Vietnamese Sauce Recipes

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Coconut Tofu Recipe Recipe

Coconut Tofu Recipe

09.22.14 by Jackie

Eating vegan foods doesn't necessarily mean they have to be bland. My goal to jazz up a Japanese eggplant and broccoli tofu dish was to add extra richness to the taste with coconut cream. The vegetables cooked fairly quickly, so I focused more on seasoning the sauce, using soy sauce, chile black bean sauce, palm sugar and coconut.

This coconut tofu is a great way for our family (baby Aria and I are the only ones not on a vegetarian diet) to share the same meal without missing meat. The tofu was flavorful with crispy texture and the added spiciness. With a dish like this one, you won't have naysayers claiming the tofu dish is too plain!


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Spicy Eggplant Tofu Recipe Recipe

Spicy Eggplant Tofu Recipe

04.03.12 by Jackie

Japanese eggplants cook fairly quickly and this stir fry sauce consists of basic ingredients such as soy sauce, chile black bean sauce, palm sugar and fresh ginger. The ginger and black bean sauce enhances the bland eggplant and tofu. All that's left is to steam a few leafy greens and have jasmine rice ready in the rice cooker. It's as easy as 1-2-3!

I barely have time for anything these days, and when I have very little time to cook, my go-to dish is a tofu stir fry. It’s nutritious and it allows me to make use of whatever I have on hand. Learn the basics and you’ll be able to dazzle your family with creative stir fry dishes.


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Spicy Eggplant Recipe Recipe

Spicy Eggplant Recipe

09.15.11 by Jackie

This eggplant side dish is very easy to prepare. It's perfect if you want to cook Asian food for a vegetarian crowd. I sautéed Japanese eggplants in a hoisin sauce-based mixture for its caramel color and subtle sweetness. To this, I added several crunchy ingredients  such as shredded bamboo and black fungus mushrooms (called nấm mèo in Vietnamese) to balance the soft texture of the eggplant.

It's important to add spiciness to the dish as the eggplant can be a little bland. I added sliced jalapenos, grated ginger and store-bought chile garlic sauce. The result is a combination of sweet, garlicky, spicy and savory.


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Shrimp Spring Rolls (Vietnamese Roll Recipe) Recipe

Shrimp spring rolls (gỏi cuốn in Vietnamese) are the perfect finger food when we have a party. Not only are they healthy, but they're very tasty as well. I usually serve them sliced in half with a peanut and hoisin sauce on the side.

For this dish, I prefer to wrap the rolls with tapioca sheets, called bánh tráng mỏng in Vietnamese, which literally translates to "thin paper disks". They are thinner than rice paper, and as a result the shrimp are still visible once wrapped. The other plus of using tapioca sheets is that they look fresh longer, once they're made, versus the ones with rice paper. Tapioca rounds are stickier than rice paper when wet though, so it's a little more difficult to wrap them.

In these particular fresh rolls, I added the basic ingredients such as shrimp, rice noodles, bean sprouts, cucumber, lettuce and Vietnamese herbs. Meat could be added but I like them very simple. It's a fairly fast dish; the only long step is wrapping the rolls, but with our large family, the work was quite easy.

And for the vegetarians in the house, we wrapped bì cuốn chay, so everyone could share the same meal for dinner.


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Beef Hot Pot (Bo Nhung Dam, Shabu Shabu) Recipe

If you're a beef and seafood lover, this Vietnamese-style beef hot pot recipe is for you. Bỏ nhúng dấm (literally beef dipped in vinegar) is the Vietnamese equivalent of the Japanese dish called shabu shabu, but with additional seafood ingredients. The broth is made with coconut soda, chopped onions and tomatoes. On a separate platter, gather the raw beef, shrimp, baby squid and octopus, fresh pineapple, cooked rice noodles, bánh tráng (dried rice paper sheets) and various aromatic herbs. The prep work is quite labor-intensive; you have to have a lot of company to make the meal worthwhile. The more, the merrier.

Place an electric hot pot in the middle of the dining table and let everyone dip and cook the beef and seafood in the fragrant broth and assemble their own rolls using the rice paper sheets. Dip the rolls in mắm nêm dipping sauce. It's made of fermented fish paste, which is very strong. If fermented fish paste is too overwhelming, you could ultimately use nước mắm chấm (fish sauce) or soy sauce (nước tương chấm) for a milder flavor.

Vietnamese beef hot pot is a very festive meal because it's fairly expensive and quite time-consuming to prepare. It's what one of my uncles would call "đặc biệt", or "only for special occasions" in English. On my Papa's side of the family in France, all my cousins (including me) married non-Vietnamese spouses but I can guarantee you they all know the meaning of the word "đặc biệt" (which means special). Whenever, we're invited to my uncles' homes, they offer a lot of đặc biệt meals. "Lulu, it's đặc biệt, you should try this, it's delicious!" as one of my uncle always says to my husband. So this recipe is dedicated to my uncle François, whom I call Chu Bay (Uncle #7. He's Papa's 7th brother and that's how you show respect in the Vietnamese tradition).

It's perfect for a winter meal and just in time for the Chinese New Year, which is coming very soon.

Bo Nhunh Giam Recipe with Picture


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