Vietnamese Dessert Recipes

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Coconut Milk Ice Cream Recipe with Chestnut Swirl Recipe

This recipe proves that vegan doesn't always mean healthy. Coconut cream, coconut milk, sugar, pure vanilla extract, chestnut purée and stabilizers combine to make a vegan ice cream recipe that tips the scales at about 3000 calories per quart (that's 375 calories per serving). But there aren’t any eggs or dairy products!

I recently received a request for a vegan ice cream recipe from Leslie. It was the first time I tried making a vegan dessert. I made use of the same combination of stabilizers I use in other egg-free recipes, namely soy lecithin and xanthan gum. I increased the quantity to improve mouth-feel though. Xanthan gum in particular inhibits the formation of ice crystals, which create a more pleasing texture.

After tasting the final product, everyone in the house agreed that the ice cream strongly resembled chè, a very popular Vietnamese dessert. I hadn't anticipated that at all. Since I swirled the ice cream with chestnut purée, I thought it would have a more French flavor to it, but that was not the case. That's one of the things I love about cooking. I really enjoy experimenting, and the results of these culinary adventures can add completely new recipes to my repertoire.

My husband Lulu has decided to leave the ice cream maker on the kitchen counter until the end of summer to encourage us to make ice cream more often this year. I’ll post our concoctions on here all summer, so at least some good can come out of my impending weight gain. Stay tuned!


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Happy Valentine and Vietnamese New Year 2010! Recipe
Today is Valentine's Day and Tết (the Vietnamese New Year)! First, I want to tell my husband Lulu how much I love him. We've known each other for more than 10 years now, married for 5 and I look forward to spending more years of blissful happiness with the love of my life. Joyeuse Saint-Valentin mon coeur!



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Recipes for a Chinese New Year Celebration Recipe

If you're wondering what the inscription on the photo is, it says "Chúc Mừng Năm Mới" or Happy New Year in Vietnamese. This year, since the Asian New Year follows the Lunar calendar, we have 2 celebrations at the same time: Valentine's Day and Tết (the Vietnamese New Year). We're going to be celebrating a romantic Lunar New Year of the Tiger !

I've started decorating the house with things that symbolize the New Year. I went to San Jose and bought Vietnamese flowers called bông vạn thọ, which literally translates to "longevity flowers". As usual, every year, I'm on a quest to find the best bánh tét. It's a must to have traditional food for Vietnamese Lunar New Year. I went to several different stores on Tully road (San Jose, California) and I'll give you the results this weekend of the best places I've found. Some of you might not know what a bánh tét is; it's a ake roll made from sticky glutinous rice and red beans with a center of mung bean paste with or without meat. The flavors vary; there could also be bananas in place of the lentils and meat. 

If you are observing the tradition of eating vegetarian foods (ăn chay) on the last day of the previous year and first day of New Year, check out my tofu recipes.

For more details about Chinese New Year celebrations, check out last year's post.

Banh Tet in Banana Leaves Picture
Bánh Tét (Sticky rice roll cakes wrapped in banana leaves).


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Vietnamese Deep Fried Banana Fritters with Ginger Coconut Mascarpone Sauce Recipe

Banana fritters, or chuối chiên in Vietnamese, can be found on street corners throughout Saigon. Aunt Elise, who is visiting us from Vietnam, has been teaching me many Vietnamese recipes, and today she showed me how to make these tasty treats. It's been a lot of fun learning about my culture and of course, the food, from someone who spent her whole life in Saigon.

The batter that the bananas are coated in is very similar to tempura batter. To make it a touch sweeter, we added some banana and banana extract. The fritters are usually eaten as is, but I wanted to make them a little fancier. I prepared a decadent mascarpone dip flavored with ginger, Vietnamese mint and coconut. The dip, though non-traditional, provides a nice contrast to the texture of the fritters. It's a taste of Vietnam that you won't be able to resist.


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Sweet Coconut Red Bean Soup with Corn Recipe

The whole family went last weekend to our favorite dim-sum place and we had a sweet coconut red rice soup with corn for dessert. I've probably said it before, but Asian desserts are not always the most glamourous-looking sweets.

Looks can be deceiving though, and the girls love it so much that they asked me to make it at home. Give it a try!


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