two darker and are very fragrant. Be careful not to burn spices.

To toast nuts and seeds, spread over a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes or until golden. 

Rehydrating Dried Chillies and Spices

In the case of dried chillies, often you will need to rehydrate them. This method allows them to blend more evenly into the curry pastes. I like to use the same method to wake up dried or frozen kaffir lime leaves or remove tough outer pods from black cardamom. Place the ingredients in a small heat safe bowl and cover with boiling water and wait 10 minutes. 

Traditional Thai Curry Paste Recipes 

Most Thai curry pastes have similar starting points in terms of ingredients. The variations are often very slight but change the flavor profile entirely. Red curry shares the majority of its ingredients with most other pastes. The mother of Thai curry paste is used to build almost all  other regional variations. Here’s our list of our favorite curry pastes. 

Once you have measured your ingredients and toasted your dry spices,add them to your mortar and pestle then start smashing! You’re only about 15 minutes away from a traditionally prepared Thai curry paste, enjoy!

Recipe to Roam Tip: Use a tea towel draped over the mortar while smashing to protect your eyes from being assaulted by fiery, freaking hot chilli juice splatter.

chicken khao soi recipe
The perfect curry, and our favorite, Khao Soy.

Red Curry Paste

10 chillies red dried big chillies (chopped and rehydrated) 

3 tbsp chopped shallots 

2 tbsp minced garlic 

1 tbsp chopped galangal 

1 tbsp chopped lemongrass 

1 tbsp Thai ginseng

1 tbsp shrimp paste or sub salt ¼ tsp

1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime peel 

1 tbsp fresh coriander root 

Green Curry Paste

10 fresh green chillies 

1 tbsp green peppercorns (optional) 

2 stalks of sweet basil 

3 tbsp chopped shallots 

2 tbsp minced garlic 

1 tbsp chopped galangal 

2 tbsp chopped lemongrass 

1 tbsp Thai ginseng

1 tbsp shrimp paste or sub salt ¼ tsp

1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime peel 

1 tbsp fresh coriander root 

Yellow Curry Paste

10 chillies red dried big chillies (chopped and boiled) 

3 tbsp chopped shallots 

2 tbsp minced garlic 

2 tbsp chopped galangal 

1 tbsp chopped lemongrass 

1 tbsp Thai ginseng

1 tbsp shrimp paste or sub salt ¼ tsp 

1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime peel 

1 tbsp fresh coriander root 

½ tsp coriander seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds 

¼ dry white pepper corn 

1 tsp curry powder 

1-2 tbsp turmeric 

Panang Curry Paste 

10 chillies red dried big chillies (chopped and rehydrated) 

3 tbsp chopped shallots 

2 tbsp minced garlic 

1 tbsp chopped galangal 

1 tbsp chopped lemongrass

1 tbsp Thai ginseng

1 tbsp shrimp paste or sub salt ¼ tsp 

1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime peel 

1 tbsp fresh coriander root 

2 tbsp roasted peanuts 

½  tsp coriander seeds 

¼  dry white pepper corn 

1 tsp curry powder 

1 tbsp turmeric 

Jungle Curry Paste

10 chillies red dried big chillies (chopped and boiled) 

3-5 fresh red chili

3 tbsp chopped shallots 

3 tbsp minced garlic 

1 tbsp chopped galangal 

2 tbsp chopped lemongrass

1 tbsp thai ginseng

1 tbsp shrimp paste or sub salt ¼ tsp 

1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime peel 

1 tbsp fresh coriander root 

Massaman Curry Paste (Nam Prik Gaeng Mussaman)

5 chillies red dried big chillies (chopped and rehydrated) 

3 tbsp chopped shallots 

2 tbsp minced garlic 

1 tbsp chopped galangal 

1 tbsp chopped lemongrass 

1 tbsp Thai ginseng

½ tbsp shrimp paste or sub salt ¼ tsp 

1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime peel 

1 tbsp fresh coriander root 

1 tbsp turmeric

½ tsp coriander 

½ cumin seeds 

½  tsp dry peppercorn 

½ tbsp curry powder 

1 tsp cinnamon 

1 tsp black cardamom 

1 tbsp cloves 

2 star anise pods

Khao Soy Curry Paste 

10 chillies red dried big chillies (chopped and boiled) 

3 tbsp chopped shallots 

2 tbsp minced garlic 

1 tbsp chopped galangal 

1 tbsp chopped lemongrass 

1 tbsp thai ginseng

1 tbsp shrimp paste or sub salt ¼ tsp 

1 tbsp chopped kaffir lime peel 

1 tbsp fresh coriander root ½ tsp coriander seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds 

¼ dry white peppercorn 

1 tbsp curry powder 

1 tbsp black cardamom 

1-2 tbsp fresh turmeric or ½ tsp dried 

How long does curry paste last?

