return icon

84-year-old woman has sold soup on Saigon’s pavement for 50 years

When she was young, she carried her porridge pot on the shoulders, and walked through alleys to make a living. 

Now, at the age of 84, she cannot carry her pot along the street anymore, but those who love Ms. Phung Thi De’s black-bean porridge can still taste it if they visit her on the pavement of a road in District 6, HCMC.

At 4:00 am, when the street is quiet and empty, Mrs. De begins selling black bean porridge. Her “shop” is very simple, with a pot of porridge, a pot of coconut milk, some cups and plates, and a small table with a bowl of pickles and sesame salt. The “shop” does not have even a chair. However, over the past 50 years, her porridge “shop” has become a familiar address for many people.

The proof is that though she sells porridge very early, at around 7-8 o'clock every morning, her big pot of porridge is quickly empty. Those who come late have to leave in regret because they cannot buy their favorite food.

Ms. De said that her porridge pot has fed her seven children. At the age of 84, she is still selling the soup.

Mr. Hung, a long-time customer, said: “Mrs. De’s black-bean porridge is the best. I used to eat black-bean porridge at other shops but since I have tried hers, I love it the best. Now, I only eat her porridge."

Mrs. De wakes up at 2am every day. At 2:30am, she begins cooking porridge and after 2 and a half hours, she finishes the cooking. Her bean porridge is neither loose nor thick. The rice in porridge is not crushed, while the beans are intact but soft and pulpy. Cooked for a long time, the porridge still retains its own flavor of rice and black beans. To cook delicious porridge, Mrs. De said she has to buy good rice, good beans, and especially, "cook with all my heart".

Ms. Ho Hong Hoa, 52, Mrs. De's daughter, said that her mother began selling porridge when she was 34. She has been selling the dish for 50 years and has many long-time customers who have been eating her porridge for decades.

“Sometimes my mum wanted to quit this job, but many customers begged her not to stop, so she keeps selling,” Hoa said.

At the age of 84, Mrs. De does not intend to “retire” because the porridge pot has become her joy.


Gánh cháo đậu 50 năm gây thương nhớ ở Sài Gòn


Gánh cháo đậu 50 năm gây thương nhớ ở Sài Gòn

Gánh cháo đậu 50 năm gây thương nhớ ở Sài Gòn



Gánh cháo đậu 50 năm gây thương nhớ ở Sài Gòn


Gánh cháo đậu 50 năm gây thương nhớ ở Sài Gòn

Nguyen Son



Achilles heel in tourism

Vietnam’s tourism industry has made only meager strides in diversifying its products despite years of growth.

The most addictive dish on Ha Giang plateau

Ha Giang attracts tourists not only for its majestic natural landscape and honest ethnic people but also for its bold, regional specialties that cannot be found anywhere else.

Liquidity needs to be ensured: Central bank

The Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) sent important messages about monetary policies at a meeting with businesses held by SBV and HCM City People’s Committee late last week.

Firms hesitate to access loans due to weak consumption demand

The State Bank of Vietnam last week cut its policy rates for the third time this year to prop up economic growth.

Banks experience significant increases in non-performing loans

Given the challenging economic environment, the performance of numerous banks is rather bleak, particularly due to the mounting bad debt levels.


Work on Cat Bi Airport’s Terminal T2 to start in Q4

Vietnam should consider announcing the end of COVID-19: NA deputy

At the ongoing fifth session of the 15th National Assembly (NA) held on May 29, Nguyen Lan Hieu of the NA Delegation of Binh Dinh province suggested that the end of COVID-19 should be announced.

Cut on automobile registration fees to facilitate auto industry

The Ministry of Industry and Trade supporting the reduction of automobile registration fees is considered a positive effect to the auto industry in the context of the automobile market facing many difficulties.


Vietnam leaves good impressions at multi-ethnic festival in Czech Republic

Vietnam to build center for search and rescue in Spratly Islands

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang has approved a project to improve the capacity of incident and natural disaster response and search and rescue to 2030, with a vision to 2045.

Male model finishes as third runner-up at World Fitness Supermodel

Ngo Hoang Linh, the Vietnamese representative at World Fitness Supermodel 2023, was awarded the third runner-up title during the male pageant’s grand final held on May 27 in Thailand.

Old Vietnamese publications in romanised script on display in Paris

An exhibition showcasing old Vietnamese publications in Chu Quoc ngu (romanised Vietnamese script) is underway in Paris, France.

HCMC police raze black-credit companies with illicit profits of over US$176mln

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Public Security yesterday prosecuted nine people for usury in civil transactions.

Entertainment and cultural events of the week (May 29-June 4/2023)

Upcoming entertainment and cultural events in Vietnam's major cities on May 29-June 4.

More cooperation needed to develop rare earth industry in Vietnam

The applications for rare-earth element products have developed strongly in recent decades, especially in the field of agriculture in which they are used to create clean, safe, and effective agricultural products.