Enjoying the delicious nem chua makes me appreciate the hard-working mother of mine. To make some extra cash during our first year in America, mom would make all sorts of Vietnamese goodies including banh and banh tec for as low as fifty cents a pop. The owner of the Vietnamese store would benefit the extra fifty cents just to have a little space for my mom’s goodies. Every Thanksgiving my sister’s company would hand out either a big can of ham or a turkey. We picked the ham because we didn’t know what to do with the big chicken. So mom turned that big American chunk into Vietnamese savory nem chua that was so scrumptious that I offered to help (cutting out Scotch tape) so I could be rewarded with a piece or two. Damn, those were the good old days.