Basic curry pastes can be stored in a covered glass jar in a refrigerator for 1 month, or frozen for up to 4 months. Curry recipes make enough paste for most recipes serving 3-4. Enjoy!

Did this get you hungry? Add our Thai curry pastes to your personal cookbook and check out more of our Thai recipes for a true taste of Thailand.

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The Best Restaurants in Bangkok with Delivery During Quarantine

restaurants in Bangkok with delivery

The Top 9 Restaurants in Bangkok with Delivery

Don’t let the quarantine stop you from eating from the best restaurants in Bangkok!

Although the coronavirus outbreak has slowed Bangkok (and the rest of the world!) to a standstill, that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice everything we love. In this article, we’ll be covering 10 incredible restaurants in Bangkok with delivery to your front door during the quarantine period. You can order some amazing grub and enjoy the best cooking that Bangkok has to offer from the comfort and safety of your own home (or hotel).

There are a number of food delivery services available in Bangkok (and the rest of Thailand), so be sure to check if delivery to your area of the city is available. For example, I had to struggle without being able to order from Fatty’s for a long time, but now they’re available in the Sathorn area! Hopefully you can satisfy your cravings! If all else fails, try contacting their Facebook Pages or just give them a call. People are quite accommodating during this time of crisis!

Food Delivery Apps in Thailand You Should Download

While there are a handful of smaller food delivery apps available in Thailand, these are the main ones that you’ll end up using. Some of the restaurants in this blog have only recently introduced delivery options (because of quarantine), so to our knowledge, they’re only available on the staple food delivery apps. Each are available on both iPhone and Android, but FoodPanda also allows you to order food directly off their website as well.

If you have Grab (the ride sharing app) or LINE (the instant messenger) already installed, there’s no need to download anything. Food delivery is built right in!

With that out of the way, let’s hop right into the top restaurants in Bangkok with delivery during Thailand’s state of emergency. Don’t bother ordering from McDonald’s or Pizza Hut while you’re cooped up at home. Let’s support local businesses and get through this together!

Fatty’s Bar & Diner

We are unapologetically biased in pushing Fatty’s to the top of the list. Fatty’s is a Midwest-style pub with some of the most tasty, greasy food in Bangkok. To put it simply: their cheese is to die for! Mozzarella sticks, deep-fried cheese curds – even proper Canadian poutine is on the menu!

But what makes Fatty’s hit home runs during quarantine is their beer delivery. Imports and local beer are all available for delivery, and at a 15% discount. Keep in mind that if you want to order beer, it can only be done over the phone. Give them a call and they’ll sort you out.

Click here for a list of Fatty’s beer selection and delivery prices.

Daniel Thaiger

Legendary, award-winning burgers. The secret ingredient is the Thaiger sauce…and the high quality beef. And the…well, to put a long story short: these are gourmet burgers that you can get delivered to your self-isolated chambers. Daniel Thaiger keeps it simple by perfecting how much flavor you can achieve with basic ingredients and some TLC. It started as a food truck but has become so much more.

Gallery Pizza

Any 2 pizzas for 499 baht! That’s not a new promotion or anything, that’s kind of what Gallery Pizza is known for. These aren’t personal pan-sized pizzas like you may find on the oddball pizza joint on GrabFood. These aren’t limited to basic toppings. You get full access to Gallery’s pizza menu for this deal that I order more often than I’d like to admit. My favorite is the white garlic chicken and the newest addition to the menu: the PBR. It’s got a nice balsamic glaze that hasn’t been topped at any other pizza joint in Bangkok.

I’ve never actually ordered from Gallery on any food delivery apps, just over the phone and even more conveniently: via their Facebook Page. Seriously, it’s awesome. Shoot them a message with your address, phone number and your order. Then it’s time to play the waiting game. Simple.

Gallery also has beer and wine on the menu and Vanilla Coke for those with a sweet tooth out there too. I’m not a big wine drinker so I won’t pretend to know if their selection is good but I do tend to add a couple Asahi beers to my order for safe measure. Check out their menu and judge for yourself.

