11/15/2012 03:21 pm ET Updated Jan 15, 2013

Adventures In Vietnam

I just got back from an incredible, if incredibly brief, ten-day trip to Korea and Vietnam. I was thrilled to discover two new places -- Seoul was dazzling and massive; Vietnam was beautiful and lush -- but most of all, I was excited to eat.

A key revelation of deliciousness was banh da tom (bánh đa tôm, if we want to be precise about it), a Vietnamese sesame rice cracker served alongside my friend Ashley's green papaya salad at lunch at La Residence, our chic hotel in Hue. The crackers were crispy and light and filled with black seasame seeds. They reminded me of papadum. Ashley offered me a taste; I ended up eating them all and ordering two more plates.

"I must learn to make these," I announced.

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