MUNCHIES: The Podcast: Meet the Queen of Nordic Vietnamese Cuisine

Helen Hollyman

Helen Hollyman

On the latest episode, we meet Denmark’s unofficial ambassador of Vietnamese food— the woman who has exposed the Nordic palate to umami, fish sauce, and scorching hot peppers.

Anh Le. Foto: Lars Hinnerskov Eriksen

Chef Anh Lê with an iconic Danish hot dog. All photos by Lars Hinnerskov Eriksen.

On the third installment from our Copenhagen series, we meet Denmark's unofficial ambassador of Vietnamese food: chef Anh Lê, who has exposed Danes' Nordic palates to umami, fish sauce, and scorching hot peppers. She runs LêLê, a Vietnamese restaurant in Copenhagen, which has grown into an empire of chain of street food establishments, takeaways, and a banh mi stall.

Anh Le. Foto: Lars Hinnerskov Eriksen

Anh in her garden making homemade Vietnamese vermicelli noodles with fresh herbs from her garden.

After grabbing a few red boiled hot dogs, served in a bun with ketchup, remoulade, mustard, pickled cucumber, and crispy onion from a nearby "grill bar"—a quintessential Danish sausage stand—we head over to Lê's home, where we walk around her incredible backyard garden and harvest Vietnamese herbs for a homemade beef noodle salad. Lê discusses her personal history, the search for her own identity, and the story of how lêlê materialized.

anh-lee-bun

The final result: Vietnamese beef noodle salad.

So tune into the podcast, subscribe on iTunes if you can dig it, and tell your friends to do the same. And check back in two weeks for a brand new episode for a holiday surprise.