Miniature artist cooks up dishes from clay

By Nhat Minh   August 26, 2020 | 09:55 am GMT+7

Pho, banh mi and other Vietnamese culinary favorites become amazing miniatures in clay in the hands of a 28-year-old Hanoi architect.

Nguyen Ha An, from the central province of Nghe An, started making miniature food clay one year ago when she wanted a have special products for her gift shop. She initially made five replicas of specialties across Vietnam.I love food, and I think traditional dishes are loved by a lot of people, so I chose them, An maintained.

Nguyen Ha An, a native of the central province of Nghe An, started making the miniatures a year ago when she thought of some unique products to sell in her gift shop in Hanoi.
"I love food, and I think traditional dishes are loved by a lot of people, so I chose them," she says.

A bowl of Hanoi pho with scallion, beef, sliced chilies, lime, vinegar with garlic and chilies, chilly sauce, all are crafted with details and true colors. It took An two months to combine colors and choose ingredients to create five replicas of five dishes.

A bowl of Hanoi pho with scallion, beef, sliced chilies, lime, vinegar with garlic and chilies, chili sauce crafted intricately with all their original colors. It took An two months to decide on the colors and choose ingredients to create replicas of dishes.

Braised fish with steamed rice. The details such as lemongrass, chilies, galangal, garlic and banana leaf look like real ingredients. According to An, she has not had the chance to look at all dishes in real life, so for some replicas, she looked at their photos before creation.

Braised fish with steamed rice. The lemongrass, chilies, galangal, garlic, and banana leaf look real. She had not seen some of the dishes, and so relied on photos.

Che com, a dessert made of young sticky rice flakes, a culinary specialty in Hanoi. It is served with coconut flakes, put on a lotus leaf. According to An, this is the most complicated replica as the bowl and spoon with hand-drawing patterns took her a long time to create.

Che com, a dessert made of young sticky rice flakes, a culinary specialty in Hanoi. It is served with coconut flakes, put on a lotus leaf. According to An, this is the most complicated replica as the bowl and spoon with hand-drawing patterns took her a long time to create.

Kho quet (caramelized pork and fish sauce) with rice crackers is one of the most popular dishes in Mekong Delta. Having experience with handmade products when she was a student, An is always patient and careful when it comes to making these tiny dishes. To make a perfect product, I pay a lot of effort and fail many times, but I try and fix them. I rarely give up, she said.

Kho quet (caramelized pork and fish sauce) with rice crackers is one of the most popular dishes in the Mekong Delta. Having experience with handmade products when she was a student, An is patient and careful when it comes to making these tiny dishes.
"To make a perfect product, I make a lot of effort and fail many times, but each time I try and fix them. I rarely give up."

Banh mi, the popular Vietnamese food around the world, is as small as a thumb in Ans creation. An and her team spend around 3-5 days to create one replica like this, with non-toxic clay imported from Japan and German.

Banh mi, the popular sandwich known around the world, is the size of a thumb. An and her team spend three to five days to make a miniature like this from non-toxic clay imported from Japan and Germany.

Ingredients of banh mi are prepared carefully by many people. Each of them is in charge of one step, such as color combination, shaping, creating the details, etc. Most of their clients are overseas Vietnamese. An hopes her tiny products will help people have a better understanding of Vietnamese cuisine.

The ingredients for the banh mi are made carefully by several people, each in charge of one aspect such as the colors, shaping, creating the details, etc. Most of their buyers are overseas Vietnamese.

Photos by Nguyen Ha An

 
 
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