Gluten Free Recipes

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Che Chuoi Recipe (Vietnamese Dessert) Recipe

Chè chuối is a popular dessert from South Vietnam, where my parents are from. Bananas are simmered whole until softened in a coconut milk tapioca pudding. It takes less time to prepare than Western desserts, plus chè chuối is made exclusively with vegan ingredients.

If you like Vietnamese desserts or Vietnamese sweets in general, you've probably noticed they don't always have the nicest presentation, especially chè desserts. They often have a very neutral, grayish color and  soupy texture. If you get past that, you're guaranteed to at least get a completely fresh take on dessert.


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Masoor Ki Daal Recipe Recipe

Masoor Ki Daal Recipe

03.29.12 by Jackie

Among the Indian  lentil dishes I've learned from my husband's late grandmother, this "dry" daal dish, called "masoor ki daal", is by far the easiest and fastest to prepare for the family. No soaking is needed and it cooks in no time. The only trick to this dish is not to overcook the lentils because they will get mushy very quickly if you don't keep an eye on them.

The coral-colored, skinless lentils are sautéed with ginger garlic paste and chiles. Once masoor dal is cooked, the lentils turn a pretty yellow color. The last step is pairing the lentil dish with homemade roti (Indian flat bread) for a complete, nutritious meal.

 


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Chao Vit Recipe (Vietnamese Duck Rice Soup) Recipe

The weather in the Bay Area wasn't all that great over the weekend. It's been rainy and very windy. Making rice soup seemed the appropriate recipe for this type of climate. If you’ve never had it, rice soup is a one-dish meal that is both filling and satisfying. You can add many different ingredients to your basic rice soup, but I made this particular version with my favorite meat: duck. It's called cháo vịt in Vietnamese. I find duck meat to be a lot more flavorful than regular chicken.

Traditionally, it would be served with gơi vịt (Vietnamese duck salad using the remaining meat from the duck stock) and chopped bánh giò cháo quảy, which are Vietnamese savory beignets. I skipped the fried food to keep the meal healthy; I even took the time to strain and remove the extra fat floating at the top of the duck stock!


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Chile Fish with Yuzu Paste Recipe

Chile Fish with Yuzu Paste

03.20.12 by Jackie

You may have noticed that I eat (and thus am posting) a lot more fish than before. That's because I just found a new seafood market right on Tully road, in San Jose. The fishmonger always surprises me with his freshest catch. My most recent purchase was a couple of beautiful halibut steaks. Halibut is a very delicate fish so I had to use ingredients that accentuate without overpowering. First, I cleaned and rinsed the fish in lemony, salted water. The marinade time was fairly brief and contained the bare minimum: chile, onion and yuzu paste.

I pan-fried the halibut steaks, to which I added fried chiles and onions as garnish. It’s always nice to give hints of what flavors are in the dish. The reason I used a generous amount of jalapeno chile is to prevent the fish from being tanh ("fishy" in Vietnamese). Maman used to say that there are two rules for making a good seafood dish: the fresher the product, the better it will taste and chile can be used to mask any unpleasant odor.


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Banh Canh Recipe (Vietnamese Shrimp Broth with Udon Noodles) Recipe

Bánh canh tôm is what I consider comfort food. The warm broth with thick, chewy Vietnamese tapioca noodles is very satisfying. Unlike the usual comfort food you might expect, this Vietnamese soup is pretty healthy. I made this banh canh variation with "tôm" (shrimp), homemade fish balls made by our family friend, Co Nho, and pieces of yellowtail snapper. This specific fish works well because of its mild aroma and firm texture when boiled.

In my opinion, the most important part of soup dishes such as pho or bun mang ga is how flavorful the broth is. I made a shrimp stock using shrimp shells. You could also add coconut milk but I didn't as I'm trying to watch my weight!


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