Pala Pizza Romana

Is that name Italian enough for you? I’d hope so, seeing as how I can’t help but read it with a thick accent in my head every time I see it.

Some people swear by Pala as the best pizza in Bangkok and frankly, it would be hard to make an argument against that. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference really. Pala’s got super nice dough, with a pinch of salt and a stretchy base. If you have the pleasure of dining in after the quarantine is over, you’ll see that it’s truly a work of art.

Charoensuk Beef Noodle

In a city known for its street food and a countless number of noodle shops, Charoensuk Beef Noodle stands out as a culinary marvel of Bangkok. Just how good can a simple bowl of beef noodles get? Well, Charoensuk has been in business for over 70 years now, so make an order and let your taste buds do the talking.

Tacos & Salsa Mexican Bar and Restaurant

What would a comfort food cheat sheet be without some Mexican food? Sure, Taco Bell is nice when you want that American-style grease but nothing beats the real deal. Tacos & Salsa has been a personal favorite of ours for years and it’s often the place the Bodega crew gathers when no one can make up their mind on where to eat. That problem may have been daunting, but now that we’re stuck at home it doesn’t seem so bad. 

If you live close enough to Tacos & Salsa, they’ll offer free delivery. Your best bet is to message them on Facebook or give them a call to find out. You won’t get that deal on any food delivery app.

Click here to check out Tacos & Salsa’s delivery menu.

Vegan Restaurants in Bangkok with Delivery

Vegans in Bangkok aren’t out of luck but I wish I had more information to share with you about these restaurants. These recommendations come from active members of the Bangkok Informed Facebook Group, so I trust their judgement but can’t personally endorse them. If you can speak to the quality of these restaurants, let us know in the comments!

Food Delivery in Bangkok: What did we miss?

Did we miss some of your favorites? There’s bound to be plenty of restaurants offering quarantine discounts and deals. We’d love to hear from fellow Bangkok expats and expand this list as we discover new delivery options.

Please email me if you want your restaurant featured or if you had insight on a deal we need to share: chris@bodegahostelgroup.com.


This blog was originally published March 29, 2020 on BodegaHostels.com.

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How to Make Money as a Travel Photographer Selling Photos Online

make money as a travel photographer

Selling Travel Photography Online

Is it your dream to travel the world while making money? Do you dream of earning an income online? Is your computer or camera roll overflowing with amazing photos from your last adventure? Perfect! You might have what it takes to become a travel photographer and make money selling photos online.

One of the most rewarding parts of travel is being able to share your experiences with friends and family. We search miles, often on foot, for the perfect shot that embodies the atmosphere of a new city or a breathtaking landscape that is sure to influence others to see it with their own eyes. Did you know you don’t have to be a professional to sell your travel stock photos online? Stock photography platforms like Wirestock.io are making it easier than ever for travelers to share their photos to multiple agencies and collect real cash!

Travel photography is increasingly popular and competitive. At the time of writing this, Shutterstock boasts a collection of over 350 million photos. Simply put, your photos will need to be as good or better than what already exists. Although there are endless streams of content being uploaded daily, opportunity is knocking. It’s not as impossible as it sounds, we promise. It just takes a bit of tech know-how and a well trained eye.

Taking High Quality Travel Photos

The good news, you don’t necessarily need an expensive camera set up to take brilliant photos, although it is easier with equipment that is specific to your style or the types of content you’re trying to create. Cell phones have come a long way; some of our best Unsplash photos were even taken on a mid-range Huawei smartphone! It’s viable for anyone to create valuable photos from a phone with a little time and consideration. 

smartphone travel photography

First and foremost,pay attention to technical details of your photos. To be accepted by a stock agency your photos will need to be high resolution, free of too much noise and the subject must be in clear focus. If this basic criteria is not met, stock agencies may not add them to your portfolio or theirs.

Even if your photos meet a platform’s requirements, keep in mind that commercial guidelines are there to ensure your success making a living as a photographer.

While creating stock photos, try to imagine what a potential buyer could use them for. Buyers are most often using stock photos to market their business. Here are a few more ways you can optimize your photos for commercialization.

