Mung Dal Recipes

View All | View Summaries
Stuffed Bitter Melon (Kho Qua) Recipe

Stuffed Bitter Melon (Kho Qua)

01.12.10 by Jackie

Bitter melon (khổ qua in Vietnamese) is a part of many cultures and cuisines. In India, deep fried bitter melon rings (karela) are a common dish. Vietnamese people use the smoother variety of bitter melon, and the vegetable is often prepared steamed or in a broth. In this particular preparation, I filled the bitter melon with tofu, bean thread noodles and wood ear mushrooms, but you could definitely use chicken or pork. I typically pair mine with rice, but you can also serve a simple vegetable broth if you prefer. 

From Wikipedia:

This dish is usually cooked for the Tết holiday as its name: "bitter" reminds people not to forget or disrespect the poor living condition experienced in the past.

Eating shouldn't be a chore, so if you're a little put off by the description, I understand. The taste is very unusual but I think this dish really does taste great though, so I urge you to give it a try.


Full Recipe...
Vietnamese Tofu Stuffed Betel Leaves  Recipe

Tàu hũ cuốn lá lốt (betel leaf wrapped tofu in Vietnamese) is very similar looking to Greek dolmades. Instead of using grape leaves though, betel leaves serve as the packaging and delivery device for pan-fried tofu and vegetables. Betel leaves have a peppery taste, and when cooked they have the appearance, but not the texture of nori. The tofu mixture is similar to the filling I use for my vegetarian egg rolls.

The traditional way to prepare this dish is with extra lean ground beef (see tips), called thịt bò nướng lá lốt. However, Aunt Elise, who is a vegetarian, is visiting from Vietnam and taught me how to make the meatless version of the dish. Either way, it's an exotic and authentic taste of Vietnam.


Full Recipe...
Cassava Coconut Vietnamese Cake (Banh Khoai Mi) Recipe

Bánh khoai mì nướng, literally baked cassava (or manioc) cake in Vietnamese, is a sticky, sweet cake. The cassava provides the starch, the coconut milk provides the fat, and condensed milk is used as a sweetener.  It's unlike any Western dessert you've ever tried.

Cassava is a starchy tuberous root that is widely used in South America, Africa and Asia.  The flour made from the roots is called tapioca.

 


Full Recipe...
Tofu Banh Xeo (Vegetarian Vietnamese Crepe) Recipe

Tofu Bánh Xèo is a vegetarian Saigon crepe. It's is a South Vietnamese dish. The exact translation is a "sizzling cake that is deflating". The Bánh Xèo crepe has a rice flour base with coconut milk. It's a lot thicker than the French version but just as delicious. The crepe has an earthy flavor, so It's always a savory dish filled with a lot of vegetables.

I've noticed that a lot of Vietnamese dishes have French influences as a result of years of colonization. The preparations are French, but the ingredients are Vietnamese. For example, the beef fondue, called bò nhúng dấm in Vietnamese, uses a fermented shrimp paste in the sauce.

Prepare this very exotic and healthy meal for your family and friends.  You'll have another recipe in your arsenal for Sunday brunches and dinners alike.


Full Recipe...
Mini Fried Vegetarian Eggrolls (Cha Gio Chay in Vietnamese) Recipe

Eggrolls (Chả giò in Vietnamese) are a staple in Vietnamese cuisine. Despite its name, eggrolls contains no egg. They're filled with taro root, carrot, dried mushroom and rice vermicelli noodles. They also usually contain tofu or a meat product. This version is fried but there's also spring rolls that are not fried, I'll make those and post them some time soon.

This recipe is for my version of vegetarian eggrolls. They are very convenient when you're serving a large crowd. Eggrolls are the perfect party food. You can make them large and serve them with the main course, or make them smaller and serve them as appetizers. All you need is a good fillling and a ton of little helpers to wrap the crispy delicious cigar shaped snacks. Some of my earliest culinary memories are of my mom making me wrap a bunch of eggrolls before a party.

It took all of us about half an hour to wrap everything whereas if you're alone it'll take about 2 hours. It won't take that long for your guests to devour them though!


Full Recipe...