Asian Recipes

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Ca Bong Lau Kho To (Vietnamese Claypot Catfish) Recipe

This is probably one of the quickest and easiest Vietnamese fish dishes. The only requirement is to use flawless, very fresh catfish called "cá bông lau" in Vietnamese. Whenever I go to the Asian grocery stores, if I find fish with bright clear eyes and the skin looks shiny and clean, chances are I bring some seafood home. Also, most important, fresh fish should smell briny and pleasant. 

The steps for preparing cá bông lau kho tộ  are simple but crucial. First, soak the fish in vinegar; that way the fish texture will maintain a firm texture, even once it's cooked. Then, frying onions and the use of red chili powder covers the fish-y flavor and lastly, braising the fish in a combination of soy sauce (not fish sauce) and coconut sauce will bring wonderful, lightly sweet flavor to the seafood dish. 

 


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Comfort Food: Bowls of Rice Noodle Soup Recipe

 In my opinion, a large bowl of warm rice noodle soup is the perfect, healthy comfort food. It's soothing, filling and gluten-free. Of course, a must-try is phở bò, which is my all-time favorite soup

I've listed many options for you to try this fall season. 


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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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Lobster Tails in Spicy Broth Recipe

Lobster Tails in Spicy Broth

09.18.14 by Jackie

As I mentioned yesterday, we had a dinner guest the other evening. He lived in Japan for 20 years  and now he's back to the US. We've met several times in the past and I remembered his love for seafood, so I promised him a special feast the next time he came to visit.

I wanted to prepare a special dish with luxurious flavors. so I served out-of-this-world lobster tails in spicy broth.

Lobster tails were pan-fried first, then sautéed in Chinese chives, Thai basil leaves and garlic and then dipped in a spicy lobster broth. 


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Banh Uot Cha Lua Chay (Vegetarian Vietnamese Rice Noodles) Recipe

This vegetarian dish is Cậu Hoà's (my uncle) favorite. Since we live near San Jose, I'm fortunate to be able to find ready-made bánh ướt. It literally translates to "wet cakes". They're sheets of rice and tapioca noodles. The assembly of the dish, after steaming the rice noodle sheets, is ultra simple. 

I accompanied the rice noodles with Vietnamese tofu ham called chả lụa chay (you can find the recipe in my second cookbook, Banh Mi.) I also added fried tofu, steamed bean sprouts, fried shallots, cucumber and a wide array of Vietnamese herbs. The vegetarian dish is then "watered" with nước mắm chay. I just discovered vegetarian nuoc mam made of pineapple juice, which is similar to but less pungent than real fish sauce. 


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