  • Ask yourself what you would use the image for. Is it a postcard, wallpaper, etc? 
  • Quality over quantity. Take a lot of photos because hey, it’s fun! Only select images that represent your highest quality work. We often choose 3-5 images from a set or subject to upload to Wirestock.io
  • Variation. Make sure to photograph your subject for a variety of angles or perhaps switch out props, styling or foreground. This will be helpful later when choosing photos to upload, you will end up with more usable content.
  • Stay sharp. Images need to be clear and in focus for you or the buyer to crop, edit and resize images.
  • Keep it clean. Aim for great composition. Using colour and light to achieve a nice balance will make your photos more attractive to the eye and more importantly potential buyers. Remember the rule of thirds!
  • If possible, leave some space around your subject for text or logos that may be added to the image later.

How to Sell Stock Photos Online 

Wirestock.io

Simply put, Wirestock.io makes selling stock photography online easy as pie. It’s an aggregate of other stock photo sources like Shutterstock, Adobe and more. What does this mean for you, a travel photographer? You’ll only need to upload your photos to a single place and get the maximum visibility across all the major platforms. Trust us when we say this makes selling your travel photos 100x easier and faster!

Wirestock automated image submission
Wirestock’s automated image submission is powerful! Graphic source.

Reasons Why We Love Wirestock.io

  • They pay out higher royalties.
  • You only have to upload photos to one place.
  • You maintain 100% ownership of your photos.
  • The easy to use dashboard makes uploading photos and tracking earnings effortless.
  • The submission process is well-moderated. If submissions are rejected, they provide information on why. You’ll have the option to correct flaws and resubmit any images.
selling stock photos on Wirestock.io
Wirestock’s dashboard is easy for anyone to use.

Start a Travel Blog Featuring Your Photos and Monetize It

Behind every photo is a story, so why not tell your travel stories online? Starting a travel blog may sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually become much easier in recent years. We’ll be writing a blog series on how to start and grow travel blogs soon so stay tuned.

4 Ways You Can Monetize a Travel Blog

  • Banner Ads (Google AdSense, Ezoic, Mediavine)
  • Affiliate Marketing (Amazon Associates, CJ Affiliate, Rakuten Marketing)
  • Selling Sponsored Posts
  • Brand Collaborations

Promoting Travel Photography on Social Media

No matter how you try to make money as a travel photographer, you’ll have to first get your photos in front of eyeballs. Regardless of how good your photos look, you won’t be generating revenue until there are people ready to buy. It’s a good thing social media is such a visual experience, since it makes promoting travel destinations a breeze.

What social media platforms should photographers promote on? Instagram marketing should be your top priority! To many, photography and Instagram are synonymous, but your social media efforts shouldn’t stop there. Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook are also great places to share travel photos.

How to Get More Instagram Views

  • Use 30 well-curated hashtags that are relevant to your photo.
  • Tag the location of the photo in your post.
  • Plan out your Instagram profile in 3×3 grids to build consistency.
  • Leave well-thought out comments on others’ travel photos from the same destination.

Read More: How to Steal Your Competitors’ Instagram Followers

promoting travel photos
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Vietnam Cafe Culture: How to Make Vietnamese Coffee

how to make Vietnamese coffee

How to Make Authentic Vietnamese Coffee at Home

Saigon is the Heart of Vietnam’s cafe culture. Vietnamese coffee in bustling Saigon is a delight, brewed in history and undoubtedly worth travelling to taste. With many hipster-cool, Instagram worthy and cafe-bar hybrids popping up in Saigon, it’s become a favored daily habit for locals and travellers alike. Personally, we couldn’t get enough of Ho Chi Minh City and crave it often. 2 Vietnamese restaurants even made our top 10 Nanaimo restaurants list!

Saigon café culture really has something for everyone, and it’s easy to stumble upon greatness. For students or expats looking for a jittery jolt of caffeine to get them through the day, we love Things Café in rustic Ton That Dam Apartment Block. For anyone in the expat-heavy District 3, we recommend I.D. Café. Relax with lunch then recharge with an iced coffee on their garden patio.

What makes coffee from Vietnam so different, you ask? Well, Vietnamese coffee is STRONG and can often be too bitter without the addition of sweetened condensed milk, but more on that later.

coffee pouring in Things Cafe, Saigon
📷 Photo Credit: Things Cafe Facebook Page

What is Vietnamese coffee? 

To understand what makes Vietnamese coffee unique from other caffeinated drinks you’ve tried, let’s take a second to understand Vietnam. History, geography, culture, climate and conquest have all had a hand in shaping Vietnamese coffee into what we rave about today. Here’s the buzz behind the rich history.

