Graphic Designer, Artist, Foodie
Thanks for stopping by! A little more about myself and this site…I ’ve had hungryviki.com since my college years, over a decade ago. Since the beginning, the site has gone through dozens of changes and makeovers. Through all those years of changes though, it had always displayed my love for food, art, music, and a little about random everyday-things I do. It was a place for me to enjoy website building.
The site went dormant for a couple years, when life got busy and I had other priorities that prevented me from having much free time. Fast forward to today, I wanted to bring it back to life and continue filling it with all the things I’m passionate about. I have thousands of food photos starting from the first time I got my own digital camera. I’ve documented over two decades worth of things I cooked and places I’ve eaten at. I thought it would be great to finally do something with all those photos, so I decided to organize it onto this website.
On here you’ll find recipes for a lot of my favorite Vietnamese dishes I ate growing up, fun food experiments, dishes I’ve enjoyed at restaurant and tried to replicate at home, and quick healthy meals for those who don’t have time.
In general, I like cooking with simple ingredients and with items I already have in my pantry or fridge. I also enjoy figuring shortcuts and substitutes for recipes to cut down on time or when I’m missing an ingredient.
If you have any requests for recipes or food experimenting, I’d love to hear more about it! I enjoy being adventurous and taking on cooking challenges and experiments.
I grew up in the Northern Virginia/DC area and lived in Philadelphia for about 8 years. As with many other who have a love and passion for cooking and enjoying food, I grew up in a household where holidays were always complete with an amazing spread of food.During this time in my cooking journey, I learned a lot of substitutes and shortcuts in cooking. There were certain ingredients in my favorite dishes I grew up with that weren’t always available at nearby stores where I lived, so I had to find the best subtitutes and adjust recipes. I learned non-traditional ways of making things to cut down on time and also due to unavailable ingredients, some of which is shared on this site. Living in Philly, I was surrounded by amazing Italian, Polish, Puerto Rican, and Pennsylvania Dutch/German communities and their culture. They had heavy influences in the cuisines at many restaurants scattered throughout the city. I got a taste for what “real” pierogies were like and how incredible German potato salads are. I thought I liked subs before (hoagies, as Pennsylvanians call it), but after having an authentic Italian hoagie, my love for it grew to a whole new level. Whenever I missed home, I enjoyed visiting the small Vietnamese community that I call “Little Saigon” in South Philly and Chinatown. It was only a 15 minute drive from my apartment, but parking in the city was such a hassle that I don’t often visit as much as I’d like. When I do, I usually stock up on enough Asian goods that’ll last me for at least a week or month. Like Northern Virginia, Philadelphia had its own fusion of different cultures that influenced me in my cooking and taste in certain foods.
In the Fall 2010, my work was relocating and I needed to decide if I wanted to move out of the comfort of my hometown and to a city I’ve never been before. It was a big gamble whether or not I would like living there or not. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I learned to live independently and learned a lot about myself in the process. I loved the city so much, I lived there for almost 8 years. In that time, I indulged in all the natural beauty of Philly and surrounding area. I lived right by Wissahickon Park, in a little suburban area called Chestnut Hill. Wissahickon Park was a scenic and peaceful woodland paradise, just a 5 minute walk away from my apartment. Center City and the downtown areas were just a 15 minute drive away, where I would enjoy walks around the city, grabbing a bite with friends, or just sitting by the water.
Visits from my Virginia and Maryland friends were always the best and something I always looked forward to. For one, I knew it always involved eating delicious food from a list of various restaurants they compiled or visiting iconic places and parks in the city. There were a couple of months where I ate cheesesteaks almost every weekend, because that’s one of the first requests everyone wanted to eat when they visited Philly. I’ve definitely had my fair share of cheesesteaks living there. It is a city full of life and art. There were large murals painted on the walls of buildings throughout the city, somethings I’ve always enjoyed admiring during rides or walks around Philly. It has its charms and its quirks. I’ve made so many great memories there, and it will always have a special place in my heart. I had lived in a strict Asian household growing up and this independence and freedom was exactly what I needed to experience before I even think about settling down and starting a family.
Today I am back in Virginia, juggling a busy life with my little family of four. I moved back for my parents, as they are getting older now and wish to be close to me and their grandkids. Now I’m enjoying cooking and learning new dishes for my family and just taking in this new chapter of my life. The photo on the right pretty much sums up my current life!