Vietnamese Food Recipes

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Simple Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe Recipe

My husband Lulu has gone on a business trip again for the week, so I don't cook as much while he's out of town. I simply boiled a whole chicken, nothing really fancy. 

Since a whole chicken was way too much for Aria and me, I cut part of the chicken into small pieces, added a few rice noodles, carrots, mushrooms and some snow peas. Nothing more, nothing less. I like the unpretentious and elementary feel of this dish. Baby Aria enjoyed it too. 

I'll keep the leftovers and make chicken salad tomorrow.


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Black Mushroom Tofu Recipe Recipe

Black Mushroom Tofu Recipe

04.02.14 by Jackie

In Vietnamese, this tofu dish is called tàu hủ xào nấm đông cô. This particular variety of mushrooms is delicious. Once re-hydrated, they have a fleshy, plump and even meatier, chewier texture than fresh shiitake mushrooms.

The delicate part of this preparation lies in soaking the mushrooms. You could soak them in cold water overnight or, if pressed for time as I was, re-hydrate them in warm water for about 1 hour. I saved the flavor-packed soaking liquid and made a thick sauce to accompany the tofu. I don't prepare this dish very often because one of the ingredients can be a little pricey, but it is sooooo tasty!

In order not to serve a mostly colorless dish, I included bright green string beans. 


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Ca Kho Recipe: Vietnamese Braised Salmon in Caramel Sauce Recipe

Even though I live in a 9-person household, over the years baby Aria and I have become the only "omnivores". I don't know if her taste buds will change over time and she'll copy her father's vegetarian diet, but for now, Aria enjoys meat and seafood. Last evening, I prepared a typical Vietnamese meal for ourselves called "cá hồi kho nước dừa", which roughly translates to "braised salmon simmered in coconut water". As a cook and especially as a mom, I took such pleasure in watching her appreciate the meal I had prepared for her. 

The fish is cooked in a caramel sauce called "nước màu" ("colored water"), which is a "savory" sauce made of caramel where the boiling point of sugar was reached to add a brown color and to impart a slightly bitter aroma. The sauce is balanced with spicy, fresh red Thai chili peppers, ginger, nước mắm (fish sauce), whole mint leaves and green onions. My favorite way to serve this "cá kho" dish is with steamed jasmine rice and blanched Vietnamese leafy greens. It's a healthy, nutritious and complete meal. Baby Aria loved it and I'm sure you will, too. If you'd like to start with a more inexpensive fish, you could prepare the same dish with catfish or mackerel.


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Vietnamese Dessert with Lotus Seeds and Longans: Chè Sen Nhãn Recipe

According to the Lunar calendar, Tết (Vietnamese New Year) falls on January 30th, 2014. It's customary to serve chè (typical Vietnamese dessert) to offer to ancestors during prayers. Today's dessert recipe is chè sen nhãn. It's made from dried lotus seeds and dried longans, which are perfect for the winter season. 

I prepared a syrup sweetened with Chinese rock sugar. It can be thickened with tapioca starch but the quality of the dried lotus seeds and longans I used was so amazing, it was unnecessary. I feel very blessed because I always have family and friends bringing me delicious, exotic ingredients from their travels to Vietnam. I received lotus seeds threaded as necklaces and the longans had been sun-dried and unsweetened. They came out just perfect: perky and plump, with a hint of natural sweetness. I could have eaten bowls and bowls of this lovely chè.


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Zucchini Tofu Recipe Recipe

Zucchini Tofu Recipe

09.10.13 by Jackie

This tofu stir fry dish is a staple in our home and I make it at least once a month. It's quick to prepare, flavorful and packed with fresh green vegetables. I pan-fried tofu pieces and tossed them with onions and zucchini slices in a thick sauce (I used tapioca starch as the thickening agent).

My parents are excited to spend time with little Aria this month; they haven't seen her since she was 11 months old. I've been so busy these past few days wrapping up work and packing for our trip to Paris, that I completely forgot about picking our vegetables. There have been beautiful zucchini waiting to be harvested and I was so excited to be able to cook with them. So it was a real bummer this morning when I found wilted, unusable zucchini flowers. I still harvested the large zucchini and prepared it with tofu. It's not an elaborate meal but it's tasty and nutritious. 


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