2 types of coffee beans

The 2 Types of Coffee Beans: Robusta and Arabica

The Bean; Arabica vs Robusta. There are two types of coffee beans, each with their own unique flavor profile. European pallets have long preferred the softer, less acrid, often South American grown tones of the Arabica bean. For most of the world, Arabica coffee is what we consume daily. Robusta coffee beans are bitter, less acidic and have nearly double the amount of caffeine and antioxidants. In addition to having more of the stimulating properties than the arabica bean, robusta beans are easier to cultivate. The Robusta plant is as strong as the caffeine punch it packs. Producing a higher yield and being less susceptible to pests and disease, the plant also prefers the lower elevations and humid air of Vietnam’s central highlands. It’s no wonder why Vietnam’s state-owned plantations are the world’s largest producer of robusta beans. 

The Method; During the French Colonization of Vietnam, French dignitaries with a penchant for the caffeinated comforts of home introduced coffee roasting and preparation techniques from western europe. The result was a parisian-style dark roasted bean, ground medium then passed through a pour-over/percolator hybrid filter. This small metal filter later became known as a “phin”.

The “Milk”; Vietnam was not a dairy-consuming culture until the 90’s, when dairy farming gained popularity. Not having access to fresh dairy or proper refrigeration to keep it from spoiling created a need for variations to the cream and sugar that most coffee connoisseurs aren’t accustomed too. The most popular preparation is made with sweetened condensed milk, while others are more adventurous.

Vietnamese phin coffee filter

How to Order Coffee in Vietnamese

Ordering coffee in another language can be a struggle, especially if it’s your first cup of the day. Here is our fail safe guide to ordering your perfect cup of Vietnamese Coffee along with a few regional variations for you to try. 

CA PHE – “Ca phe”means “coffee” and is pronounced similarly. Begin with “ca phe” and follow with your favorite variation. ie: Ca Phe Sua Dong…Simple, right ? 

  • SUA DONG – iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk. 
  • SUA NONG – Coffee with sweetened condensed milk, hot. 
  • DEN DA – Black with sugar and ice. 
  • DEN NONG – Black with sugar. 
  • DEN DA KHONG DONG – Strong, Black with ice. 
  • DEN NONG KHONG DONG – Strong, Black hot coffee. 
  • TRUNG – “Egg Coffee” Sua Nong with meringue, rich, sweet and decadent.
  • SUA CHUA – Replaces milk with yogurt, adding a pleasant sweet sour edge.
  • DUA – Creamy Coconut smoothie with a shot of coffee. YUM. 

Which Vietnamese coffee are you most excited to try next ?

How to Make Vietnamese Coffee at Home

If you’re not in Saigon and you’re craving the distinct kick of Vietnamese Coffee, here’s how we make it at home. This is what you’ll need:

1. Prepare your Coffee, Cup and Filter 

Longevity Brand condensed milk

Measure your desired amount of coffee and distribute it evenly into your phin filter, take the lid from the phin and place it face up underneath the coffee and filter. Use a small amount of hot water to very carefully just wet the coffee grounds.

This process is called the “bloom” and helps the flavors of the coffee be released from the bean develop into a more chocolatey complex cup. Let bloom for 3-5 minutes while you prepare your cup.

Measure 2-4 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk into a heat-proof glass or cup depending on your desired sweetness level.

Next, get your phin and coffee. Remove the lid from under the bloomed coffee. If there are any dips from the lid, you can add them to the sweetened condensed milk before placing the filter on top of your cup. 

2. The POUR! 

making vietnamese coffee at home

Slowly pour hot water over the coffee grounds. Fill the filter ⅔ the way up the filter. Place the lid on top of the filter and let the water work its magic.

Wait 4-5 minutes and most of the water should have filtered through.

Resist the urge to tap or shake the filter. Forcing coffee through the filter will clog it and weaken the flavor of your coffee. 

3. Stir and ENJOY!

homemade Vietnamese coffee

Once the water has passed through the coffee filter, remove the filter and slowly stir the coffee into the sweetened condensed milk.

If you wish to enjoy this drink cold, pour over ice and enjoy the intensely strong and sweet flavor of Vietnam coffee culture. 


If you haven’t tried Vietnamese coffee, be prepared for a caffeine kick in the pants like no other. Vietnamese coffee is unlike any other coffee in the world. Its unique flavor, complexity and silky texture make it one of our favorites. Drink up!

Vietnamese iced coffee